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Summit to focus on 'aging friendly' communities

 

Globe file photo

ANDREA NEWBY, family living agent with the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, speaks during a summit to make Iron County more "aging friendly" in 2013. This year's event is July 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley.

HURLEY - Iron County will host a second annual Iron County Aging-Friendly Communities Summit Friday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oma Town Hall.

The event is designed to help make Iron County more "aging friendly," allowing summit attendees to share ideas to improve programs and services for local seniors.

According to Andrea Newby, family living agent for the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, after last year's event, things are continuing to move forward.

"We still have quite a bit of momentum going from last year, regarding programming that we're doing," Newby said. "This year, we decided to open the event to senior citizens, as well, to have them be a part of the discussion with local leaders."

The event is open to the public, allowing people to "learn together and continue to discuss the needs and opportunities to create an aging-friendly Iron County," Newby said.

There is a fee to attend the event, but scholarships are available through the UW-Extension office. Interested attendees need to RSVP in the Extension office by July 23.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

There will four speakers, discussing a wide variety of senior-related topics.

Dr. Christopher Pogliano, from Aspirus Grand View Hospital in Ironwood, will discuss "the dementias," showing how it's not all Alzheimer's disease, and will review dementia and some of its more common types, presentations and treatments.

Wendy Thiede, a retired teacher and school-to-work coordinator in Sheboygan County, will speak on "Changing Attitudes." The presentation will look into the retirement industry and its economic impact on Iron County. Thiede will also present research on the net benefits of attracting and retaining retirees.

The third speaker is Clif Barber, a professor in the department of human development and family studies in the school of human ecology at UW-Madison. Barber will discuss the importance of social connectedness in communities that are aging friendly.

The final speaker is Paul Sturgul, a certified elder law attorney in Michigan and Wisconsin. Sturgul has a law office in Hurley, and he will present, "Who Pays for Mom and Dad," and discuss estate planning.

The goal is to continue the event in the future. Newby would like to see the event spread into a summit on making not just Iron County, but northern Wisconsin more aging friendly.

She said she would like to see community members attend the event to share ideas and learn more about different topics related to seniors.

"We need their voice in further programming and creating a community that is livable for everyone," Newby said.

For more information, call the Iron County UW-Extension office at 715-561-2695.