K-State Research and Extension News
March 06, 2013
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Western Kansas Conference to Focus on Positive Approach to Aging

OAKLEY, Kan. Aging brings changes in life and lifestyle, as well as new challenges -- and opportunities.

Making the most of inevitable changes and meeting the challenges, while also taking advantage of opportunities will be the focus of the 2013 edition of northwest Kansas’ spring conference on aging: Full Circle: “The Best is Yet to Be.”

The popular event will be April 26 at the Gateway Fellowship Church Impact Center (Sunshine Avenue and E. 2nd St.) in Oakley, Kan., said Tranda Watts, K-State Research and Extension multi-county agent and conference spokesperson.

The conference program is scheduled 9:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

The 2013 lineup of speakers will feature Karen Ridder, from Topeka, Kan., representing the Kansas Humanities Council, as keynote speaker.

Ridder will present “Bucket Lists and Looking Back” as she encourages attendees to reflect on   accomplishments and consider what they might like to do as they approach the closing chapters of their lives.

Deb Sellers will offer tips for adapting to challenges associated with aging, and encourage attendees to examine their beliefs about aging and consider aging as another stage in life’s journey.

Sellers, who is K-State Research and Extension’s state specialist on adult development and aging, based on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, advocates a positive approach to the challenges and opportunities associated with each stage in life.

Attendees may attend three of six break-out sessions. Presentations and presenters include:

* Falling Less in Kansas: Reducing Risks - Teresa Radebaugh, Carl and Rozina Cassat professor in aging, and director, Regional Institute on Aging, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kan.  Radebaugh, who acknowledges that falls can be devastating for older adults and may result in life-changing injuries -- or death, will offer ideas on reducing the risks in everyday life.

* The Who, When, Where, What and How of Guardianship vs. Conservatorship - Randy Clinkscales, attorney with Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, Hays, Kan., will explain the differences between the two and help attendees consider current needs while planning for future needs.

* Behind Closed Doors: Intimacy and Aging - Gayle Doll, director of the Center on Aging in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Doll will address preconceived notions about sexuality and aging, and growing older without repressing sexuality.

* Legal Issues and Farm Succession - Michael Irvin, Kansas Farm Bureau. Irvin, who grew up on a farm in Goodland, Kan., is an attorney and knowledgeable about issues that many families face.

* Getting Financially Prepared: Avoid Disaster - Jamie Rathbun, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Ellsworth County, Kan. Rathbun will give tips for ensuring that records and other essential documents are up to date, stored safely, and can be accessed in the event of a disaster. 

* Mental Health Crisis Intervention/Mental Health First Aid - Ken Loos, High Plains Mental Health Agency, Hays, Kan. Loos will offer tips for framing effective communications during a health crisis.

The cost to attend is $25 per person or $40 for two family members, and includes conference materials, a noon meal, and facility fees for registrations received by April 19, 2013.

Registration at the door is $35 per person; lunch and conference materials cannot be guaranteed for registrations at the door.  

For registration or more information, go to the Northwest Area Office or call Diann Gerstner, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Thomas County at 785-460-4582.

The regional conference is sponsored by the K-State Research and Extension Northwest Area Office; Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging; Fort Hays State University Dept. of Health and Human Performance; Kansas Humanities Council, and Logan County Health Department.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Tranda Watts is at 785-442-3663 or twwatts@ksu.edu; Diann Gerstner is at785-460-4582 or diann@ksu.edu