Monday, October 30, 2023
Aqua Turf Club
Plantsville, Connecticut

Want to watch or view a previous Summit presentation? View our downloadable resource page.



Please join us for an annual conference that unites the people and systems addressing the challenges of aging and disability in Connecticut.

This is a full-day event designed to inform & educate social workers, Municipal Agents, Care Managers, Information Specialists, Resident Service Coordinators and other personnel in the field of aging and disability.

With nine engaging presentations organized on three distinct tracks, the AgingCT/Summit will allow attendees to create their own unique agendas, to ensure that everyone makes the most of their valuable day.

Why put the AgingCT/Summit on your Calendar:

  • Approved for 4.75 Continuing Education Credit Hours by NASW/CT and meets the continuing education criteria for Social Work Licensure renewal
  • Approved for Professional Development hours for Community Health Workers
  • Share ideas and best practices
  • Create a sense of partnership within the aging & disability community
  • Educate and enhance the knowledge & skills within the A & D provider community
  • Improve the quality of care of older persons and persons with disabilities
  • Allow open space for sharing ideas and best practices
  • Bring together multi-disciplinary cohorts with the goal of improving the quality of care, enhancing the independence and dignity of older persons and persons with disabilities

Hosted By:


8:30AM – 9:00AM

Check-in, Coffee & Refreshments

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Opening Remarks

10:00AM – 11:30AM

First Session

Innovations in Housing for Older Adults & Persons with Disabilities

With rising rents and a general lack of housing stock in Connecticut, it can be tough for people with fixed incomes to find an affordable place to live. The presentation will touch on evictions, housing subsidies, and the lack of housing for the aging population. It will offer strategies for advocacy to prevent evictions and increase affordable housing stock.

Room: Kay’s Pier South


Supported Decision Making

Supported Decision Making (SDM) is one alternative to guardianship. With SDM, individuals retain their right to make decisions for themselves, with the support of trusted friends and/or family members they choose. Join nationally renowned expert, Jonathan Martinis to learn more about the concept, how it could support members of the aging & disability communities and how it could become a reality in Connecticut.

Room: Glass Room


De-escalation and Conflict Mitigation

This workshop is designed to assist employees in learning the techniques used to deter, diffuse, deescalate, and effectively manage aggressive behavior and interactions with residents and the public. Property management staff, Resident Service Coordination, and public service employees are presented with a wide range of situations including families needing urgent assistance, irate customers, political delegations, cultural diversity needs, and threats to public safety.

Room: Wagon Room


11:45AM – 1:00PM

Keynote Speaker: Ashton Applewhite & Lunch

Keynote speaker:
Ashton Applewhite

Advocate and Author of
“This Chair Rocks”

A best-selling author, activist, and expert on ageism, Ashton tackles the fear of aging with a fun, straight-talking approach. She debunks the many myths we perpetuate about what it means and how it feels to grow older, and what our worth is once we’re wrinkled. She illuminates that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Aging isn’t a problem or a disease. Everyone’s doing it, from newborns to 99-year-olds, and more of us are doing more of it: there are more healthy adults than ever before in human history. Why is this remarkable achievement often depicted as a “gray tsunami” of incapacitated olders? Because of ageism—discrimination on the basis of age, a prejudice against our future selves. “Solve for ageism,” says activist ASHTON APPLEWHITE, and we also address sexism (aging is gendered), ableism (we’re afraid of losing our physical or cognitive capacity), and racism (which denies to multitudes the chance to age at all). The author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a TED mainstage speaker, Ashton is a leading voice of the emerging anti-ageism movement. Warm, funny, and straight-talking, Ashton describes her journey from apprehensive fifty-something to pro-aging radical, debunking myths and stereotypes along the way. Ashton calls aging “a powerful, fascinating, lifelong process that unites us all,” and guarantees that after listening to her, you’ll feel a whole lot better about the years ahead.

Ashton Applewhite asks us to challenge the forces that frame two-thirds of life as decline and some lives as more valuable than others. “It’s not ethical—or legal—to allocate resources by race or sex,” she points out, “and weighing the needs of the young against the old is equally unacceptable. Period.” She helps audiences perceive age bias between our ears and in the world around us; explains why age is a key criterion for diversity; teaches organizations how to reap the rewards of a mixed-age workforce; and shows why age belongs alongside race, gender, sexuality, and other identifiers that require us to think deeply and inclusively about how we live.

In a world of longer lives, the stakes are high and the time is now. In 2020, the World Economic Forum recognized the global community’s “role and responsibility to combat ageism.” In 2021, the World Health Organization launched its Global Campaign to Combat Ageism. In 2022, Ashton appeared on the first international edition of 40 over 40 – The World’s Most Inspiring Women because global conversations about equity can no longer overlook age.

Ashton’s trailblazing book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, was listed as one of the “100 Best Books to Read at Every Age” by the Washington Post and named by Forbes As one of “10 Books To Help You Foster a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace.” This Chair Rocks explores the roots of ageism and how it divides us, examines how ageist stereotypes affect our bodies and minds, and lays out a road map for what an all-age-friendly world could look like. It ends with a rousing call to action, which Library Journal called “a spark for social change.” Ashton is fanning this spark into a blaze of social revoluton and transformation, encouraging us to cultivate age-neutral mindsets and envision the immense possibilities of age equity—in our professional lives, in our communities, and in ourselves.

In 2022, Ashton has appeared on HelpAgeUSA’s inaugural 60 Over 60 list of Americans “who are making significant contributions to society at the local, national or international level”; Fe:maleOneZero’s first international edition of 40 over 40 – The World’s Most Inspiring Women (referenced above), a group of “extraordinary women who have one thing in common: they change the world for the better”; and received the prestigious Maggie Kuhn Award for being a “visionary leader, author and advocate in combating ageism.” She has written for Harper’s, the New York TimesThe Guardian, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and has spoken at venues that range from community centers and universities to the TED main stage and the United Nations.

1:10PM – 2:30PM

Second Session

Nutrition Policy & Promise

Hear the latest news on national policy related to nutrition and health. Attendees will be updated on status of funding for nutrition and the Farm bill. Join this panel of experts to help educate, inform, and promote nutrition advocacy.

Room: Kay’s Pier South


Navigating Legal Issues

A Probate Judge and two elder law attorneys will define complex legal terms including POA, conservatorship and guardianship. The panel will discuss the roles of today’s social workers and community-based professionals when helping clients navigate these systems.

Room: Glass Room


Tools to Implement Trauma-Informed Activities in the Workplace

What does Trauma Informed mean to you? Examples of feeling safe in your place of work, coming to work with your whole self, and what safety means to you. This Presentation provides strategies for reducing stress and increasing mindfulness designed to support social service professionals.

Room: Wagon Room


2:40PM – 4:00PM

Third Session

Healthy Living through Evidence-Based Health Initiatives

This session will provide overview what makes a health education program evidence based. The focus of this presentation within the panel discussion will be on the Connecticut Health Living Collective’s vision and purpose, including examples of ongoing collaborations within the network that promote healthier people, holistic care, stronger social connection, smarter spending, and health equity.

Room: Kay’s Pier South


Round Table Discussion with Johnathan Martinis – Advocacy for SDM

Join Johnathan Martinis for a robust discussion including how to make supportive decision making a reality in Connecticut.

Room: Glass Room


Aging is All-Inclusive!

This presentation will educate and bring awareness regarding the transgender/gender diverse population. The Presenter will explore topics and issues of developmental stages across the lifespan of the trans population based on education, experience in the field and her lived personal experience.

Room: Wagon Room



Alissa Wurtzel, LCSW

Andrea June, PhD

Ashton Applewhite

Barbara Green, Esq., J.D.

Bob Blancato, MPA

David Genovese, MBA

Ginny Monk, MLA

Heather Peracchio, MS, RDN, CD-N

Jason Jakubowski, MPA

Jill Renken, MPH

Jillian Celentano, LMSW

Justine Ginsberg, BSN, RN

Honorable Kate Maxham, J.D.

Kelly McDermott, BSW

Laura Borth, MS, RD

Loretta Sanford, MS

Nolle Marcus, MUP, MBA

Pam Heller, JD, MSW

Steve Rubin, Esq.

Jonathan Martinis, Esq., J.D.


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