What We Do

AgeWellFest

AgeWellFest is a first-of-its-kind, in-person experiential learning opportunity for every Connecticut community.

A festival of the Connecticut Age Well Collaborative, we’re celebrating every ability and every age.  For the vibe, think First Night (but in the daytime) meets conference (but without the slide decks).  Municipal leaders, staff, commission members, community stakeholders, policymakers, nonprofits, and anyone else interested in fostering more aging, dementia, and disability-inclusive communities are invited to a day of connection, engaging education, and fun.

When Is it?

Thursday, September 12, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Rain date to be announced. In the event of extreme weather on both dates, AgeWellFest will be rescheduled for a date in the spring.

Where Is it?

The Meriden Green
Plus surrounding downtown locations!

What's Happening?

Interactive learning sessions (many eligible for continuing education credits) 

Choose-your-own food truck lunch and entertainment

Presentation of our annual Wellspring Awards 

Modeling best practices for inclusive, accessible events 

AgeWellFest2024

Join us!

For Sponsors

Demonstrate your commitment to embracing every ability and every age by sponsoring AgeWellFest.

Contact us to request the sponsorship package.

For Attendees

Stay tuned — registration for AgeWellFest2024 will open later this summer.

Sign up for our e-news to stay informed.

Festival Schedule

This schedule will be updated and expanded throughout the summer. 

Morning Events

Registration
Learning Stations & Exhibitors along Age Well Avenue and Wellspring Way
Welcome: Inspiration and Intentions
Morning Learning Sessions (multiple simultaneous sessions)

Wellspring Awards, Lunch, and Entertainment

Afternoon Events

Learning Stations & Exhibitors along Age Well Avenue and Wellspring Way
Afternoon Learning Sessions (multiple simultaneous sessions)
Closing: From Idea to Action

Session Descriptions

Our learning session schedule is still evolving — an illustrative list is included here. Stay tuned for updates!

Morning Sessions

Main Street is the neighborhood for everyone in your community and beyond. As such, it needs to be welcoming and accessible to all abilities and ages. Join Carl Rosa, Field Services Director at Connecticut Main Street Center, on an interactive walking tour using a Main Street Manager lens to point out key elements and considerations in a downtown that are important to ensure inclusivity for all visitors, residents, and workers.

Where you live determines how you experience your community. Join the Center for Housing Opportunities in exploring housing options and their proximity and accessibility to and from key community resources and assets. Engage in an interactive session where you will assume a persona and work to identify strengths and gaps in a community, and how we can work to enhance housing options for residents of all abilities.

There are about 80,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease and 43,000 living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Connecticut.  Join Carolyn DeRocco and Esther Pearl from the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter to practice strategies for effective communication for people with cognitive change. Then, Shazia Chaudhry and Kate Keefe from LiveWell will demonstrate exercises to challenge your mind, sharpen your memory, and maintain your mental edge. Participants will learn strategies to exercise the six major cognitive domains of the brain and the six modifiable risk factors for preventing cognitive decline. 

There are an estimated nearly 3 million people over the age of 55 who identify as LGBTQ+ and that number is expected to double by 2030. LGBTQ+ older adults often remain invisible and may not seek services due to fear of, and experiences with, discrimination.  Join Robin McHaelen, a nationally known expert on LGTBQ+ people across the lifespan, for activities and an interactive discussion allowing you to experience some of what it is like to come out as well as insights into how municipalities can foster intentionally inclusive communities.

Afternoon Sessions

Daring Dialogues are community workshops designed to foster open and constructive communication.  Christina Gray, Community Partnerships Manager at the Connecticut Age Well Collaborative, through sharing lived experience and guided facilitation will help you challenge assumptions about aging and disability and explore who our biases influence our thoughts and actions.  This session is a sample of our full-length 2.5-hour workshop.

The Safety Circuit Rider Program at the T2 Center at the University of Connecticut, in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s ADA Coordinating Engineers, provides education and training on ADA compliance to local agencies, including field audits using our ADA toolkit. Join us on a trip around the Green as an outside classroom using our toolkit for practical considerations, like how to inspect an ADA curb ramp and sidewalk conditions, and providing an opportunity for you to experience a small glimpse of the challenges faced by people with disabilities every day. 

Municipal planning and zoning staff have been working over the last decade to create more sustainable, resilient communities through innovative planning and zoning techniques, many with the incidental impact of greater inclusivity. The  Connecticut Age Well Collaborative is creating a set of planning and zoning guidelines to foster Connecticut municipalities toward more intentional aging, dementia and disability inclusivity. Join Emily Hultquist, Policy and Planning Consultant for the Connecticut Age Well Collaborative to learn about these guidelines and workshop ways in which they may fit into your community’s plans and regulatory frameworks.

Join us to explore the myriad ways the CT State Library empowers you with resources for lifelong reading. Try out the offerings from the CT Library for Accessible Books (CTLAB) whose Digital Talking Book Machine and web-based platform called BARD are free to any CT resident who is unable to read regular print due to a visual, reading, or physical disability. Test out the free Palace app supported by the CT State Library which offers digital content to all CT residents on their own devices through their local public library. And if good old-fashioned paper page turning is what you are after, we have large print books in our collection, too. Come play with books and share with us your experiences, surprises, and questions! 

Continuing Education Credits

This event is the final event in our 2024 Age Well Academy series, with special recognition to be awarded to participants who join us at all four of our Age Well Academy events this year.  This event is eligible for Certified Connecticut Municipal Official (CMMO) credit with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  Additional opportunities for continuing education credits with other organizations are available for individual sessions and will be listed as they become available. 

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