Innovation Forum: Healthy Aging and Design


Healthy Aging and Design

Tuesday, 2/12, 3:30pm-6:00pm

North Creek Events Center

Registration Recommended, Seating Limited


Telling Stories: Aging and Assisted Living

Presenter: Kathleen Woodward, Phd, Professor of English, Director of Simpson Center for Humanities

The frail elderly and their caregivers are virtually invisible in representational circuits.  How can we bring what is a scandalous public secret of everyday life into visibility as care of the elderly increasingly becomes a matter of the global market in our neoliberal economies?  Exploring the representation of caregivers and elders, together, in photographs, the memoir, news and feature stories, and documentary film, suggesting that one of the most effective modes of advocating for changes in public policy is engaging people’s understanding through stories and images.


Choices, Confidence & Connections: Supporting the self-determination of older adults in program design for healthy aging

Presenter: Suzanne Sikma, Phd, RN, Professor

Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2012) argues that conditions supporting an individual’s experience of autonomy, confidence in one’s own competence, and relatedness foster the most high quality forms of motivation and engagement for activities, including enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity. In addition SDT proposes that the degree to which any of these three psychological needs is unsupported or thwarted within a social context will have a detrimental impact on wellness in that setting.  This presentation will discuss the application of SDT to promote healthy aging in the design of programs for older adults.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Self-determination theory In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology: Vol. 1 . (pp. 416-437). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage


Designing a future for a UWB where “the healthiest choices are the easiest choices”

Presesnters: David Allen, RN, PhD, Director of UWB’s Nursing and Health Studies Program; George Kosovich, Director of Programs & Community Investments for the Verdant Health Commission/Public Hospital District No 2, Snohomish County

The purposes of this session are to (a) provide a brief overview of a public health approach based on the study of “blue zones”—global regions with unusually long life spans and (b) lead a discussion on where UWB’s development might articulate with “Blue Zone” principles.


The Radical Potential of Improvisation in Aging Services

Presenter: Anne Basting, PhD, Associate Professor, Theater and Executive Director, Center on Age and Community, University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Basting will address improvisational techniques in art-making and the challenges of incorporating them into health settings. Starting with a brief improvisational exercise, Basting will build on her experience with large scale arts/aging project (TimeSlips, Penelope, Islands of Milwaukee) to invite conversation about the challenge of improvisation in settings designed to reduce and manage risk.