Online Forum to Focus on Building Age-Friendly Valley


Last updated 5/1/2021 at 12:33pm | View PDF

Amanda Lawrence

"Shaping Our Communities and Future" will be the theme of a virtual forum scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 11.

The goal of this free online event is for community leaders, professionals, and older adults and their families to discuss building an age-friendly Central Valley.

"The virtual event will be structured into two parts," said Dr. Helen Militaides, who is coordinating the forum. "The first part will feature key speakers on the (California) Master Plan for Aging and what it means to create age-friendly communities."

Scheduled to speak at the event are: Amanda Lawrence, project director for the Master Plan for Aging; Edie Yau, Alzheimer's Association diversity and inclusion director; and Joy Moreno, deputy director of the Fresno County Department of Social Services.

The event will be moderated by Mark Keppler of the Maddy Institute.

"The second part of our event will be a transition to a group community discussion, consisting of our local representatives and leaders of our aging community who will discuss various issues and share personal life stories related to a need for an age-friendly community," Miltiades said.

California's Master Plan for Aging will include different priorities in the Central Valley than in other parts of the state, explained Dr. Miltiades.

"For example, one issue is that we have more rural communities, so how do you handle transportation?" she said.

Although much of the focus of this year's forum will be on the needs of seniors, Miltiades noted that the Master Plan affects everyone in the state.

Edie Yau

"The changes you make for older people also impact younger people," she said. "A safe community is considered an age-friendly community."

Miltiades helped coordinate a similar event two years ago, an in-person event at the Veterans Hall in Clovis that attracted 50 attendees and resulted in a report on the needs of Central Valley seniors being sent to the governor and to the SCAN Foundation.

Among the organizations involved in the planning of the event are Agewell Fresno, Home Instead, the Alzheimer's Association and the Central California Training Academy.

To participate in the forum or for more information, visit or email Helen Miltiades at


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