Internationally Known Gerontology Expert to Present Conference Address on Successful Aging

Dr. John Morley, an internationally recognized expert in gerontology, will be the keynote speaker at the “Conversations for Successful Aging:  A Gerontology Conference for Professionals” March 31 in Cape Girardeau. Morley is the Dammert Professor of Gerontology and director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, both at Saint Louis University Medical Center, and the medical director of two nursing homes. He will present the keynote address, “Enhancing Geriatric Care by Health Care Professionals,” at 12:45 p.m. The conference will be held at the Show Me Center at 1333 N. Sprigg St. from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Registration is $50 (without continuing education credits), $65 (with continuing education credits) and $25 for students with a student ID. The registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, exhibitors and conference materials.  Register online at The conference is sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Health and Human Services, the Alzheimer’s Association, A.T. Still University, Missouri Area Health Education Centers and Saint Louis University. “Aging is a universal experience that results in significant changes that impact all aspects of a person’s life,” said Desma Reno, conference chair and assistant professor of nursing at Southeast Missouri State University. “Every day, via some social media outlet, over the phone and at the kitchen table, we are discussing some of the most complex matters that we face as we grow older. Aging is inevitable, but most people are unprepared to discuss the practical effects of an older adult's transition from full independence to semi-dependent living or the transition to end of life. “This conference will provide health care professionals an opportunity to explore some of these complex transitions in an effort to better serve older adults, caregivers and families. These conversations are the types of conversations that most families will have, sooner or later,” Reno said.  “How a health care professional handles these talks can determine the success of an older adult’s aging process. When properly handled, these conversations can promote the concepts of independence, dignity and self-governance as pillars of central importance to the process of successful aging.” Speakers at the conference will offer the latest information, trends and tools in gerontology and geriatric medicine. Health related topics to be addressed include screening for frailty, nutrition, sarcopenia, and cognition, in addition to the most current updates on dementia, end of life, cultural trends in long-term care, and cognitive stimulation therapy. Participants will discuss new concepts they learn and how they can apply them in the clinical practice and community setting for care of older adults. Programs will focus on recent research and clinical updates in dementia assessment and intervention; trends in long-term care that improve person centered care for residents; Advanced Illness Management and end-of-life care; clinical initiatives that can be implemented in community-based care settings; enhancing geriatric care by health care professionals; Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, a non-pharmacologic intervention for people with dementia; and initiating difficult conversations with family members from diagnosis of disease, changing safety situations and care needs. Morley, the keynote speaker, is an internationally recognized expert in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), nutrition and general aging issues. He holds a medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed an internal medicine residency in Johannesburg and a fellowship in endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has edited more than 20 books, including “Medical Care in the Nursing Home,” “Geriatric Nutrition,” “Endocrinology of Aging” and “Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine.” His most recent book is titled “The Science of Staying Young,” and his major research focuses on the role of neuropeptides in the modulation of hormonal responses and behavior and on nutrition and hormones in the elderly. For his work in appetite regulation, Morley has received the Mead Johnson Award of the American Institution of Nutrition. He has been named the Medical Director of the Year for Life Care Centers of America and was awarded the IPSEN Foundation Longevity Prize, among the most prestigious European awards for research in gerontology. Morley is the recipient of multiple national awards for his leadership in geriatrics, including the Marsha Goodwin-Beck Interdisciplinary Award for Excellence in Geriatric Leadership by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Leadership Board, the Gerontological Society of America’s Freeman Award for lifelong achievement in geriatric clinical care, and the American Geriatrics Society’s Nascher/Manning Award for lifelong achievement in clinical geriatrics. He also has received the James Pattee Award for Educational Excellence from the American Medical Director’s Association and the 2013 Presidential Award at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Meeting in Seoul, Korea. For more information about this conference, contact Reno, conference chair at or at (573) 651-2678.