Growing Old in a Changing Climate: Exploring the Interface Between Population Aging and Global Warmi (FC2011)

Venue: Simon Fraser University Segal Graduate School of Business

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Event Date/Time: May 25, 2011 End Date/Time: May 26, 2011
Registration Date: May 25, 2011
Early Registration Date: Jan 31, 2011
Abstract Submission Date: Feb 15, 2011
Report as Spam


20th John K. Friesen Conference

“Growing Old in a Changing Climate: Exploring the Interface Between Population Aging and Global Warming”

May 25-26, 2011

Vancouver, Canada

Population aging and climate change are two of the biggest challenges facing humanity this century. The 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) report states “There is now a strong, global scientific consensus that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and is caused by human activity..” and resulting changes in weather patterns are “disrupting the balance of natural systems that supply the necessities of life”, namely air, water, food. At the same time, around the world the proportion of people aged 60 and over is growing faster than any other age group. We saw glimpses of the disastrous effects of climate change on older adults after the 2003 heat-waves in Europe where the majority of deaths and morbidity occurred in older adults. More recently, the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health authorities recorded an additional 131 “all cause, all age” deaths during a particularly warm weather interval July 27-August 3, 2009, compared to the same calendar period 2004-2008. Most of these additional deaths were people aged 65 or older, but equally alarming the greatest proportional increase in deaths was in the 45-65 age group (the “baby boomers”). However, extreme heat events are only one threat to human health from climate change. Warmer winters are also expected to bring increased precipitation, more severe and more frequent storms which can affect water supplies and sanitation. A Pacific Institute for Climate Change Solutions (2009) discussion paper emphasizes the need to focus attention on vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and those in sub-optimal health and socio-economic status, where climate change could have a de-stabilizing effect.

Conference Sub-themes

Topics that will be addressed by internationally recognized keynote speakers and plenary panelists include:
• Inequities and vulnerability of older adults to the impacts of global warming and
climate change
• Strategic planning for adaptation and risk reduction of vulnerable populations,
• Complex modeling of aging populations within changing climates
• Older adult perceptions and behaviours toward global warming and climate change
• Canadian and international public health policy on climate change and population aging

Conference Scope and Anticipated Outcomes

Population aging and climate change are global challenges, requiring international sharing not only of research results but also of policies, practice guidelines, risk-assessment and adaptation strategies. The conference objectives include cross-cutting knowledge exchange and transfer and the fostering of new collaborations that will advance our understanding and ability to cope with these two global phenomena as they impact one another.

Who Should Attend

The 2011 John K. Friesen conference aims to bring together researchers, knowledge users, policy makers, NGOs and other stakeholders responding to the challenges linked to population aging and climate change. These will include individuals with backgrounds in climate science, gerontology and geriatrics, environment health, math and computational science, health care and social services, public policy, social work and emergency response and management.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for symposia and for facilitated poster sessions. The deadline for abstract submission is February 15, 2011.

Registration Fees

Early Bird- Before January 31, 2011 Advance – Before March 31, 2011 Late – After March 31, 2011 Daily
Regular $250 $300 $350 $200
Student/Senior $125 $150 $175 $100


English is the language of the conference

Keynote Speakers and Plenary Panellists Confirmed to Date

• Peter Berry, PhD - Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada
• Gary Haq, PhD - Senior Researcher, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, UK
• Tom Kosatsky, MD - Medical Director, Environmental Health Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

About the Host Organization

The conference is hosted by the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University (GRC). The GRC was established in 1982 with a mandate to conduct, foster and facilitate research on individual and population aging. Its research focuses on six thematic areas: Aging and the build environment; health and aging; changing demography and lifestyles; prevention of crime and victimization of the elderly; culture and aging, and aging and technology.

The John K. Friesen Conference Series

This conference is the 20th in the John K. Friesen Conference Series in Gerontology. An annual offering of the GRC, the series is designed to meet the continuing education needs of agencies and individuals responsible for planning, administering and providing services to the elderly. The series embraces two of John Friesen’s lifetime interests – the education of adults and the special needs of an aging population.

John Friesen was one of Canada’s leading contributors to the field of adult education. In his more than forty year career, Dr. Frisen served in university extension work in Canada and overseas and was involved in enhancing life in many different ways - from community arts to credit unions. For his leadership role in adult education, Simon Fraser University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in 1985. For his work on behalf of seniors, The Gerontology Research Centre presented him with a Senior Leadership Award in 2007.

Other Conference Organizing Experience

The GRC has a history of hosting successful national and international meetings. These include two annual meetings of the Canadian Association on Gerontology (1984 and 1995), the 17th World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology (2001), attended by over 4000 people from 75 countries; the 36th annual meeting of EDRA – the Environmental Design and Research Association (2005); and most recently, the 7th World Conference of the International Society for Gerontechnology (2010) which was attended by over 400 people from 27 countries.

Organizing Committee

• Raymond Adams, Information Officer, Gerontology Research Centre SFU
• Nastenka Calle, SFU Site Coordinator, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)
• Vahid Dabbaghian, Director, Modelling of Complex Social Systems (MoCCSy) Program, Mathematics Dept., SFU
• Gloria Gutman, President International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse & Past-President, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Chair Operations Committee)
• Beverley Pitman, United Way of Greater Vancouver
• Patrick Simpson, Executive Director, SAFERhomeTM Society
• Andrew Sixsmith, Director, Gerontology Research Centre, SFU (Overall Chair)
• Heather Stewart, Research Associate, Gerontology Research Centre SFU (Chair, Program Committee).

Scientific Program International Advisory Panel

• John Beard, Director, Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Association
• Peter Berry, Senior Policy Analyst, Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada
• James Goodwin, Head of Research, AgeUK
• Anastasia Rogaeva, Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada
• Kathy Sykes, Senior Advisor, Aging Initiative, US Environmental Protection Agency