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Five Third Age Learning members took part in a workshop at the 14th Global Conference on Ageing on August 8 at Ryerson University.

The International Federation on Ageing was formed in 1973, and now has consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies. According to president Bjarne Hastrup, it is “working towards changing attitudes and creating a world where older people have a right to a good quality of life and are accepted and welcomed as contributing, active members of our communities.”

Most of the presentations at the recent conference revolved around health, housing, age-friendly cities, reducing isolation and loneliness, professional care, and innovations in care giving. TAN’s one-hour session was titled, “Third age learning: a cognitive approach to healthy ageing” and was, therefore, different from most workshops.

Sandra Kerr, TAN member and director, Programs for the 50+ at Ryerson; TAN’s current president, Nancy Christie; David Green, president of Georgian Triangle, Collingwood;  Sheilagh Hickie, Academy for  Lifelong Learning, Toronto; and Gaby Arato, TAN executive member were our presenters.

The audience listened with interest to Sandra explain how third age learning developed around the world and its current status, while Nancy focused on TAN, our purpose and our growth. The other three members discussed lecture series and how they work (David), peer learning (Sheilagh) and videoconferencing (Gaby).

The conference was a worthwhile initiative for TAN, providing an excellent opportunity to share our successes and lessons learned, and to exchange ideas with other experts in the area of ageing.