Coffee Breaks

coffeeThe goal of the Coffee Break is to build the capacity of family living educators to understand and program for aging-related issues. Much like a real coffee break, they give attendees a chance to think about something new and different, and engage in conversation with colleagues.

Coffee Breaks were offered 2016-2018. Starting in late 2018, these learning opportunities are now offered through the North Central Region Aging Network (NCRAN). Webinars will be offered on the first and third Fridays of the month at 10:00 AM CT and will be approximately 90 minutes in length. First Fridays will feature topics in the vein of “Gerontology 101”. Third Fridays will focus on professional development topics.

You can see upcoming NCRAN webinars here. To access the webinar in real time, visit Webinars are archived here.

These have replaced the conversational style coffee break previously provided by Kristin. You may access all past coffee breaks with materials and background for your professional development. The Aging Workgroup will continue to have monthly calls to discuss aging-related programming and professional development questions and cultivate a community of practice. Contact Kristin ( for more information.

Archived Coffee Breaks:

CB018 The Age-in-Place “Village” Movement

Guest Ann Albert, Executive Director of Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL) will share about how SAIL is designed as an economical, sustainable, member-driven model of services aimed at keeping people healthy and in their own homes as they age.  SAIL addresses the challenges associated with a rapidly growing population of seniors, a limited labor force, lack of government funding, and changing preferences of people as they age.  Ann says, “I think there are many communities in WI who would benefit by creating a Village—SAIL is right here to help, too! And the underlying model of members (older adults) taking such an active role in their own healthy and meaningful aging is beautiful, isn’t it?”    Check out the May 4, 2018, coffee break blog.

CB017 Creating Aging-Friendly Communities in Wisconsin

Guests: UW-Extension Educators Karen Dickrell, from Outagamie County, Jane Jensen, from Sheboygan County, and Sara Richie, in Oneida, Vilas and Forest Counties will walk us through the Creating Aging-Friendly Communities Facilitation Guide.  The purpose of the facilitation guide is to help Extension Educators inform and engage community leaders around the changing demographics of our communities, and invigorate discussion and planning about how communities can adapt to changing needs. After setting the stage by sharing the current demographic data for the US and more specifically the state of Wisconsin, as users of the Facilitation Guide they will speak to how they assisted communities in self-assessing their aging-friendliness using the survey of 13 categories of Aging-Friendly Communities.  Check out the April 6, 2018 coffee break blog.

CB016: Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

Guest: Sridevi Mohan, Epidemiologist, Public Health Madison & Dane County has a broad background in research, evaluation, aging, community engagement and equity issues. She is passionate about creating resilient communities and systems that embrace health and equity in all policies. She will help listeners understand and identify Naturally-Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs).  NORCs cannot be built; rather, they evolve over time, in a variety of ways.  She will cover what makes a NORC healthier and how to serve these communities.  Check out the March 2, 2018 coffee break blog.

CB015: Connected Aging Communities

Guest: Gail Huycke, Community Development Outreach Specialist from UW-Extension Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center,  shared her expertise on helping seniors age in place and stay connected in their communities with Connected Aging Communities.  This program is a groundbreaking new initiative that’s using a unique “high tech, high touch” holistic, community development approach to enable aging residents to live independently at home. Check out the Feb. 2, 2018, coffee break blog.

CB014: Super Cool Tools: Aging Needs Survey Results

In 2016, the North Central Region Aging Network fielded a regional (multi-state) survey asking Extension colleagues about current and future aging-related needs. In this coffee break, we will discuss the results of that survey and what the implications are for your work in this area.  Check out the Jan., 2018, coffee break blog.

CB013: Super Cool Tools: Sightlines Project (Stanford Center on Longevity)

The Sightlines Project from the Stanford Center on Longevity investigates how well Americans are doing in each of three areas that are critical to well-being as people age: financial security, healthy living and social engagement. In this Coffee Break, we will talk about the super cool information available and how to use it.  Check out the Dec., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB012:  Aging 101: Caregiving in Wisconsin

In this Coffee Break, we will talk about family caregiving in Wisconsin – how common it is, who’s doing it, who’s getting care, and what the implications are for our communities. Check out the Nov., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB011Emerging Research, Issues, and Resources: Older Adults and Food Stamps

In this Coffee Break, we will discuss research about older adults and under-use of food stamp benefits. We will look at who is at greatest risk of not using benefits for which they are eligible, why older adults might not use benefits, and what we can do to help raise awareness and change this trend.  Check out the Oct., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB010Super Cool Tools: Brain Health As You Age

Explore the Brain Health Resource, an evidence-based toolkit including a PowerPoint presentation, with accompanying educator guide on many topics related to brain health.  Check out the Sept., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB009: Super Cool Tools: Publishing

Hear a lively discussion around publishing opportunities in Extension and the ups-and-downs of scholarship.  This conversation will leave you excited about pursuing your unique publishing plans and goals.  Check out the May, 2017, coffee break blog.

CB008: Super Cool Tools: FrameWorks Institute

See some of the super cool tools that demonstrate how people think about aging issues, and their evidence-informed communications strategies. Check out the April, 2017, coffee break blog.

CB007: Aging 101: Fundamentals of Aging and Family Living: Longitudinal Changes in Relationships

The prevailing cultural narrative in the US equates aging with increasing isolation and loneliness. Is that really what we typically see?  Check out the March, 2017, coffee break blog.

CB006: Aging 101: Fundamentals of Aging and Family Living: Longitudinal Changes in Health

How does health change as individual’s age? Many Americans equate aging with a progression of disease, deterioration, and dependency. But is that really what we see? In this Coffee Break, we highlighted three key messages about how health changes with age that enrich this stereotypical view of aging.  Check out the Feb., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB005: Aging 101: Fundamentals of Aging and Family Living: Longitudinal Changes in Finances

The financial well-being of older adults is a complex, multi-faceted topic, with issues ranging from retirement plans and affordable housing to estate planning and financial abuse. In this Coffee Break, we discussed  one important aspect of financial well-being in older adults: financial literacy.  A recent study reported that as Americans age, their financial literacy declines…but their confidence in making financial decisions does not. We discussed this article and what this information means for the families in our communities. We also talked about resources that may help families in these situations. Check out the Jan., 2017, coffee break blog.

CB004: Emerging Research, Issues, and Resources: Ageism

Are you ageist? Are you sure?  Why does it matter, anyway? In this session, we defined and discussed implicit bias and micro-aggression, and talk about how and why to counter these in yourself and others. While we will discuss this in the context of aging and ageism, these concepts are applicable to other *isms as well.  Check out the Dec., 2016, coffee break blog.

CB003: Super Cool Tools: Older Americans 2016

In this Coffee Break, Kristin introduced “Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being.” Using national data, this report provides data visualizations and explanations that summarize key indicators in six different areas – population/demographics, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, health care, and environment. Check out the Nov., 2016, coffee break blog

CB002: Emerging Research, Issues, and Resources: Cultivating a Different Perspective on Stress

Kristin reviewed the science supporting a “new” approach to stress and introduced new tools (one book, one short online course) that aim to help people think differently about their stress.  It’s not stress reduction, coping, or mindfulness (although that’s great, too!) – it’s a whole new tool that’s based on thinking differently about stress.  Check out the Oct., 2016, coffee break blog

CB001: Super Cool APL Tools: How and Why to use them

Ever wish you could quickly create graphics that help tell your county’s story, or make a key point to your county board? The Applied Population Lab has tools to help! This professional development opportunity provided a how-to for using the Applied Population Lab’s online tools , particularly GetFacts, an online interactive mapping and data extraction tool for Wisconsin demographics, and the Net Migration website, which highlights trends and patterns in where Americans are moving by providing reliable estimates of net migration. We also talked about why to use these tools and how they can help you build capacity in your communities.  Check out the Sept., 2016, coffee break blog.