News Releases



Ithaca College to Host Statewide Conference on Aging

Ithaca College will host the 44th annual conference of the State Society on Aging (SSA) of New York from Oct. 26–28. The theme of the conference is “Changing the Landscape: Creative Approaches to Healthy Aging.”

The SSA is a statewide membership society founded in 1972 that brings together individuals and groups from health, government, educational and community settings that are committed to improving the lives of older people.


The conference will open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, with a special set of sessions that will explore the challenges of aging in rural communities. The sessions are organized in partnership with the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center.

“The challenges of rural aging are very different from those of suburban or urban aging,” said Associate Professor Mary Ann Erickson, chair of the aging studies program in the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute and SSA president. “Access to services is an issue, whether it’s because rural communities are smaller and they may have fewer healthcare providers, or because service providers are far away from those who need them.”

Associate Professor Mary Ann Erickson


At 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, there will be a town hall meeting with Bob Blancato, partner in the Matz, Blancato and Associates national lobbying firm; Greg Olsen, acting director of the New York State Office for the Aging; Randy Hoak, representative of AARP New York; and Lisa Holmes, director of the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. The meeting will focus on the current state of aging policy.

From Thursday, Oct. 27–Friday, Oct. 28, the conference schedule includes research presentations on topics including mental health, elder law, healthy aging and caregiving.

Around 100 individuals from over 25 institutions and universities are expected to attend. The conference is open to all Ithaca College faculty and students.

“It’s a great conference for students to come to because it’s so accessible,” said Erickson. “That’s a high priority of our organization — to mentor students.”

Members of the general public interested in attending the conference can register online or on site for fee.

Visit the conference webpage for more information.