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Event Details


Oct. 3-5, 2013

Georgia World
Congress Center

285 A Young Internat'l Blvd.

Atlanta, GA 30313  Map


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Life@50+ Atlanta
Lifestyle Session Details

Life@50+ Lifestyle Sessions feature AARP Ambassadors and subject matter experts on a variety of topics including travel, health and wellness, personal finance, caregiving and much more.


Review the list of sessions and learn more about what was offered as part of Life@50+ in Atlanta.


A Fair Deal and A Fighting Chance: AARP and You

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


  • Rob Romasco, AARP President
  • Bettina Gregory, award-winning former ABC News correspondent


Attendees brought their questions to a conversation with AARP President Rob Romasco, the association’s chief volunteer spokesman and chief listener. In a discussion moderated by award-winning former ABC News correspondent Bettina Gregory, he shared what he’s learned from you, from AARP members and in his travels to 46 states, and answered audience questions.


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Brain Health Across the Lifespan

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.



There is no greater or more complex system than the human brain. This magical collection of neurons weighing no more than four pounds enables all of our thoughts, emotions and behavior. Animal brain research has demonstrated the ability for new brain cell development, neurogenesis, in an area serving learning and memory, the hippocampus. While years of science have argued neurogenesis does not occur in humans, recent research indicates otherwise. If the human brain can generate new brain cells, an entire new frontier of discovery and opportunity emerges. This session championed brain health across the lifespan as an important and unique model. Nussbaum’s five-part lifelong and proactive Brain Health Lifestyle® is proposed as critical to maximizing brain health and perhaps delaying neurodegenerative disorders late in life.


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Creating a Better You!

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sponsored by: UnitedHealthcare



Reed Tuckson frequently appears in national media advising on how people can impact their health and happiness through practical changes in their lives. In his popular book, The Doctor in the Mirror, he puts the power of healthy aging in the hands of the average person. Tuckson’s insights are based on 40 years as a doctor, a leader with the American Medical Association and a commissioner of public health for the District of Columbia. As chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group, he was charged with the health care issues of 70 million people.


This lively session presented practical advice for living a longer, healthier life. The session offered ideas and resources to help older adults age with vitality while highlighting a new study that looks at the state health rankings for seniors.


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Finding the Rhythm of Your Own Success

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.



Emilio Estefan inspired attendees to seek new possibilities to live their best life. Estefan, a 19-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most successful producers in the music industry, believes all of his greatest accomplishments in life have been possible because he is doing exactly what he loves. He shared practical tips — taking risks and thinking big, being open to change, being yourself, being positive — to set you on your way to finding the rhythm of your own success.


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Food for Thought – Mild Cognitive Impairment and the Mind-Body Connection

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Sponsored by: Nestlé Health Science-Pamlab Inc.



Do you ever worry about getting older or find yourself imagining what your “golden years” will look like? Most of us have entertained these thoughts. We all know that aging is unavoidable. Even so, how we age varies. Some of us will age well while others may be confronted with health-related challenges. What about age-related memory problems? Are these also unavoidable? Is there anything we can do to prevent them or keep them from getting worse? How do we determine if memory problems are of concern or just a normal part of aging? To understand these differences, we will explore Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a stage between normal age-related changes and more prominent memory loss. Cognitive decline associated with MCI is greater than ordinary age-related memory changes and is frequently unidentified. MCI is a condition that demands our attention as it significantly increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


During this session, attendees were better equipped for learning about MCI by discussing its prevalence and risk factors and considering treatment options. There is much we can do to lessen the effects of cognitive impairment. We examined the mind-body connection in MCI, specifically the role of exercise, nutrition and meditation.


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Living With Frequent Urination – Learn About Enlarged Prostate Solutions

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Craig Smith, M.D., board-certified urologist


For those experiencing, or have a loved one dealing with frequent day or nighttime urination, painful urination or difficulty starting and stopping urinating, this interactive presentation was offered by renowned urologist Craig Smith to address the problem of enlarged prostate. The condition, known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), is one of the 10 most commonly diagnosed diseases in men over age 50. Astonishingly, that percentage grows to 90 percent once a man reaches his 70s. While not cancerous or life threatening, BPH has very bothersome symptoms that can significantly impact the quality of both you and your significant other’s lives.  Smith discussed why a man’s prostate enlarges, how it impacts both a man’s body and his quality of life, and, most important, what can be done about it, including nonsurgical alternatives for men who are not getting satisfactory results from medications.  Attendees were educated on how to assess the severity of their enlarged prostate symptoms and how to find a urologist near their home. In addition, Smith was available after the session to answer individual health questions related to BPH.


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My Life on the Road

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.



Samantha Brown, the popular travel television host and AARP Travel Ambassador, shared what life is like when lived on the road and gave attendees a behind the scenes look at what goes into shooting a travel series. With 14 years of nonstop travel, she shared her best travel advice, favorite oddball tips and told the audience why she never leaves home without a jar of peanut butter.


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Pass the P's

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.



Chris Gardner shared some of the steps that he had to take and obstacles he overcame in order to get from where he was to creating the life that he wanted to live. Gardner identified the importance of the “P’s” in our life — finding your passion, being practical, and having a plan. He explained how the plan has to have, what he calls, the C-5 Complex — that it’s Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent and to be Committed to it. The only thing he watned the audience to leave with is to know that if Chris Gardner can do it, so can they.


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Secrets of Extremely Happy Couples – Lessons From The Normal Bar

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.



Based on her New York Times bestseller The Normal Bar, Pepper Schwartz shared some of the surprising secrets of happy couples and how they can help you create a new normal in your own relationship. Schwartz also shared practical tips on how to improve your own listening and communication skills and also how to achieve greater happiness in the critical relationship areas of romance, affection and sexual compatibility. Along the way, she talked about what The Normal Bar says about such touchy subjects as honesty, financial communication and fidelity.


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Staying Sharp – Ask the Experts

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


  • Patrick A. Griffith, M.D., FAAN, professor of clinical medicine, chief, Division of Neurology, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Michael J. Kuhar, Ph.D., professor, Division of Neuropharmacology and Neurologic Disease, Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University
  • James J. Lah, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair, director, Emory Cognitive Neurology Program
  • Laura Reynolds, senior project manager, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (Moderator)


Understanding how the brain works can help us use that knowledge to maximize brain function and brain health, particularly in the second half of our lives. This session offered the straight story — directly from brain research experts — on how our brains change as we age and what we can do to stay sharp. The panel addressed topics including memory loss (what is normal and what is not), the latest research on brain diseases and disorders and practical brain fitness strategies to help you and your family lead a brain-healthy lifestyle. Attendees exercised their brains with this stimulating and illuminating session on how to stay sharp!  Presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Dana Foundation.


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The 5 Big Things You Need to Know About Your Money Right Now (Including How to Deal With the New Health Care Law)

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.



Money. There's no subject that makes people worry more — or sleep less. AARP Financial Ambassador Jean Chatzky put together a solution in a brand-new keynote that dove into the biggest things you need to know about your money in order to get through the next day, the next year and the next decade. From how to make sure your money lasts as long as you do to how to save money on everything (yes, everything), this session covered it. Chatzky was joined by AARP's resident expert on the Affordable Care Act, Nicole Duritz, who answered audience questions about how to best navigate the new law.


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The Ride of Your Life – Winning When It Comes to Knowing Your Car

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.



ESPN NASCAR analysts Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty are two all-American car guys with a deep history in the business of racing and cool cars. Sharing their extensive knowledge of motor sports and their love of cars, they took the audience back to a time when the car was more than transportation, when your car defined who you were, not just what you drove.


During this entertaining and educational session, Ray and Brad had some fun with car culture from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and discussed how the American car business has changed. Attendees were offered insights into car purchasing, financing and warranties and how using social media and the Web can help you find the car that’s right for you. The audience received advice on proper maintenance and driving tips and learn how to accessorize your car to show off your personality.


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Unleashing the Potential of Our Aging Brains

Friday, Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


  • Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)


Our brains exhibit an amazing ability to modify their structure and function in response to new experiences, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. It is now appreciated that plasticity exists throughout our lives. Efforts to harness this plasticity to maintain and even enhance our brain function as we get older has led to an explosion of commercial brain training software. Unfortunately, many of these computer brain exercises do not transfer their benefits to untrained abilities. Dr. Gazzaley presented research by his laboratory at UCSF that explores the brain mechanisms that underlie sustainable and meaningful cognitive enhancement. He shared exciting new data from his latest experiments that show older adults can improve memory and attention abilities using custom-designed video games from his lab. He concluded with a provocative discussion of his vision of the future which combines video game training with brain stimulation, neurofeedback and physical exercise to strengthen and rewire neural circuits.


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Volunteer Abroad – Explore, Serve and Learn

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Thomas J. Miller, president and CEO, International Executive Service Corps (IESC)
  • Brenda S. Sprague, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Josh Collett, vice president, International Affairs, AARP (Moderator)


Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, charting America’s legacy of furthering global progress, prosperity and mutual understanding through volunteering.  Today, international volunteering continues to be strong and now takes many shapes: from full-time Peace Corps volunteers to a retired professional lending expertise and experience, grandparents sharing a unique experience with their grandchildren, or vacationers simply wanting to give back to the community they’re visiting.


This session, sponsored by the AARP Office of International Affairs, provided information on volunteering opportunities overseas, including short- and long-term volunteer opportunities. The panel discussed the range of volunteer opportunities abroad, why it is growing among older and intergenerational volunteers, and how to apply existing professional and life skills to new challenges.


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