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Event Details


May 8-10, 2014

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

415 Summer St.

Boston, MA 02210


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Life@50+ Boston
AARP University Session Details

The AARP University was created to be the center of education for Life@50+ attendees. The goal of the University is to provide interactive, educational sessions by AARP staff experts on the latest AARP research, programs, services, benefits and larger issues of interest that affect our members and society.


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


A Fair Deal and A Fighting Chance – AARP and You

Friday, May 9, 2014, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


  • Rob Romasco, president, AARP
  • Dan Rea, host of NightSide on WBZ


The audience brought their questions to a conversation with AARP President, Rob Romasco, who is the association’s chief volunteer spokesperson and “chief listener.” In a discussion moderated by award-winning Boston journalist and host of NightSide on WBZ NewsRadio, Dan Rea, Rob shared what he’s learned from AARP members in his travels throughout the United States and answered audience questions.*


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Age Helps – AARP Members Step Forward in Disasters

Friday, May 9, 2014, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


  • Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation
  • Debra Whitman, executive vice president, AARP Policy, Strategy and International Affairs
  • Donna Cordner, consultant, Global Leadership Council, USAID and Private Sector Partnership
  • Josh Collett, vice president, AARP Policy, Strategy and International Affairs


For the past decade, AARP members have offered their generous financial support to those affected by natural disasters in the United States and abroad. Member dollars have traveled across our country to New Jersey, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and across our world to Southeast Asia, Japan and Haiti. Earlier this year, AARP CEO Barry Rand, AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson and AARP EVP Debra Whitman traveled to Haiti to see how those donations have been used. The results are both impressive and humbling.


This session provided AARP members with information about disaster preparations and how to get involved in future disaster relief efforts.*


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Aging in America – Boomers on the Brink?

Saturday, May 10, 2014, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.



Americans at 50-plus face choices and pressures unlike those of any other age group – choices few could have prepared for. As the charitable affiliate of AARP, AARP Foundation is working with struggling people 50 and over so they can regain their confidence as good providers and members of their communities. AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson joined entrepreneur, motivational speaker and The Pursuit of Happyness author Chris Gardner and other nationally renowned voices in a panel discussion on the biggest challenges facing adults  50 and older – and how we can all make a difference!*


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Caring for All – A Multicultural Caregiving Conversation

Friday, May 9, 2014, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


  • Lorraine McClenny Wright, Ph.D., emeritus associate professor, North Carolina State University
  • Lyda C. Arévalo-Flechas, Ph.D., MSN, assistant professor, St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University
  • Kun Chang, MSW, LCSW, regional coordinator and project director, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, assistant executive director, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center


Family caregivers in African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander families face similar challenges in helping loved ones, as well as unique cultural issues. This session focused on the different needs, issues (isolation, economic and retirement security), challenges (finding bilingual and culturally relevant resources) and experiences of multicultural family caregivers. It also highlighted AARP resources and tools and provided for interactive conversation.*


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Explore New Possibilities with AARP Membership!

Saturday, May 10, 2014, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 


  • Lynn Mento, senior vice president, AARP 50+ Member Experience
  • Matt Thornhill, founder and president, The Boomer Project
  • Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., professor emeritus, University of California at San Francisco, co-founder and chief scientific officer, Posit Science


Today, members like you are active, engaged and focused on living life to the fullest. That’s why AARP offers new types of memberships to meet you where you are in life today. This fun, interactive session provided attendees with the opportunity to learn about our new Staying Sharp membership, which offers access to brain health experts, tools and resources. The audience was presented with a demo of brain training exercises that can help maintain brain health. They also got a sneak peek into a consumer-savvy membership still in development that features tips and tools to help members be smarter, safer shoppers and save money on everyday purchases and big-ticket items. Attendees had the chance to ask questions and vote on ideas during a special innovation workshop.*


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Great Places to Live – The Community of the Future

Friday, May 9, 2014, 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.


  • Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president, AARP State and National Group
  • Joe Coughlin, Ph.D., director, MIT AgeLab


Flying cars? Floating houses? While we’re still far from the lifestyle of The Jetsons, communities will undergo dramatic changes over the next 15 years. Several key trends will come together changing how people live, work and get around their neighborhoods. This session reveaedl those trends and helped attendees learn what they can do to make their community a better place – for today and tomorrow – and saw MIT’s AGNES suit in action.


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Making the Most out of Every Trip

Friday, May 9, 2014, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


  • Kieran Donahue, vice president of Marketing, Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Andy Stuart, executive vice president, Global Sales and Passenger Service, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Beth Kinerk, senior vice president of Sales, Avis Budget Group
  • Michele Kish, senior vice president, Liberty Travel
  • Greg Staley, vice president of Communications, U.S. Travel Association
  • Angela Jones, senior vice president, Business Development and Lifestyle, AARP Services Inc. (Moderator)


Whether you are traveling to visit family and friends for just a few days, celebrating a special event or escaping to paradise, AARP travel experts will help you make the most of every trip. This session covered hot destinations, must-see and must-do experiences and how to stretch your vacation dollars. Attendees even learned why travel is good for you.*


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Transitioning to Medicare – What You Need to Know

Friday, May 9, 2014, 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


  • Debra Whitman, executive vice president, AARP Policy, Strategy and International Affairs
  • Gerry Smolka, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Judy Stein, Center for Medicare Advocacy
  • Lynda Flowers, AARP Public Policy Institute


This session helped attendees learn what they need to know about transitioning into Medicare. Topics included working past the age of Medicare eligibility (age 65), transitioning from Medicaid to Medicare and shifting from a health insurance marketplace plan to Medicare. Making these transitions properly can help you avoid gaps in coverage, premium penalties and diminished help with Medicare cost-sharing.


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* Session was presented with realtime captioning.

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