Oregon Office of Rural Health

2020 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

2020 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

The Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon is an event where people discuss their experiences, learn from one another and bring forth new ideas to move forward solutions that improve care and services for elders. The Forum connects Critical Access Hospitals, coordinated care organizations, local public health departments, private and rural health clinics with state and local aging-related stakeholders and community members. Attendees include health care providers and leaders, aging program specialists, policymakers, community members, family caregivers, elder care professionals, philanthropists and anyone interested in making it easier to age in place in rural Oregon.

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) replaced the in-person Forum scheduled for May 27-29, 2020, with a series of webinars. 

LGBTQ+ Older and Aging Adult Cultural Competency 101 – Tools to Improve Patient Communication, Care and Outcomes

October 29, 2020
LGBTQ+ Older and Aging Adult Cultural Competency 101 – Tools to Improve Patient Communication, Care, and Outcomes. This multidisciplinary introductory training course for healthcare professionals focuses on older and aging LGBTQ+ adults, including challenges, disparities, and solutions. Upon completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

· Describe health disparities faced by LGBT older adults.
· Explain how policy changes can improve health care and elder services for this population.
· Describe how health systems and providers can advocate and care for their LGBT older patients.

Policy Matters

September 30, 2020
This year, 2020 has been a challenging year on many fronts.  The pandemic, recession, and social unrest are having far reaching impact on every aspect of our lives. Join us on Sept 30, for an interactive forum to hear how AARP is working to advocate for the interests of people 50+ and their families.

Learn about AARP’s “Protect Voters 50+” Campaign that includes a comprehensive voter engagement effort and voter education on important federal issues like Social Security.  Learn about current state advocacy efforts and policy priorities for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. 

Scams & Financial Exploitation Targeting Rural & Frontier Elders

August 27, 2020
This virtual session will demonstrate scams and financial exploitation, as well as the impacts they have on rural older Oregonians. Learn to identify the indicators of scams and financial exploitation, who to report to, and what Adult Protective Services (APS) can and cannot do. Hear about the barriers facing the at-risk population in rural and frontier Oregon, focusing on how to work with bankslocal law enforcement and other agencies resources to ensure the safety and protection of victims of elder financial abuse. Also hear about the collaborative multi-disciplinary approach APS uses to address complicated cases and the challenges that come with investigating financial cases in rural Oregon.

Filling the Day with Meaning

July 29, 2020

This training explores factors such as spiritual wellness, personality style, health and usual daily routine in building meaning, relationship and hope for older adults in the midst of Covid 19.


  • Understand how changes imposed by the epidemic impact spiritual, emotional and physical health
  • Learn how to use the Spiritual Health Assessment to understand the basic needs of the human spirit
  • Build a framework for providing a person centered balance of activities that fill the day with meaning for each older adult

Positive Approaches to Care — 10 Steps to De-escalate a Crisis

June 19, 2020

A virtual training by Rod Harwood, MDiv, MA, QMHP-C, Older Adult Behavioral Health Coordinator

When a person living with dementia feels threatened or overwhelmed, they may become aggressive. This training enhances caregiver understanding of the root cause of this behavior and offers strategies for preventing escalation and restoring a resident’s sense of safety and control.

This training will:

  1. Provide an overview of how the brain works for those living with dementia, and how, when feeling threatened, the primitive part of their brain becomes “the boss” of their behavior.
  2. Understand the role of the 5 senses and how they drive behaviors.
  3. Provide an introduction to the “Positive Approach to Care” in supporting those living with dementia.
  4. Learn 10 ways to help a person de-escalate when under stress.


Hospice & Long-Term Care in the Year of the Virus

May 26, 2020
Dr. Michael Knower (St. Charles Hospice) and Lee Garber (Regency Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of Prineville) provide insight into impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on fragile, vulnerable, and clinically complex long-term care facility residents and hospice patients. Learn about how COVID-19 unfolded in the community of Prineville, Oregon; its impacts on care delivery; how care providers are complying with regulations; and the myriad of challenges experienced.

Assistive Technology: Programs, Devices, Applications, and More

April 29, 2020
Kevin Roebke (Oregon Public Utility Commission) and Brian Sacre, (Access Technology Inc.) provide insight into state assistive technology programs including the Oregon State Assistive Technology Program (OSATP), National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDEDP), and Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP). Learn about assistive technologies each program offers as well as eligibility, benefits, how to select a potentially expensive piece of technology, and how to get connected to affordable phone and internet services.
Video with ASL Interpretation


Sarah Andersen | 503-494-5227