Age Well Academy sessions in full swing in Inverness County

September 19, 2023

Over the past few months, the municipality has been holding a host of information sessions in various community settings around Inverness County. With our county’s seniors being the target audience, the Age Well Academy aims to improve the wellbeing of the 30% of our population that is over age 65.

The focus of Age Well Academy is to empower older adults on a diverse range of topics that are of interest to them in a relaxed social setting close to home. At least two sessions are planned for each electoral district in the county.

Both the CBC and The Inverness Oran recently provided coverage on the community sessions, which has further piqued the interest of prospective attendees.

In a recent session at St. Michael’s Parish Hall in East Margaree in late July, those in attendance were treated to four presentations. Topics included avoiding fraud, improving brain health, accessing continuing care, and sorting household waste.

Cpl. Phil Richard of the Chéticamp detachment of the RCMP presented on how to avoid fraud. He outlined some common scams encountered by seniors and provided a number of strategies that seniors can employ to keep their money safe.

Beth Bennett, the regional coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, presented on
brain health. She covered some warning signs to look for that mark cognitive decline and a list of twelve actions for a healthier brain at any age.

Brenda Burton, Care Coordinator with Nova Scotia Health, spoke on the programs and services associated with continuing care, and Nicole Latimer, Solid Waste Educator with the municipality, helped attendees with some tips on sorting household waste.

Between the second and third sessions, a delicious lunch was provided for all in attendance. This also gave participants an opportunity to socialize over a hot cup of tea and some sweets for dessert.

There were also numerous table displays for attendees to peruse between sessions and during the lunch break. This included a table that showcased some of the newest sensory items that are now available to county residents, including fidget blankets, wooden fidgets, puzzles, wooden and gel mazes, aqua art, and memory cards. All are available at no rental cost to seniors, and the fidget blankets are for each person to keep.

Ashli Campbell, the Accessibility and Senior Safety Coordinator for the municipality, organizes the Age Well Academy sessions and books the guest presenters. She says her favourite aspect of the sessions is the change she sees in attendees following the event.

Campbell says, “Most people don’t really know what to expect when they come to an Age Well, but when they leave, they almost always ask us when we will be coming back again. I love seeing the participants interacting with the presenters, enjoying a meal, and having some social time with neighbours and friends. I also love getting calls telling us how much they enjoyed the session and how they look forward to seeing us in their community again!” Campbell states that an important aspect of the sessions is scheduling presenters who speak on pertinent, everyday topics affecting the lives of seniors.

“A survey was conducted, asking seniors what topics would be of interest to them,” she explains. “Based on those results, we started to make connections with different organizations who we felt had services and supports that could benefit many residents of our county. We want people to know what is available to them in terms of services, supports, and programs and how to access them.

“The presenters have so much to offer, and depending on what questions are asked, (sessions) can go in a variety of different directions, so we are also always learning new things.”

According to Campbell, there are seven sessions remaining (at press time) before the series wraps up in November. Upcoming presenters will depend on availability and the specific needs and interests of the various communities.

Find out when the next session is in a community near you:, or call Ashli Campbell at 902-258-7960.