Outreach and Engagement

Older Adults reaching out their arms at IOG event

Established in 1965, the Institute of Gerontology has long been a leader in outreach to both members of the community and professionals. As a nationally recognized authority on aging issues, our mission is to conduct research and translate that knowledge into meaningful programming for seniors, their caregivers and the professional community serving them. Our team of faculty, students, staff, and countless volunteers all share a passion and dedication to the promotion of successful aging. Currently (March 2022) community engagement and professional conferences are provided primarly on Zoom.(updated March 2022)  TO RECEIVE NOTICES JOIN A LIST HERE


Art of Aging Successfully - Conference for any Older Adult

Our volunteer core, the Elder Advisors to Research joined the IOG faculty in 1999 to create a conference organized by seniors for seniors. What began as an experiment has evolved into a much-anticipated annual event with a sell-out crowds of more than 300 seniors. The May conference, anchored by a well-respected keynote speaker and featuring several break-out workshops, promotes creative expression, social connection and information on ways to positively embrace all facets of aging. For more information, or to join the mailing list, contact Donna MacDonald at donnamacdonald@wayne.eduThursday, May 13 -- Watch Zoom Recording

Issues in Aging  Zoom Conference (Earn 6 CEs)
The IOG's longest running continuing education conference, this 2-day program held every April is designed for health care professionals, service providers, administrators and researchers working in the field of aging and dealing with older adults. Focuses on dementia and frailty in late life.

Loving on Empty: A Caregivers' Conference

We invite caregivers from across metro Detroit to a 1/2 day of educational presentations and self-care strategies for support. Caregivers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to come. Whether the care partner has a physical disability, cognitive changes, or both, guests will find useful and accurate information to ease their caregiver journey.
2021 Conference Video
2021 Program
For more information, or to join the mailing list, contact Donna MacDonald at donnamacdonald@wayne.edu

A Meaningful Life with Alzheimer's Disease (Earn CEs)
This annual one-of-a-kind conference brings together healthcare professionals, caregivers and those living with Alzheimer's into a shared conversation together. Learn about the state-of-the-art research, treatments and caregiving options for those living with cognitive decline. This is a collaboration between the IOG and the Greater Michigan Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. More details to follow.


Lunch & Learn series - offered by our Healthier Black Elders Center (HBEC)

HBEC is committed to connecting Detroit's seniors and their families to current knowledge about aging and health. Older Adults can join our events by phone or on computer. All webinars start at 11:00 am with presentations from 11:30 until 12:30 pm. Would you Like a I your would like to learn about Healthier Black Elders Center events, Sign up HERE If you would like a reminder before the event, please RSVP at 313-664-2616 and leave a voice message with your name, phone number, and name of the webinar.
To join by telephone dial: 1-312-626-6799 Webinar ID: 954 9577 4535
To join by computer type this link https://bit.ly/HBElunch into your internet browser to join the webinar.
Can't attend? Listen to recorded webinars on our Healthier Black Elders Center website. After the presentation dates, visit: https://mcuaaar.org/ resources/videos/hbec
For more information about the Healthier Black Elders Center, please contact Vanessa Rorai at vrorai@wayne.edu


Financial First Fridays - For any Older Adult

FREE virtual workshops for older adults offerd by IOG, SAFE (Successful Aging Thru Financial Empowerment) program. We present expert speakers with trusted information for financial health & safety on the first Friday of every month on ZOOM. To get monthly SAFE program updates sign up here HERE.


SAFE Financial Empowerment workshops

Invite a SAFE expert to speak to your group. Presentations are free and last about an hour. All materials provided. 

  • Difficult Conversations about finances

  • Scams and Identity Awareness:  Are You at Risk? - Learn why some people are especially vulnerable to financial predators and how to strengthen your defenses. Get details on how victims are targeted and manipulated so you can spot threats before savings and identity vanish. (Also offered for professionals.)

  • Managing Someone Else's Money

  • Protecting your Loved One from Scams

For personal assistance or to schedule a workshop or speakers, contact SAFE program coordinator LaToya Hall at l.hall@wayne.edu or 313-664-2608.


Continuing Education Credits & Contact Hours for Professionals

The IOG's offers more than 100 presentations each year free to social workers, nurses and other professionals who work with older adults. During the pandemic, these are offered via Zoom and require pre-registration.

Most programs earn 1-3 CEs or contact hours nursing. Topics vary and are always presented by subject-matter experts. Recent topics have included:

  • Human Trafficking

  • Anxiety, Depression and Despair have Consequences

  • Manage Chronic Pain before it Manages You

  • Culture, Sensitivity and You

Sign up HERE to receive our monthly Constant Contact e-newsletter to learn about CE events.


BrainStorm for Older Adults (Learn to present research based wellness activities)
We train anyone working with older adults to present a full year of research-based wellness activities. These presentations addresses multiple facets of brain health, as well as physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Presentations are filled with hands-on activities, humor, social interaction, and take-home materials.


Research Colloquia
The IOG colloquia are opportunities for expert researchers to present their work to graduate students, faculty, community members, and partners. Colloquia are held in the Hoobler Room in the Charles Lang Freer House located at 71 E. Ferry Street twice a month from 9:30 am-10:30 am September through April and are free and open to the public.