Educational Events

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Senior Smart Talk is a monthly series providing important information from local experts focused on the unique and complex senior-related issues facing mature adults & families throughout NW Arkansas.

Let’s Talk: Current and future trends in senior living

February 8, 2024
10:00 – 11:30am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

We have entered a new era of vibrant and modern senior living, where your golden years are filled with endless possibilities.  Join us to learn about the exciting trends that are shaping senior living communities.  Local experts will explain the different types of senior living options and how to find a community that best suits your needs and preferences.  Join us to explore trends such as:

  • Resort-style amenities
  • Wellness and healthcare
  • Independent living with a sense of community
  • Lifelong learning

Reserve your seat for this informative seminar today!

Let’s Talk: Retirement community moves: Downsizers Tell-All

March 14, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

What is it like moving to a retirement community? These active seniors will share their experiences of finding, moving to, and living in 55+ senior communities in and around the NWA area. They will answer questions like these and more:

    • How long did you think about moving before you did it?
    • How did you decide where to move?
    • What are the pros and cons of downsizing to a smaller place?
    • What were the biggest challenges with relocating and how did you handle them?
    • What do I do if my spouse doesn’t want to move?

Audience members will also get a chance to ask questions of the panelists. Write down what you are curious about and get registered today.

Let’s Talk: The truth about our easy downsizing method

April 11, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

You have made the big decision to simplify, move on, and make a residential change… Now what?

Would you believe that making the decision to move is typically the most difficult step in the process?

With that out of the way, it’s time to start taking steps toward your goal.  What to do now?  We will be discussing how downsizing does not have to overwhelm you with a proven process that many have found helpful. 

Let’s Talk: fall prevention and healthy living: ACHIEVING lifelong independence

May 9, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

Falls are a common concern for older adults, with more than 25% experiencing them each year.  These incidents can result in broken bones, mobility issues, and various other complications, particularly for those aged 65 and above.  Fractures can cause significant pain and disability, impeding everyday tasks such as cooking and bathing, often requiring assistance.  In severe cases, broken hips can lead to serious health issues, and in some instances, even prove fatal.

The encouraging news is that there are numerous measures one can take to reduce the risk of falling.  We will be discussing how to reduce falls and live healthy!

Let’s Talk: trusts, wills, and probate

June 13, 2024
6:00 – 7:30 pm Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

Times have certainly changed regarding the way estates are handled after someone passes away. It’s not as simple as one may think, especially when the wishes of the deceased were never specified in writing.  But what documents are necessary and most appropriate?  How do these instruments work within the probate process?

Expert panelists will discuss the TRUTH regarding differences between trusts and wills, as well as how these documents can impact both the living and the dead. Another important issue concerning legal guardianships will also be discussed.  How guardianships can be necessary in cases when individuals become incapacitated. In other words, the TRUTH is about ensuring your wishes are followed and needs are met should you become dependent upon others.

Let’s Talk: emergency PREPAREDNESS

July 11, 2024
6:00 – 7:30 pm Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

In this seminar, we will help you be informed on possible local disasters, how to respond, and be knowledgeable. We will discuss assessing your needs and understand how your medical, physical, and cognitive abilities may affect your ability to respond to a disaster or emergency. In this important and rarely discussed topic, we will help you plan and be ready.

Let’s Talk: squeezing more out of life as we age towards 100

August 8, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

The most recent data indicates there are approximately 92,000 Centenarians living in the United States. This is up from 82,000 in 2016. While we may not “think” we will live this long, we certainly might. For some, this is exciting news, however, for many, becoming a centenarian is not a rite of passage they ever considered. At this month’s seminar, we will discuss the pros and cons of living to be 100 or beyond, including money, housing, healthcare, purpose, and squeezing more out of whatever time we have no matter our age.

Let’s Talk: Medicaid, Medicare, and VA benefits

September 12, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

Here we are again!  Open enrollment comes around every October.  Every year there is so much to think about.  What changes have been made to plans, or maybe to your health since the previous enrollment?  What plans are best for you?  How do you know who to trust to give you accurate information?  We will be discussing senior benefits you have and those may not know about.  Attendees will learn about how to access services and hear from local experts on tips and tricks for getting the most out of your senior benefits.

Let’s Talk: Aging solo: unique considerations as you age

October 10, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

Nearly 27% of Americans over the age of 65 live alone. While this population shares the same concerns and challenges of older adults who are aging with a partner or who have adult children nearby, you need to be alert to the issues unique to those friends/neighbors/family members who are aging solo. Maintaining independence; safeguarding health; fostering physical and mental activity; building a supportive network, socialization, and relationships; financial planning; and having access to transportation can require more detailed and advanced planning and execution for adults aging solo.

  • Define aging solo and the rate at which this community is growing.
  • Recognize the risks and challenges seniors face in aging solo.
  • Discuss the different planning strategies to proactively prepare for aging solo.

Let’s Talk: Traveling at the holidays & Building a better relationship between generations

November 14, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 am Central Time

Bentonville Community Center
1101 SW Citizens Cir, Bentonville, AR 72712

What better time to build stronger intergenerational relationships than during the holidays?  Relationship is essential for fostering understanding, empathy, and unity among different age groups.  It is important to acknowledge that each generation has unique strengths and insights to offer.  By recognizing and celebrating these differences, we can create a more harmonious and cooperative society where wisdom and innovation coexist.

In this month’s seminar, we will be discussing strategies to achieve open communication, encouraging older generations to share their life experiences and younger generations to share their perspectives.  We will discuss activities that bring various age groups together.

OFFICIAL PARTNERS OF SENIOR SMART TALK

Senior Smart Talk is proud to partner with these sponsors to bring senior resources to NW Arkansas. It is because of their generous support that these events are possible and FREE for our attendees!

Senior Resources
Senior Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW LONG IS THE SEMINAR?
Most of our expert panel discussions are about 60 minutes. Some run longer than others depending on the depth of the topic and the number of panelists. Any remaining time is used to address questions from attendees. We begin promptly at 10:00 am and finish no later than 11:30 am.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS AND CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE SEMINAR?

Feel free to contact us concerning questions you may have about downsizing, senior living options, 55+ neighborhoods, or other related topics and senior resources. If our staff is unable to answer your questions, we will direct you to one of our many experts who will be happy to assist you.

IS THERE GOING TO BE A SALES PITCH?

Nope. There will never be a sales pitch. You will have an opportunity to get to know the presenters, panelists, and hosts throughout the year. You can decide for yourself if it makes sense to request their services or products. Presenters and speakers may have materials available or senior resources for you to take home, but it’s up to you to pick them up if you want them.

CAN ATTENDEES ASK QUESTIONS?

Yes! We want you to get your questions answered. Keep in mind that because we do our homework, many of your questions will likely be answered throughout the prepared panel discussion. If you still have an unanswered question at the end, you will have an opportunity to ask. We do request that if you have a specific question that is personal in nature (i.e. can’t be generalized to the group) that you request a consultation with one of our team members following the event.

CAN I ATTEND FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES?
We always welcome service providers and business owners seeking to learn more about serving mature homeowners. If you attend WITH a registered client, there is no fee for you to attend. The fee for business owners and aging services professionals not attending with a client is $25 payable at the door. Due to limited seating, we reserve the right to provide priority seating to non-professionals.
CAN I REQUEST A TOPIC FOR THE NEXT SERIES?

Absolutely! We want to make the Senior Smart Talk is as meaningful and relevant as possible. We always welcome your suggestions and ideas for future senior resources. We do prepare the topics for the series well in advance, so we ask for your patience concerning time frames for your suggested topic to hit the calendar.

CAN I ATTEND IF I’M NOT A SENIOR?

We welcome anyone who believes the information would be valuable to them. If you are not a senior, but you are seeking information to advise someone who is — or maybe you are planning ahead — please join us to learn about these senior resources.

WHY IS THE EVENT FREE FOR SENIORS AND THEIR GUESTS?
The professionals hosting, moderating, sponsoring, and serving as panelists have strong convictions about ensuring that people are educated, empowered, and equipped as they prepare for late-life issues, especially where and how they will live. Each of our professionals have donated their time and/or contributed toward event expenses so that ALL seniors are able to attend regardless of their financial situation.
HOW DO I BECOME A SPONSOR?
Annual sponsorships are from January to December each year. The deadline for application is November 1st of the preceding year. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please call 479-717-7710 to request a sponsorship packet or be placed on the waiting list for sponsorships as spaces are limited. Every sponsor must be fully vetted prior to being considered so please provide references and licensing information (if applicable) to expedite your application.
WHO ARE THE HOSTS?

Alison Van Hecke is recognized as an experienced social worker and real estate sales professional specializing in senior move management and senior real estate. Alison is a Licensed Master’s Social Worker. She is a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) and a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Beyond her professional and educational experience, she has helped dozens of seniors successfully downsize and relocate. She has also assisted family members with late-life moves. She is passionate about equipping the community with senior resources.