Empowering Elders to Serve

DATE: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Noon – 1 p.m. CST


For older adults, service and volunteerism can be a prescription for reducing stress, improving moods, preventing loneliness, as well as an array of health benefits such as lower blood pressure. But too often the assumption is that elders in long-term and residential care need volunteers to support them – rather than the flip side of making it possible for elders to serve their community.

Breaking down the negative barriers of focusing on disability rather than ability and the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, this webinar will guide participants to consider the steps to building service as an integral dimension of a community’s culture.  And, gratifying the residents who serve with self-esteem and dignity.

Join gerontologist Benjamin Surmi with Koelsch Communities as he facilitates a hands-on, idea-generating workshop. From animals, the environment, mission work, people in need, education, military, or art, participants will gain concrete ideas on empowering the elders in their community to serve in ways that matter to them.

But, before you join the webinar, there’s homework. Text photos, videos, or text descriptions of ways your elders are already serving others to Benjamin at 360.526.6201 – any time, day, or night. Your ideas might end up on the screen during this dynamic workshop.

Join this webinar to:

  • Understand the value of service and volunteerism for residents in a senior community

  • Gain concrete ideas on how to build service as an integral dimension in a community’s culture

  • Share examples of successful and effective ways to build volunteerism and engagement

Benjamin is passionate about designing powerful user experiences for elders and the people who serve them. As a social gerontologist, he spearheads initiatives to re-think and re-build — opening the first lifelong learning center in partnership with a YMCA and with elders driving the program decisions. He shapes innovative engagement experiences for seniors, as well as specialized programming for people living with dementia, including in-demand educational experiences for professionals and families, and building onboarding and training for 2,000+ dementia professionals.


Nursing: This program has been approved for one clock hour of continuing education credit by The Illinois Board of Nursing, an approved sponsor of continuing education by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Administrators: This program has been approved for one hour and fifteen minutes of continuing education by the National Continuing Education Review Services (NCERS) of the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) – Approval #20240110-1.25-A99697-DL.

PLEASE NOTE: Attendees must submit their documentation directly to their respective state boards, associations, or licensing agencies. Forum Extended Care Services provides CE certificates only to attendees.


Benjamin Surmi, MSG, Social Gerontologist
Benjamin Surmi, MSG, Social Gerontologist Director of Culture and Education, Koelsch Communities

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