2023 Business of Aging:

    Older people and mental health


    St. Mary's annual Business of Aging event is a free, virtual discussion where leaders from around the country come together to explore the most pressing issues facing America's aging population and the organizations and people who serve them.


    This year’s theme will center around mental health issues faced by America’s aging population. Older adults around the country are battling rises in substance abuse, increased isolation, and other personal and emotional challenges.


    More than 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. The most common mental and neurological disorders in this age group are dementia and depression, which affect approximately 5% and 7% of the world's older adults, respectively. Anxiety disorders affect 3.8% of the older population, substance use problems affect almost 1%, and around a quarter of deaths resulting from self-harm are among people aged 60 or above. Unfortunately, substance abuse problems among older people are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. (Source: World Health Organization).


    St. Mary Development sees similar statistics with its older residents, 20% of whom self-report mental health or substance abuse struggles. Over the past three years, St. Mary has worked with the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and other partners to help residents address mental health issues. The Business of Aging event will include local, state, and national speakers sharing insights on older people and mental health, including trends and strategies. The event is virtual and free but registration is required. 

    Meet the 2023 Business of Aging Keynote Speaker and Panelists

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    Keynote Speaker: Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD


    Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and long-term care industry expert. She combines her training and decades of experience to provide innovative solutions to problems affecting cost and quality of care. Dr. El, as she’s commonly known, speaks internationally on aging and mental health, is the author of The Savvy Resident’s Guide, and is an expert media resource for publications such as The Washington Post, Kaiser Health News, and AARP.

    Her keynote address will focus on:

    • Aging and ageism in the U.S., and issues with insufficient support systems and lack of youth engagement in eldercare
    • The physical impacts of mental health problems on older people, including substance abuse as a family disease
    • The experiences of older adults in treatment centers and the importance of treatment and prevention as the country’s aging population increases
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    Panelist: Loren Anthes


    Loren Anthes is the Head of Policy and Programs at Yuvo Health, a risk-bearing physician enablement company that builds value-based care capacity at federally qualified health centers. Anthes also serves as a Visiting Fellow, Value-Based Healthcare at the Center for Community Solutions where he recently served as the William C. and Elizabeth M. Treuhaft Chair in Health Planning and led Community Solutions’ Center for Medicaid Policy. He holds board and committee positions with the May Dugan Center, Magnolia Clubhouse, and Better Health Partnership, and is a lecturer at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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    Panelist: Valerie Leach, OCPS


    Valerie Leach is an Assistant Chief with the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Office of Prevention. She currently leads and facilitates the advancement of behavioral health prevention and early intervention services and supports utilizing a public health approach related to substance abuse, suicide, depression/anxiety, and youth empowerment for the State of Ohio. Leach has been working in the behavior health field for more than 20 years and has experience providing services to individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

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    Panelist: Steve Swedlund, MD


    Steve Swedlund, MD, is the former Program Director of Geriatric Fellowship at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Prior to his position as Program Director for 15 years, Steve worked in family practices in the Midwest and served as Assistant Medical Director of Miami Valley Hospital Family Practice Residency. He is a member of the American Geriatrics Society. Recently retired, Dr. Swedlund will join our panel to lend his experience in geriatrics to our discussion.

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  • Become a 2023 Business of Aging Sponsor

    We're thrilled you're interested in learning more about becoming a Business of Aging sponsor! This opportunity puts your brand in front of hundreds of leaders in housing, healthcare, and technology. A recording of the event will also be published on YouTube for you to share with others. (Scroll down to view videos from past Business of Aging events.) Learn about our sponsorship packages and get in touch with our team below, too.

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    Download the Sponsorship Information One-Pager

    Review our sponsorship packages and select the level that's right for your organization and goals.

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    Download the Sponsorship Commitment Form

    Ready to formalize your commitment? Download this form and share it with our team using the included instructions.

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    Contact a Member of Our Team to Chat More

    Have questions? Talk to our team before you finalize your commitment. Send us an email below and a member of our team will reach out.

  • "The Business of Aging is definitely worth being an annual event."

    "Very impressed by the level of knowledge of the panel!"

    "Very informative and insightful. It increased by awareness of societal trends."

    "The panel was excellent. Worth getting up early to attend!'

  • Business of Aging Event Recording Library

    Browse recordings of previous events to explore other housing, healthcare, and technology topics.

  • Watch the 2022 Business of Aging

    Theme: Navigating staffing shortages facing industries serving the aging population

    Our 2022 event focused on talent shortages around the nation. As America's aging population continues to increase, many in the field were (and still are) concerned about how they will continue to serve those in need while navigating staffing scarcities. Our three speakers discussed the problem and possible solutions to improve our work and positively impact the lives of those we serve.

    Watch the 2021 Business of Aging

    Theme: How Housing Impacts Quality of Life for Older Adults

    The 2021 event features keynote speaker Alan Mallach, senior fellow with the Center for Community Progress in Washington, D.C., who shares a presentation on housing affordability and the future of housing for America's aging population. An esteemed panel then discusses the intersection of housing and quality of life.

    Watch the 2020 Business of Aging

    Theme: Technology and Older People

    This virtual event kicks off with a keynote address by venture capitalist Dominic Endicott who discusses how changing cities and towns will impact older people, and how we need to begin planning today for the "future old." Later, a panel discusses technology trends and how they’re impacting older people.

    Watch the 2019 Business of Aging

    Theme: Social Determinants and Older People

    Positive social determinants of health are the social, economic, and environmental conditions that help older adults maintain their health and well-being. Watch as our panelists discuss impact of social determinants as well as the opportunities to improve them.

    Watch the 2018 Business of Aging

    Theme: The Changing Landscape of Aging

    During this event, a Business Journal editor moderates a panel of experts on senior trends in housing, technology, healthcare and other topics, as we explore the Business of Aging in the Miami Valley. During the summit, attendees hear directly from the people who are change leaders in the senior sector.