Gerontology conference held at Hinckley Center

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The College of Family, Home and Social Sciences held a two-day gerontology conference with presentations from experts in psychology, neuroscience and more.

The conference was held at the Hinckley Center and served as a way for faculty and students to learn about issues people face in their later years.

An orchestra made up of seniors performed prelude music and a special musical number at the conference.

BYU’s New Horizons Orchestra started in 2003 as an opportunity for adults new to string instruments to enter their way into music making.

The conference began with a session of research poster presentations created by gerontology students and faculty.

Sofia Maia presented on cognitive decline in people with late onset epilepsy.

“I feel like conferences are a good way to spread this information out to the masses who won’t read a paper about it,” she said.

The keynote address was given by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, an esteemed BYU professor and scholar. Her work has been cited many times and she has even worked with the World Health Organization and the U.S. Surgeon General.

“What gives people the most meaning in life?” she asked. “Again at the top of the list is social relationships.”

She presented her extensive research on social isolation and the negative health effects that it can cause in the lives of both seniors and younger people.

“People with strong social connections are happier, healthier and live longer than those who don’t have strong connections,” she said.

The gerontology conference is held every year and attempts to inspire audiences to think differently about aging.

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