Caring Across Generations and The Second City at 2017 Aspen Spotlight Health Festival - Caring Across Generations

Caring Across Generations and The Second City at 2017 Aspen Spotlight Health Festival



Media Contact:
Janet Kim


Caring Across Co-Directors Ai-jen Poo and Sarita Gupta Will Also Address the State of Eldercare Policy for Families and Caregiving Jobs for the Workforce on Panels Throughout the Festival

Aspen, CO — As 100 million Americans grapple with the challenges of caring for an aging population, how do families – especially family caregivers – do so without sacrificing their relationships? How do we begin to appreciate and value the skilled, hard work of caregiving in our culture and our economy? And how can we equip caregivers – both unpaid family members and paid professional workers – with practical, empowering tools to meet the emotional demands of providing dignified care?

For the past three years, Caring Across Generations – a growing movement of families, caregivers, older Americans and people with disabilities working to transform how we care – has been experimenting and working with artists and storytellers of all backgrounds to come up with creative answers to these generation-defining questions.

This summer, Caring Across Generations is teaming up with The Second City’s newly created Insights and Applied Improvisation division – dedicated to proving the impact improv techniques can have in real world situations – to develop resources that can directly help caregivers in an experiential way. Together they will offer a sneak preview of how the power of improv can transform caregiving relationships at this year’s Aspen Spotlight Health Festival, where caregiving will be one of five major tracks of programming.


Caring Across Generations: Co-Directors Ai-jen Poo and Sarita Gupta
The Second City: Kelly Leonard, Executive Director of Insights and Applied


Special interactive workshop, and evening presentation, previewing a new training program for family and professional caregivers based on improv techniques;
Additional panels highlighting the challenges facing families and workers today when
comes to eldercare


Friday, June 23 – Saturday, June 24: see below for specific times of all panels
Featured evening session: Saturday, June 24, 7:15pm – 8:30pm MDT


Aspen Spotlight Health Festival
Aspen Institute Campus
Aspen, CO


Full Program Details: Caring Across Generations and Second City


Building Empathy with a Dose of Humor: An Improv Workshop for Caregivers
Saturday, June 24, 3:00pm-4:00pm
Kresge Building, Hines Room Breakout

Most people are unaware of the complications associated with caring for someone daily,
especially an aging, ill or disabled loved one. Join us for an exclusive, unique experience that will go beyond storytelling to get to the heart of care – a universal experience of connection, if approached with empathy, openness and acceptance. This workshop, a sneak preview of an innovative training program being developed by Second City and Caring Across Generations, uses improv techniques for participants to explore how self-expression can be a form of self-care, and how levity can create a playground for people to take risks, strengthen their relationships, and laugh while they do so. Learn some fun, practical tools to take the stress out of caregiving and foster dignity and joy in your caregiving relationships.

Presenters: Ai-jen Poo, Kelly Leonard, Anne Libera

Three Caregivers Walk into a Bar: Caregiving, Improvisation, and Humor
Saturday, June 24, 7:15pm-8:30pm
Paepcke Auditorium, Evening Session

The Second City and Caring Across Generations have joined forces to create a unique
training program that strengthens the skills of caregivers through improvisational techniques and practices. Discover how it works in an evening that offers stories, insights, and interactive experiences that reveal the power of collaborative communication. You will participate in exercises where you learn to operate in a “yes, and…” mindset, one funny enough to make you laugh and powerful enough to stir your heart. Learn why the tools of improv can dramatically transform caregiving relationships, leading to better outcomes and a more meaningful journey for everyone involved.

Presenters: Kelly Leonard, Anne Libera, Ai-jen Poo – with a discussion moderated by David Leonhardt from The New York Times


Full Program Details: Caring Across Generations


The Jobs of Tomorrow: Upskilling Care
Friday, June 23, 10:20am-11:20am
Buckminster Fuller Dome,  Breakout

The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in the US, and the need for
skilled health workers has grown to crisis proportions as the population ages and lives
longer. How can we provide career ladders for lower-level health care workers, such as
home health care aides, and create decent jobs with benefits and growth potential? Hear
from experts who are reimagining health care jobs and piloting new ways to value health
care workers and provide highest quality care.

Presenters: Ai-jen Poo, Manmeet Kaur, Jonathan LaPook, Charissa Raynor

Managing the Maze of Elder Care
Friday, June 23, 3:00pm-4:00pm
Buckminster Fuller Dome, Breakout

Tens of millions of people struggle to provide support for their aging loved ones in the face of systems that offer inadequate emotional, logistical and financial support. Children caring for frail parents experience not only the complexities of proffering companionship and medical assistance, but the stress of dealing with role reversal. Aging partners endeavor to care for each other despite their own physical indignities and cognitive deficits. Nursing homes fail to help patients and families lead the fullest possible lives and insurance rarely covers all the costs of elder care in any form. Can we do better? How do we honor and safeguard our senior citizens through their final years?

Presenters: Sarita Gupta, Lloyd Dean, Alicia Georges, Katie Hafner

Deep Dive: Growing a Global Health Workforce
Saturday, June 24, 1:15pm-2:45pm
Koch Tent,  Deep Dive

By 2030, the world will face a shortage of almost 14 million health care workers. In the US alone, we’ll need as many as 35,000 more primary care doctors over the next decade. Without adequately trained health professionals, universal access to health care will remain out of reach and preventable illnesses and deaths will rise. That’s a threat not only to individuals, but to society and global security. Fortunately, gloomy predictions are giving way to creative commitments, as countries expand their training programs, build cross-border partnerships to share skills, and deploy workers in new ways. What else should be done to defuse the health workforce crisis?

Presenters: Ai-jen Poo, Agnes Binagwaho, Peggy Clark, Andrew Morris-Singer, Raj, Panjabi, Prabhjot Singh


About Aspen Spotlight Health
Spotlight Health returns to the Aspen Institute on June 22, 2017, as the opening segment of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival. The tradition of deep dives along the cutting edge of health and medicine continues for its fourth year, presented as always through a global lens. Stimulating and often provocative, Spotlight Health features some of the world’s leading doers and thinkers – the icons and the up-and-comers of our time.

About Caring Across Generations
Caring Across Generations is a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country. By harnessing the power of online and grassroots organizing and culture change work, we are shifting how our nation values caregiving and calling for policy solutions that enable all of us to live well and age with dignity. For more information, please visit