The conference is open to the general public as well as to professionals engaged in all aspects of senior caregiving and service provision. Space is limited, so RSVPs are needed by contacting Ann Burke at optimalaging@louisville.edu or 502-852-5629. For additional information, contact Mary Romelfanger, associate director of the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, mary.romelfanger@louisville.edu

The conference will be live-streamed in the recently renovated Lecture Hall, room B215 of the UofL School of Medicine Instructional Building, 500 S. Preston St. Metered parking is available on South Preston, East Muhammed Ali and East Chestnut streets and parking for a fee is available in the Chestnut Street Garage, 414 E. Chestnut St.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the White House Conference on Aging, an event held once a decade since 1961 that helps chart the course of aging policy. Watch Party attendees will be able to send questions and comments directly to the conference and a panel of local aging specialists will be available to answer questions at the event.

“The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security,” said Anna Faul, D.Litt., Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging. “The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.”

 

According to the conference website, the four areas the conference will examine were developed after hearing from older Americans in forums held across the country. The common themes that emerged from this input were the following:

  • Retirement security is a vitally important issue to older Americans. Financial security in retirement provides essential peace of mind for older Americans, but requires attention during their working lives to ensure that they are well prepared for retirement.
  • Healthy aging will be all the more important as baby boomers age. As medicine advances, the opportunities for older Americans to maintain their health and vitality should progress as well, and support from their communities, including housing, are important tools to promote their vitality.
  • Long-term services and supports remain a priority. Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in the community as they age. They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.
  • Elder justice is important given that seniors, particularly the oldest older Americans, can be vulnerable to financial exploitation, abuse and neglect. The Elder Justice Act was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, and its vision of protecting seniors from scam artists and others seeking to take advantage of them must be realized.
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Jill Scoggins is proud of her role as an academic communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience with universities in four states. At UofL, she manages communications for several departments, divisions, institutes and centers within the School of Medicine. Her areas include women’s health, pediatrics, family medicine, geriatric medicine, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery and oncology/hematology, among others.