In mid-April, I had the opportunity to attend the American Society on Aging‘s (ASA) “Aging in America” Conference in New Orleans. ASA is one of the largest associations of aging services professionals in the U.S. and provides extensive educational and networking resources. Over 3,000 leaders and professionals in the aging field gathered for ASA’s annual multi-day conference to share and learn about research, best practices, and innovation. This was my third time at the Aging in America Conference – I first attended as a co-presenter several years ago on the topic of “Outreach to Older Men for Evidence-Based Programs.”
The days were jam-packed with networking events and
education sessions on every aging topic imaginable. I sat in on seminars
ranging from the future of autonomous vehicles to the use of medical cannabis in
senior living communities to legislative updates on hospice and palliative care
Several themes were echoed throughout the presentations and
the conversations I had with other attendees during the conference:
One of the most compelling seminars was AARP’s session on “Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers.” As I am a millennial who has been a family caregiver in the past and anticipates being one again in the future, this session really hit home for me. Nearly 10 million family caregivers are millennials and they provide on average more than 20 hours per week of care, including housekeeping, transportation, and nursing tasks.2 I hope this issue continues to gain traction, so that they too receive the support they need.
I always enjoy attending conferences and seminars like these. It gives me a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture of aging in America, as well as to see what others in the industry are doing. It is also extremely gratifying to hear that what Keiro has prioritized – whether it be addressing social isolation through our grants program, supporting family caregivers for nearly 20 years through our annual Caregiver Conference, or collaborating with our community partners to meet the needs of older adults wherever they call home – is in line with the priorities of the aging services field across the nation. And thus, we can continue to meet the evolving needs of older adults and their caregivers in Our Community.
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