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American Society on Aging —
Aging in America Conference Preview

Each year, Aging in America, the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, brings together relevant content, innovations, and best practices and develops thought leadership on the most critical issues in the field of aging. This year, aging services providers, policy experts, advocates, and consumers will gather in Chicago from March 12 to 16 to discuss important issues affecting older adults.

Social workers who specialize in aging as well as social work generalists should consider attending. Below are a few highlights of sessions that would be of interest to professionals working with older adults.

The 2013 Political Landscape: Post Election Implications
Tuesday, March 12, 4-5:30 pm
Older voters and their issues played a major role in the outcome of last year’s elections. These issues will be prominent in the work of the Obama administration and the new Congress. This session will reflect on the election and how the results affect the dynamics around issues such as deficit reduction; the future of entitlements, especially Medicare and Social Security; the future of the Affordable Care Act, long term care; and the Older Americans Act. Panelists will discuss whether the election delivered a message or a mandate.

Service Integration and Healthcare Reform: How Is it Changing?
Wednesday, March 13, 1-2:30 pm
Reforms have fostered a renewed emphasis on integration of acute and long term care services across the healthcare continuum. Three national leaders will share their perspectives on emerging models and partnerships from the fields of geriatric medicine, health systems, elder living, and home- and community-based services. The session will offer practical advice to aging service providers on strategies to connect with primary and acute care partners and payers to improve outcomes and costs.

Mental Health and Aging Public Policy
Thursday, March 14, 8 am - 4:00 pm
America is aging rapidly, and with that comes an increasing number of older adults with mental health and substance use disorders. With inadequate resources and a serious workforce shortage, the nation is unprepared to meet this challenge. Major changes in public policy are necessary, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act provisions and the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report “The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?” present many opportunities. Three sessions throughout the day will feature leaders in the field and will focus on the priorities for change and new resources.

For more information on the ASA conference, visit www.asaging.org/aia.