Home Health & Hospice

2015 White House Conference on Aging to take place July 13

Homecare Insider, June 1, 2015

The Obama Administration announced last week that the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) will take place July 13. This year’s event will be framed by major anniversaries of some of the most important elder-centered legislation.  
 
The White House has held an aging conference each decade since the 1960s to explore ways to improve older Americans’ quality of life. This year’s rendition—which comes amidst the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of social security—is intended to both recognize this landmark legislation for the nation’s elders and look toward the issues that will most affect older Americans in the coming decade.
 
In the months leading up to the July event, WHCOA staff have been collecting feedback from stakeholders across the country about how to shape the aging policy landscape through a number of avenues, including the event’s dedicated website and social media channels, listening sessions, and regional forums. To see the specific recommendations submitted by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (which contain input from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice ), click here.
 
Based on such feedback, WHCOA has identified several key elder issues that this year’s conference will target:
  • Retirement security
  • Healthy aging
  • Long-term services and supports
  • Elder justice
 
The bulk of these focuses—which are further delineated in policy briefs released this spring by WHCOA staff—directly implicate home health agencies and other healthcare organizations that regularly care for elders.
 
In particular, WHCOA emphasizes the importance of quality home care to accommodating the shifting preferences of the nation’s growing elder population.
 
“Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in the community as they age,” WHCOA states on its conference FAQ page. “They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.”
 
Although tickets to attend WHCOA in person are limited, stakeholders interested in participating have a variety of options, including watching the event live through online streaming, tweeting questions using #WHCOA, emailing additional feedback and questions to event staff at info@whaging.gov, and browsing the conference’s discussion guide to spark conversations with peers on the top issues for today’s (adn tomorrow's) elders.  
 
For additional information on this year’s conference and more ways to get involved, visit the official WHCOA website here.