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AARP Sponsors Governor's Conference on Aging


RICHMOND — AARP will sponsor the first Governor’s Conference on Aging in 13 years to identify ways to enhance the health and well-being of Virginians as they age. The Virginia Department for the Aging and Rehabilitative Services will convene the meeting in Richmond May 2-3.

There are nearly 1.5 million Virginians age 60 and older. By 2030, 1 in 4 Virginians – more than 2 million people – will be age 60 and older, presenting new economic and social opportunities and challenges for our communities.

“AARP is proud to sponsor the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Aging,” said AARP Virginia State President Bob Blancato. “For nearly 60 years, AARP has focused on upending negative aging stereotypes, developing innovative products and services, and widening opportunities at every age.”

More than 400 individuals and representatives from government, business, academia and nonprofit organizations will gather at the Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa/Short Pump for the conference to assess how well the Commonwealth meets the needs of Virginia’s growing aging population. Topics include long-term services and supports, safety, financial security, and livable communities.

Hoarding expert and TV star Matt Paxton of Richmond will appear May 2 to discuss his unusual job and share insights and techniques to understand this complex disorder and the loneliness and isolation of living in a hoarded home and how to motivate and communicate with hoarders and their family members.

Panelists will address topics such as elder abuse and financial exploitation, building communities to support older Virginians through home modifications and assistive technologies, and implementing additional support services for those with dementia and their caregivers.

On May 3, a moderated session will result in multiple state policy recommendations.

Plenary speakers include Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Linda Bryant, Virginia’s deputy attorney general for the criminal justice and public safety division; Rodney Harrell, director of livable communities for AARP; Veronica Li, whose novel, “Confucius Says,” describes the challenges of caring for aging parents; and retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, community ambassador for AARP. The conference is hosted by DARS and the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging. \


The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in collaboration with community partners, provides and advocates for resources and services to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families. For more information, visit or follow DARS on Facebook at or Twitter at @vadars.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

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