Just days after Seattle welcomed scores of sci-fi, fantasy and comic fans of all ages to the sold out Emerald City Comicon, AARP Washington is playing host to another group of heroes – those dedicated to transforming the lives of millions of older Americans. The White House Conference on Aging is holding the third of five regional events on April 2 on the shores of Elliot Bay at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center.
Since 1961, the White House Conferences on Aging have helped to create Medicare and Medicaid, protect Social Security from inflation, found the American aging-service network and abolish forced retirement at a predetermined age.
AARP has co-sponsored each of the 2015 forums. Later this year, a final national conference will take place in Washington, DC to consider the important issues covered in Seattle and other locations across the country.
The Seattle forum can shape the national conversation about what aging means for Americans over the next 10 years. As hundreds gather to voice their issues and concerns, divided equally between experts and Americans who have something to say about aging issues, the forum in Seattle may foster solutions to issues that impact millions of Americans.
Seattle follows in the tradition of a series of national conferences led by the administrations of Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. The regional forums and the conference cover issues that fall under four broad focus areas:
- Retirement security: Financial security requires attention during our working lives to ensure that we prepare for what comes next.
- Healthy aging: As medical advances progress, the opportunities for older Americans to maintain their health and vitality should progress as well. Community supports are important tools to promote this vitality.
- Long-term services and supports: Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in their communities as they age. They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.
- Elder justice: Older Americans can be vulnerable to financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. We need to protect seniors and other vulnerable groups from scam artists.
The event is invitation only, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved. Visit www.hhs.gov/live-3 at 8:30 am on April 2 to view the live stream.
We also have set up a mechanism on our website for individuals, organizations, coalitions and others to submit comments, share stories, and provide thoughts about the issues. We value the input and ideas of older adults, their families, stakeholders, and others, and we think it is an essential part of the Conference process. Please visit our website here to learn more: http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/blog/forum/page/white-house-conference-on-aging-seattle-wa-regional-forum.aspx