As you know if you have been following the blog for the past few months, the White House has been hosting a series of regional forums on aging as part of its preparation for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), scheduled for July 13th. My friend and longtime senior advocate Bob Blancato has been closely following the events and sharing updates with you periodically. He has also been invited to attend the larger conference this month, so be sure to follow the conference’s live stream to stay updated on the action.
As in the regional forums, Bob will be encouraging participants to focus on some important issues that will enable seniors to lead longer, healthier lives. For example, Bob has long been a crusader for elder justice. In conjunction with the Cleveland forum, he wrote in the Logan Daily:
“Seniors are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect as they age, which results in both human and economic costs. According to the federal government, more than one in 10 people over 60, or six million older adults, are victims of elder abuse every year. Elder abuse can increase the risk of premature death, cause unnecessary illness and suffering and threaten the economic security of older Americans. For example, at least $2.9 billion is lost to financial exploitation of older adults each year. It impacts seniors across all economic, racial, and ethnic lines regardless of whether they are living independently, in assisted living or in a nursing home.”
In addition to elder justice, Bob has also been encouraging the White House to focus on nutrition as a key part of healthy aging. He recently wrote on our blog:
“[G]ood nutrition practiced throughout the lifespan can lead to healthier aging. … [T]he three major chronic diseases that impact 87 percent of seniors—diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or some combination—can be prevented and/or managed with appropriate nutrition interventions. Overall, lack of good nutrition drives up health care costs. … This is a critically important topic to address as a society which accomplishes healthy aging is stronger in all regards. I commend the WHCOA for including this as a goal, but would like to ensure that good nutrition is also a central focus.”
Bob has also highlighted seniors’ access to affordable, quality health care as a key concern. To learn more about the WHCOA, please visit their website. Also, make sure to keep checking back with us leading up to the big event to find out all the latest, and consider signing up for the WHCOA mailing list or sharing your story!