National Council on Aging and the American Society on Aging March 26-30, 2008 Washington, DC
CONTACT: Paul Kleyman, ASA, (415) 974-9619; email@example.com For updates, other releases or to submit a Press Registration:
National Council on Aging & American Society on Aging
2008 AGING IN AMERICA CONFERENCE
March 26–30, 2008, in Washington, D.C.
Maya Angelou to Keynote Major Aging Conference
Gail Sheehy to Lead Closing Plenary on America’s Caregiving Crisis
More Than 700 Educational Sessions and 1,000 Presenters Expected
―Don’t bring me no rocking chair,‖ says Maya Angelou in her famous poem ―On
Aging.‖ The Pulitzer Prize-winning author will deliver the keynote address on March 27,
one week before her 80th birthday, and will rock the souls of more than 3,500 health and
service professionals expected to attend the Aging in America Conference. This annual
conference of the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the American Society on Aging
(ASA) will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham hotels in
Washington, D.C., March 26–30.
At the first closing plenary session on Sunday, March 30, Washington Post columnist and author E.J. Dionne will share his thoughts on the campaign and the elections
as well as issues affecting older Americans. Author of Passages Gail Sheehy will speak on caregiving in America in the second closing plenary session.
Also, Critical Issues in Aging lectures and symposia will feature such leading
authorities as Bill Thomas, founder of The Eden Alternative; Humphrey Taylor, chairman of
the Harris Poll; Jennie Chin Hansen, president-elect of AARP; and Pulitzer Prize-winner
Robert N. Butler, president of the International Longevity Center and author of The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life (New York City: Public Affairs, 2008). And top business leaders from CVS Caremark, Duke Energy, the
Business Roundtable and others will meet in a summit titled ―Seizing Business Opportunities With the NEXT Workforce.‖
833 Market St., Suite 511 San Francisco, CA 94103 415-974-9600 www.agingconference.org
―Our conference in the nation’s capital is a distinct opportunity for anyone interested in our field to learn, to network with colleagues and to discuss issues with policymakers,‖ said James P. Firman, NCOA president and CEO. ―It occurs during the midst of a
presidential campaign and there will be plenty of debate and discussion about the direction
of aging in America.‖
ASA president and CEO Robert G. Stein noted, ―This conference brings together the
stewards of the longevity revolution, and the professionals in aging who work to help older
adults, throughout America and around the world, to age with the grace, dignity and respect
everyone wants and deserves. Our conference community includes thousands of
distinguished professionals in the field of aging, people with the knowledge and expertise to
help guide and shape the changes that will affect every aspect of our lives and American
The five-day conference will present more than 700 presentations and posters in 15
focus areas, such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the aging marketplace,
diversity, health promotion and wellness, healthcare and long-term care, public policy and
advocacy, and purpose and meaning in the second half of life.
A series of Featured Lectures will examine the conflicts between anti-aging medicine
and real science; continued efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare; what America
can learn from aging in China; late-life cognition and the aging brain; and the future of
programs under the federal Older Americans Act.
In addition, special lunchtime press briefings and other media sessions are scheduled
Thursday, Friday and Saturday to announce new trends and developments in aging.
? Opening General Session, Thursday, March 27, 3:30–5:30 p.m. (Marriott Salons 1–
3): ―An Afternoon With Maya Angelou: Aging in America‖—The author of 12
bestselling books, beginning with her classic memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,
Angelou approaches her 80th birthday this spring as a mesmerizing vision of poise and
grace and captivates her audiences lyrically with vigor, fire and perception. In 1993,
Angelou became the second poet in U.S. history, along with Robert Frost in 1961, to
have the honor of writing and reciting original work at a Presidential inauguration. On
the Pulse of Morning, at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration, was an occasion that
gave her wide recognition for which she was awarded a Grammy award (Best Spoken
Word). This program is sponsored by CVS Caremark.
? On Sunday, March 30, the conference will conclude on a high note with two
morning plenary sessions:
? Closing Plenary Session 1, 8:15 –9:45 a.m.: ―Focus on 2008 Election and Aging
Issues‖ will feature Washington Post columnist and author E.J. Dionne who will share
his thoughts on the topic.
? Closing Plenary Session 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon (Marriott Salons 1-3): ―Uncharted Passage: The Caregiving Crisis in America‖ will feature Passages author Gail Sheehy who will facilitate a Socratic dialogue with prominent experts in aging.
Currently writing a book about the caregiving crisis in America, including her personal
experience, Sheehy plans to examine the fractured system of eldercare in the United
States. This closing session will include a dialogue that Sheehy will facilitate with four
members of the ASA Board of Directors: Robyn Golden, director of older adult
programs, Rush University Medical Center, and 2006–2008 chair of the ASA board;
Kathy Brandt, vice president of professional leadership, Consumer and Caregiver
Services, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; Louis Colbert, director, Delaware County (Pennsylvania) Office of Services for the Aging; Lynn Friss Feinberg, deputy director, National Center on Caregiving, Family Caregiver Alliance, and 2007-
2008 Heinz Senate Fellow in Aging in the Washington office of Sen. Barbara Boxer.
These respected thought leaders in aging will discuss how Americans can navigate
the rough and winding waterways of family caregiving. Sheehy will describe her concept
of the many stages of caregiving, ranging from shock and immobilization to reclaiming
one’s own life. Besides her groundbreaking book Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult
Lfe (1976), Sheehy is the author of Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the
Passionate Life; a much-quoted biography of Hillary Clinton titled Hillary’s Choice; and Understanding Men’s Passages, among others. As a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984, she won numerous awards for her in-depth character portraits of such world
figures as Presidents Clinton and Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein and
CRITICAL ISSUES IN AGING
Critical Issues in Aging sessions featuring major thought leaders in the field will
address some of the most pressing issues facing older adults and the professionals dedicated
to serving them. Critical Issues sessions will be presented as follows:
THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 8–10 A.M.
? Healthcare Reform: After the 2008 Election with Humphrey Taylor, chairman of
The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive. Whoever wins in November will have run, in part, on
his or her plan for reforming the system. As a ―professional voyeur‖ of healthcare
systems around the world, Taylor feels confident in predicting what the American
healthcare system will look like in the coming years.
? Aging in Community: The Phoenix Rises featuring William H. Thomas, the Harvard-
trained physician who created of the Eden Alternative to nursing home care and the
author of the award-winning What Are Old People For: How Elders Will Save the World.
Together with Janice Blanchard, director, Denver Office on Aging, he will discuss how
many elders, who live in institutional long-term care, or who are aging in their own
homes, are at high risk of the three plagues of old age: loneliness, boredom and
helplessness. This session will illustrate how America can create strong, caring and
supportive communities for people of all ages and abilities.
? Evidence-Based Research and Promising Practices for Healthy Aging with June
Simmons, a winner of the 2006 Purpose Prize, present and CEO, Partners in Care
Foundation, San Fernando, Calif., which she founded to develop effective innovations in
healthcare delivery. Steve French is the managing partner of the Natural Marketing
Institute, Harleysville, Pa. This session will highlight evidence-based model programs
serving adults over 50, with a focus on physical fitness and fall prevention. Jeff
Peterson is the director of state programs and advocacy for GlaxoSmithKline, Research
? Addressing the Chronic Care Challenge Through Collaborative Care with John
Wren, deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Administration on Aging; James P. Firman,
president and CEO, National Council on Aging, Washington, D.C.; Robert Schreiber,
MD, physician-in-chief, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.; and Robin E.
Mockenhaupt, associate chief of staff, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The national
spotlight is now on chronic illness, but it is focused almost exclusively on medical care,
failing to see the critical role for the aging network. This session will propose an agenda
for the aging network, describe what is currently being done and the challenges
confronted, and offer concrete collaborative strategies for making improvements.
? Divided We Fail: AARP’s Initiative for Health and Financial Security with Joanne
Handy, member, AARP Board of Directors, and president and CEO, Visiting Nurse
Association of Boston; Jennie Chin Hansen, AARP president-elect and senior fellow,
University of California, San Francisco; and John Rother, group executive officer and
public policy director, AARP. Handy and Hansen are both past ASA Board Chairs. Hear
AARP’s ideas for comprehensive healthcare reform and learn about Divided We Fail,
AARP’s national effort to promote affordable quality healthcare and lifetime financial
security for all Americans.
FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 8–10 A.M.
? The Longevity Revolution with Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert N. Butler, author of the
new book, The Longevity Revolution, CEO, International Longevity Center-USA, New
York City, and founding director of the National Institute on Aging. America’s leading
geriatric physician will explain why and how America must reexamine its personal and
social approach to aging so that the boomers and future generations may have a
financially secure, vigorous and healthy final chapter of life.
? The Future of Long-Term Care in America with Assistant Secretary for Aging
Josefina G. Carbonell and other key leaders in health and long-term care in the United
States. Convened by the U.S. Administration on Aging, which Carbonell heads, this
sessions will explore a range of national developments, such as the aging of the boomers,
breakthroughs in research, innovations in technology, caregiving demands, healthier
lifestyles and various financing strategies.
? Ten More Good Years: A Documentary Film on LGBT Issues and the Story Behind
It with Michael Jacoby, president, LookOut Films, New York City. This compelling
documentary film explores the reasons why many elders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) community often age alone, without financial stability and in many
cases find themselves returning to the closet—and how better outcomes can be achieved
by understanding the options that will indeed produce 10 more good years.
? Igniting Change in the Connected Age with Allison Fine, senior fellow, Demos: A Network of Ideas and Action, and Sabrina Reilly, deputy director of
RespectAbility, National Council on Aging, both of Washington, D.C. This session will
address how the digital age can be a catalyst for developing a greater sense of
community within the civic engagement movement, and how to link organizations in
need of experienced individuals to help address critical community needs with the
millions of boomers who want meaningful opportunities to serve.
? Technology in Support of Healthy Aging in the Community with Theresa Zayas Caban, senior manager, Health IT, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Adam Darkins, chief consultant for care coordination, Department of Veterans Affairs; and
Karen Dale, executive vice president for operations and strategic
development, Volunteers of America, all of Washington, D.C. This session will examine
the use of new technologies as potential models of practice, as well as the challenges and
obstacles of technology-based programs to assist older individuals to maintain their
health and remain safely in the community.
? Seizing Business Opportunities With the NEXT Workforce with Arthur Rothkopf, vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Donna Klein, president and founder, Corporate Voices for Working Families; Larry Burton, executive director, Business Roundtable, all three of Washington, D.C.; Christopher Rolfe, group executive and chief administrative officer, Duke Energy, Charlotte, N.C.; and V. Michael Ferdinandi, senior vice president, human resources and corporate
communications, CVS Caremark, Twinsburg, Ohio. Learn from business leaders first-
hand the strategies that companies will use to build growth with the NEXT workforce.
The ―Seizing Business Opportunities‖ Critical Issues in Aging symposium will kick off
the daylong Workforce Summit, March 28, a workshop featuring intensive sessions
focused on developing workplace innovations critical when dealing with an aging
workforce. This event is being presented by NCOA’s Maturity Works Alliance (MWA). Attendees will include senior executives, human resources directors, thought leaders,
policymakers, educators, and leading workforce development practitioners. The keynote
speaker for the summit luncheon will be bestselling author Stedman Graham, who will
address the topic, ―Diversity: Leaders Not Labels,‖ on the challenges and opportunities
of today’s aging workforce.
Among the topics to be examined in hundreds of concurrent sessions throughout the
conference are building brains with computer games that might protect us from the effects
of Alzheimer’s disease; debunking the myths of employing mature workers; reaching boomers and caregivers with effective business strategies; serving LGBT elders (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender); assisting those 50-plus with HIV/AIDS; facilitating life transitions for older women; improving cultural competence among health providers faced
with growing ethnic and racial diversity; learning from artists ages 85 to 105; preventing life-threatening falls among older adults; recreating senior centers for aging boomers; mediating family crises; confronting alcoholism, substance abuse and gambling
addiction among elders; creating elder-friendly communities; enhancing end-of-life care; combating elder abuse; humanizing the culture of long-term care; late-life love and counseling for older couples; civic engagement for older adults involved in productive
activities; dispelling the stereotypes of aging; examining hoarding behavior among older people; disaster preparedness for seniors; managing the difficulties of old age through new technology; redefining retirement; aiding grandparents raising their grandchildren; celebrating purpose and meaning in older age—and much, much more.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26
? The fifth annual ―What’s Next Boomer Business Summit‖ will convene leaders in the
emerging boomer marketplace at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from such top businesses
and organizations as AARP, Microsoft, Yahoo!, American Express, Verizon, MetLife,
DecisionStreet and Posit Science. This event is produced by Mary Furlong, author of
Turning Silver Into Gold (New York: Financial Times Press, 2007). The keynote address
on the hard challenges and new opportunities of today’s business environment will be
presented by Vincent R. Reinhart, until recently a director of the Federal Reserve
Board’s Division of Monetary Affairs. This year’s conference will focus on deals and
distribution, highlighting companies and organizations that are reaching large numbers
? The ―Second National Conference for Caregiving Coalitions,‖ sponsored by the
National Alliance for Caregiving, will bring together partners in state and local
coalitions to learn about fundraising, receive technical assistance and share best practices.
To be held at the Marriott Wardman Park, the conference will involve the launch of the
new Coalitions Network Advocacy Committee.
? ―Cutting-Edge Strategies for Senior Centers‖ is a training program designed to help
centers effectively transition their operations to accommodate the growing and changing
needs of the emerging 50-plus population. Participants will explore strategies for
accomplishing such goals as attracting people ages 50-plus, enriching volunteer
experiences, pursuing creative marketing strategies, increasing the center’s value to the
community and creating new identities for their centers. The trainers have developed
highly regarded models for senior center programs. This preconference program is
presented by NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers. ? The ―Wingspread Conference 2008: Renewing Vision and Vigor to Older Adult
Ministry‖ is a practical intensive seminar for faith communities and individuals working
with older adult ministries. Presentations will identify community-action programs that
work and provide a foundation for the strengths and values that older adults bring to
congregations. This program is presented by NCOA’s National Interfaith Coalition on
Aging and ASA’s Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging.
EXPOSITION AND LEARNING CENTER
Expanded events and activities will take place in this year’s Exposition and Learning
Center. The Exposition Hall will feature more than 150 exhibitors representing a wide range
of public and private enterprises. Go to www.eshow2000.com/aging/who_exhibits.cfm
to view a list of confirmed exhibitors to date, to find exhibit descriptions and to schedule
interview and demonstration appointments directly with exhibitors using the online contact
Highlights of the new Learning Center include the Technology Showcase of
Innovative New and Emerging Technologies presented by the Technology Work Group of
ASA’s Network on Environments, Services and Technology for Maximizing Independence (NEST). It will be located in Exhibit Hall B during exposition hall hours. Also, the 16th
Annual Authors and Producers in Aging reception will be held Thursday, March 27, 5:30–7
p.m., in Washington 5, adjacent to the Hall. The Learning Center will also feature Program
Exchanges on Saturday, March 29, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. These are roundtable presentations of
selected innovative programs from around the United States. Many of these presentations,
and the content experts facilitating them, can yield interesting stories for reporters. These
will be held in the Washington 5-6 rooms, alongside the Exhibition Hall.
Exhibition Hours: Grand Opening Reception, Thursday, March 27, 5:30–7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 28, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4–6 p.m.; and Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Members of the media can apply for gratis press credentials at
www.agingconference.org/press. The awarding of press credentials will be limited and
members of the press should not make travel or other arrangements until ASA notifies
applicants about acceptance or denial. For more information, contact Paul Kleyman at the
American Society on Aging, (415) 974-9619; fax: (415) 974-0300; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about NCOA, contact Scott Parkin, office: (202) 479-6975; cell: (202) 657-2894; fax: (202) 479-0735; e-mail: email@example.com.
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