January Observer

January Observer

In the latest OWL Observer, we take a look at the new report from the White House Conference on Aging, learn about a new program connecting generations and communities from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and talk five ways Congress can support seniors in the year ahead.

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What makes OWL unique is our sharp focus. We are the only organization that works solely on the economic security and quality-of-life issues impacting women over 40, who account for almost one-quarter of the U.S. population.

Join us in speaking up for this estimated 78-million-member demographic whose voice on the policy stage has yet to match its size.

 


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LinkAges: Connecting Generations & Communities

At the Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation, part of Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation, linkAges was developed to support older adults in continuing to live independently in their communities while being vitally engaged, enriched and connected with community members of all ages. By leveraging technology to facilitate social interactions across generations (called service exchanges), the program empowers older adults, their caregivers and supporters to engage with one another in meaningful ways. The program’s four related modules can be implemented separately or combined:

Profile: A social health survey that captures information about seniors’ day-to-day lives, interests, needs, and goals that they would like their doctors or linkAges as a system, to know

TimeBank: A community-based network that allows members to exchange hobbies, interests and skills like cooking, board games or driving

List: A localized collection of senior-friendly services and resources

Connect: Passive in-home monitoring of utility usage to detect pre-emptive shifts changes in seniors’ physical and social health status

We designed the linkAges platform to be adopted by communities throughout the United States. It’s currently being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz, California. The focus is on making every senior once again, an integral part of their community: connecting all members of a community where one lives, rather than in segregated living facilities or gathering places geared only to seniors, is therefore intentional.

Read more about the linkAges program here.

Posted by Brittany Reid on 02/01 at 10:08 AM
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Preparing for the Age Wave

In OWL’s latest Huffington Post blog, Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar discusses The White House Conference on Aging, and the timely and much-needed national conversation on the challenges of an aging society it inspired. Below is an excerpt:

We are in the midst of an age wave, brought on by baby boomers who are changing the nation’s demographics and redefining the meaning of old age. Every day, over 10,000 Americans turn 65, and the trend will continue into the next decade and beyond. As we begin the new year, it’s a good time to take stock in our preparedness to deal with the needs of this growing population.

In 2015, we reached significant milestones: it was the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, and the 80th anniversary of Social Security - all successful, cherished institutions critical to the health and well-being of our elderly population.

It was also the year that the White House held its sixth Conference on Aging, a decadal event that brought together seniors, caregivers, policy experts and advocates for discussions on how to improve the lives of older Americans. And it couldn’t have been more timely.

The final report from the Conference has just been released, and it focuses on four areas especially important to seniors: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice.

Read the full Huffington Post blog.

Posted by Brittany Reid on 01/19 at 01:31 PM
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Presidential Candidate Makes Alzheimer’s Part of the National Conversation

Hillary Clinton has announced an aggressive approach to Alzheimer’s that includes a $2 billion annual commitment to research. That’s the level championed by the dementia movement, which includes the LEAD Coalition to which OWL belongs. Her plan also includes the goal of finding a cure by 2025, and ways to aid caregivers.

Two-thirds of the people over age 65 who have Alzheimer’s are women, as are a majority of
dementia caregivers. A report by Maria Shriver and the Alzheimer’s Association puts the annual economic impact of the disease at $300 billion in the United States alone. The cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is $56,800 a year, the bulk of it borne by individual families. With the baby boomers entering their mid-60s, the number of people with the disease is expected to triple to 16 million by 2050.

Clinton is the first presidential candidate to release a proposal on Alzheimer’s disease. As a U.S. Senator, she co-chaired a congressional task force on Alzheimer’s.

Posted by Pat Lewis on 12/30 at 03:15 PM
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