The Future Of Aging In Texas | KERA News

The Future Of Aging In Texas

Jul 11, 2014

By the year 2050, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. Texas has the third largest population of older adults in the U.S. and the population will jump to 20 percent of its overall population in the next decade. 

This weekend, The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is in Dallas for its annual conference, where they’ll talk about how the “silver tsunami” is going to change America’s landscape. Nearly 1000 people will attend the conference, and Former First Lady Laura Bush will give a keynote address on Tuesday.

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) represents over 600 members- the agencies on the front lines of planning, coordinating, brokering, and in some cases, providing direct services, to millions of older adults and their caregivers, as well as people with disabilities.  The n4a Answers on Aging Annual Conference and Trade Show is the largest gathering of professionals directly involved in improving the quality of life for older adults in the United States. 

Nearly 1,000 people will attend the meeting to be held July 12-16 at the Hyatt Regency, Dallas- 300 Reunion Blvd. On Tuesday, Former First Lady Laura Bush will give a keynote at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas.

Sandy Markwood, the Chief Executive Officer of n4a highlights some of the major issues on the agenda at the conference:

Health care: With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act underway, AAAs are offering an integrated range of services inconceivable just a few years ago; they are forming partnerships with hospitals and Managed Care Organizations that are changing the very landscape of the long-term and health care marketplaces.  In Texas, AAAs are on the forefront of this movement.

Livable Communities: Research shows that 90 percent of people age 65 and older want to “age in place” in their homes and communities, but the research also shows that the physical, social and support infrastructure needed to make that dream a reality is lacking in much of America.  For this reason, so-called “Livable Communities” programs are springing up across the U.S., including in Texas.

Elder abuse: Annually, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected and exploited.  Financial exploitation is the single biggest component of elder abuse, with older adults losing an estimated $2.6 billion annually.  Experts, including leaders of AAAs in Texas, believe that they are seeing only the tip of the iceberg in terms of number of reported cases.  It is hoped that local public education efforts will help citizens recognize signs of this abuse.

Helping older adults stay healthy: New research is paving the way for exciting approaches to helping older adults with chronic illness become more proactive in managing their own well-being.