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ASA Conference Wrap-Up

ASA Conducts a Capital Conference

By Barbara Worthington

More than 3,000 attendees populated the informational sessions at the Aging in America Conference hosted by the American Society on Aging from March 20 to 24 in Washington, D.C. Among the attendees were physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, geriatric care managers, and social workers. Topics on nearly every imaginable aging concern ranged from new visions and models of care and service to support older adults to policy discussions related to senior poverty, Medicare payment models, innovative community design standards for aging Americans, and effective advocacy.

Featured sessions included “Senior Malnutrition: An Umbrella of Solutions to a National Crisis,” “The Future of Community-Based Services for Older Adults and Their Families,” “Male Caregivers: Experiences and Expectations,” and “The Dangers of Counterfeit Medicines: What Seniors and Everyone Working With Them Need to Know.”

As in previous years, concerns related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease highlighted a significant segment of each day’s programming. Numerous sessions on various aspects of dementia, its diagnosis, and treatment attracted attendees eager to access the wealth of information. Related sessions covered topics such as age-related changes in cognition, managing dementia-related behaviors with therapeutic activities, cognitive programs for dementia patients, distinguishing between cognitive and psychiatric issues, memory and brain-enhancing programs, and translating research into Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Other presentations that captured sizable groups of attendees included various perspectives on palliative care, adult day services, nutrition, caregiving, and mental health issues.

Networking opportunities abounded, with sessions designed to promote meeting and interacting with peers and accessing critical information on a variety of aging concerns. Popular networking experiences included bus trips to the city’s monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Capitol Building, and Washington Monument.

More than 100 vendors offered demonstrations, distributed samples, and detailed products designed to improve elder care, enhance older adults’ quality of life, provide beneficial senior services, and improve elders’ physical and mental capabilities. Additionally, numerous academic institutions touted their gerontology programs.

— Barbara Worthington is editor of Today’s Geriatric Medicine.