The White House Conference on Aging wrapped up its 2015 session and came up with good ideas to help Baby Boomers and our aging population stay healthy and engaged.
The conference, held once every ten years, tries to influence policy by articulating an agenda and by working with government agencies and outside groups to get its proposals adopted widely.
The 2015 strategy hits the mark and highlights the need to do more to promote exercise and continued physical and mental activity.
In conjunction with the National Institutes of Health and other partners, it will launch Go4Life , an exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults.
And the U.S. Surgeon General and YMCAs across the country will partner in inter-generational physical activity events during the first week of August to promote opportunities for young and older Americans to get active together.
PREVENT SLIPS AND FALLS
It seems pretty obvious that we need to help each other prevent the slips and falls that break hips and cycle us into physical descent. One in three older adults gets hurt in a fall every year. And that’s why we welcome the idea of an education campaign to focus on preventable injuries.
TRAINING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will offer a free on-line course that provides continuing education credits to physicians, nurses and other health professionals on making falls prevention a routine part of clinical care.
EXPAND GERIATRIC EDUCATION
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will award $35 million to health professionals for training programs to expand geriatric education.
IMPROVED NURSING HOME RULES
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to require nursing homes to do more than warehouse people. It will update requirements for the first time in almost 25 years to improve care and safety.
HELP FOR WOMEN CAREGIVERS
This resonates with me in a big way. The Office of Women’s Health plans to develop training to help family caregivers maximize their own health and address specific care needs of persons with dementia.
It seems like a small amount of money, but the Administration on Community Living will put $4 million into a Brain Health Awareness Campaign “to help older adults better understand changes that occur in the brain as people age and reduce the fear of discussing concerns with family members and clinicians.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will update the National Plan to address Alzheimer’s Disease to set new priorities. This will include a new Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias training curriculum for health care workers in the hope that early detection can help.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will work with groups to get the word out about the preventive benefits that Medicare offers.