Resilience in an aging society: GSA showcases cutting-edge meeting topics

October 31, 2008

Once again The Gerontological Society of America is inviting all journalists to attend its 61st Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging -- from November 21-25, 2008. Media representatives can register free of charge.

This event will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD, a new waterfront development adjacent to Washington, DC, on the shores of the Potomac River. This year's theme is "Resilience in an Aging Society: Risks and Opportunities." An estimated 3,500 professionals and aging authorities are expected to attend the four-day gathering, which includes more than 500 scientific sessions.

The complete conference program, including a searchable abstract listing, is available at www.agingconference.com. Below are selected highlights. (All sessions are at the Gaylord, with the exception of Tuesday's congressional briefing.)

Financial Crisis 2008: Implications for Aging
Monday, November 24, at 3 p.m.
Location: Chesapeake C
In light recent economic developments, GSA has joined with AARP's Office of Academic Affairs to convene a special symposium intended to help attendees better understand the impact of the financial crisis on America's seniors. The session will be moderated by Harry "Rick" Moody, PhD, of AARP.

Symposium: What Public Opinion, Policy Analysis, and Politics Tell Us About the Next Congress
Sunday, November 23, at 4:45 p.m.
Location: Potomac Ballroom B
Find out what beltway insiders are predicting for the most important aging issues during the next Congress and administration. AARP Director of Policy and Strategy John C. Rother, JD, will moderate a panel composed of Judy Feder, PhD, politician and Georgetown University health policy expert; Kathleen Francovic, PhD, CBS News director of surveys; and Chris Jennings of Jennings Policy Strategies, former senior health policy advisor during the Clinton Administration.

Congressional Briefing on Civic Engagement
Tuesday, November 25, at 8:30 a.m.
Location: U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
Both presidential candidates support an expanded federal commitment to volunteer service, so advocates are working with congressional leaders to enact civic engagement legislation early in the 111th Congress. Senate and House staffers are slated to present their bosses' initiatives, while policy makers, advocates, and volunteers will share their visions for continued community contributions by older Americans. Bus transportation to this breakfast briefing is available for those staying in National Harbor.

Institute of Medicine Report: The Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans
Sunday, November 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Potomac Ballroom A
This session, part of GSA's presidential symposium series, will explore ""Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce," an April 2008 report from the Institute of Medicine. The publication found that America's aging citizens are facing a health care workforce too small and unprepared to meet their needs. Judith Salerno, MD, executive officer of the Institute of Medicine, will serve as discussant.

Launch of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society
Friday, November 21, at 3 p.m.
Location: National Harbor 10
The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society is an interdisciplinary group of scholars recently assembled to analyze the modifications required in our major institutions to facilitate a productive, equitable society in the United States. To celebrate its launch, an expert panel will present new life expectancy and population forecasts and discuss the evidence supporting the effectiveness of social and health interventions across the life course. This session will be moderated by John W. Rowe, PhD, who will serve as the Network's chair. A reception will follow.

Can Human Aging Be Slowed?
Saturday, November 22, at 11:30 a.m.
Location: Maryland Ballroom B
This symposium poses a question that has been raised since recorded history began. In respect to humans, the answer until now has been "no." Yet, modern advances made in biogerontology have persuaded some to believe that the answer soon will be "yes." The latest research will be presented by the world's leading authorities in human longevity, including Robert N. Butler, MD; Leonard Hayflick, PhD; Steven Austad, PhD; S. Jay Olshansky, PhD; and Richard Weindruch, PhD.

The Baltimore Longitudinal Study (BLSA) on Aging: 50 Years of Gerontology and More
Sunday, November 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Potomac Ballroom A
The BLSA is the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of aging in the United States. This symposium will explore the study's research activities and plans for the future, along with its impact on care for the elderly, preventive medicine, and understanding about human aging. Among the speakers will be Robert N. Butler, MD, founding director of the National Institute on Aging; Luigi Ferrucci, MD, who directs the BLSA; and several study participants.

The online conference program lists many other sessions focusing on topics relevant to today's older Americans. Among these subjects are anti-aging medicine, emergency preparedness, driving and transportation issues, nursing home culture change, minority issues, and aging around the globe.

The complimentary media registration allows access to all sessions (with the exception of ticketed events and pre-conference workshops) and the Exhibit Hall. Badges and printed program materials can be picked up from the Press Room, located in room Chesapeake 8 of the Gaylord. See www.agingconference.com/press_reg.cfm for further details.Visit www.nationalharbor.com to see all available lodging options. We look forward to seeing you in November!
-end-
The Gerontological Society of America, founded in 1945, is the oldest and largest national interdisciplinary scientific organization devoted to the advancement of aging research. Its membership includes some 5,000+ researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals. The Society's principal missions are to promote research and education in aging and to encourage the dissemination of research results to other scientists, decision makers, and practitioners. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education.

The Gerontological Society of America

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