White House Conference on Aging Spurs Excitement
We are at such an exciting time of the year. Although it doesn't really feel like spring yet, we know it is here, with summer just around the corner! And spring, for me, is so exciting. It is full of so much color and energy; tasks and activities; do's and don'ts. This is an exciting time for seniors, too. Not just because May is Older Americans Month and there are so many opportunities for seniors to do things and get involved and active, but also because it is a time for voices to be heard and decisions to be made. It is time for us to prepare for a very important national event, the White House Conference on Aging.
The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) occurs once a decade to make aging policy recommendations to the President and Congress, and to assist the public and private sectors in promoting the dignity, health, independence and economic security of current and future generations of older persons. The theme for the Conference is "The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action." The general issue areas for the 2005 WHCOA are:
- Planning Along the Lifespan
- The Workplace of the Future
- Our Community
- Social Engagement
- The Marketplace
The conference will host 1,200 delegates. The majority of these delegates will be selected by the gubernatorial and Congressional leadership for each state and US territory. Two hundred delegates will be selected by the WHCOA Policy Committee. Although these delegates will represent and speak for their states and territories, the WHCOA Policy Committee is also providing opportunity for other constituents to sound their voices through issue forums and other events designed for this purpose.
The Kentucky Association for Gerontology is partnering with the Kentucky Association for Area Agency on Aging, and AARP to prepare for the WHCOA by hosting four "Independent Aging Agenda Events" in June, for the purpose of gathering information from Kentuckians, particularly Kentucky's seniors, caregivers, and advocates. The information will be shared with the WHCOA Policy Committee, who will use information gathered from Kentucky's events and others for the purpose of preparing the final agenda for the conference.
An event will occur in the Louisville area on June 24, 2005, also sponsored by KIPDA Area Agency on Aging. An article in this issue of Seniors Digest, "Aging Well: Now and In the Future," will assist you with registering and participating.
It is time for us to speak loud and clear and let our legislators know what Kentucky's seniors need.