On December 29, 2015, the White House released its final report from the July 2015 Conference on Aging. The conference focused on the issues facing Americans as they plan for retirement, care for older loved ones, and work to improve our quality of life as we age. Healthy aging was one of four policy topics, in addition to retirement security, long-term services and support, and elder justice.
The report focuses on public and private action to support older Americans and looking to the future. It also includes a summary of public input, which includes a section on Healthy Aging. “Supporting age-friendly communities that are inclusive and culturally responsive to the needs of diverse groups” was one theme of the Healthy Aging public input.
Five regional forums leading up to 2015 Conference on Aging were one source of public input. Members of the Healthy Aging Collaborative participated in the Boston Regional Forum. In this forum, older Americans, caregivers, advocates, national and community leaders, and experts convened to discuss the key issues facing older adults today. Attendees generated feedback, identified key priorities and challenges, and proposed policy solutions, which are reflected in the final report.
Rob Schreiber, M.D., Medical Director of Evidence-Based Programs at Hebrew SeniorLife and a member of the Healthy Aging Collaborative’s Executive Committee, spoke at the second panel about how community-based organizations and programs need to align to empower older adults and support healthy aging. Jim Roosevelt, who recently retired as CEO of the Tufts Health Plan, and Ruth Palombo, Senior Health Policy Officer for the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and Executive Committee member, both helped to compile input and reported out suggestions from these groups to the entire group of participants.