Annual Conference Features Replicable Programs and Practices to Promote Healthy Aging and Age Friendly Communities
New York’s network of aging services professionals are convening today and tomorrow in Albany for the 22nd annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, which highlights the policy and program direction New York State is taking to improve the lives of older adults and their families. The conference presents 33 training workshops on innovative programs, replicable practices, and service delivery reforms that enhance programming for older adults, support caregivers, utilize the skills and talents of the older population, and connect health care, long-term care, and social services to improve overall public health.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “The value of older adults to their families and communities is undeniable, and this conference is another key step toward realizing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision as the first age-friendly state. ACUU provides ideas and options for creating vibrant, high demand, livable communities that benefit individuals, families, and the economy. Pursuing this path is important not just for older adults, but for people of all ages.”
New York State ranks fourth in the nation with more than 3.7 million people age 60 and older, and has 4.2 million people between the ages of 45-59.
Governor Cuomo recognizes the value of older adults and the economic, social, and intellectual contributions they make to their communities, families, and the state. In his 2017 State of the State, he laid out a comprehensive plan to advance a “Health Across All Policies” approach to incorporate health considerations into policies, programs, and initiatives led by non-health agencies. This included making New York the first age friendly state in the nation as defined by the World Health Organization/AARP 8 domains of livability. Under the Governor’s leadership, New York was declared the first age friendly state in the nation in 2017.
The Health Across all Policies approach systematically takes into account the health and health system implications of decisions; seeks synergies; and avoids harmful impacts to improve population health and incentivize age friendly and livable communities through a multiagency, multi-strategy approach.
Senator Sue Serino, Chair of the New York State Senate’s Aging Committee, will provide opening remarks, and will discuss the importance of older New Yorkers and the efforts underway to enhance services for the aging population.
The conference’s opening session by Greg Allen, Director of the Division of Program Development and Management in the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs, will help conference attendees understand the opportunities to improve health under the state’s move toward value based payment. “NYS Value Based Payment is a Team Sport – What Role Can You Play?” will focus on better aligning social determinants of health and behavioral health with traditional health care for overall improved service integration.
The afternoon session features Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Her presentation, “Building the Business Case for the Aging Network,” will outline shifts in how social services are organized and delivered, as well as how to leverage new opportunities through financing, measuring, and managing services through partnerships with health care.
Tomorrow’s featured speaker, Kathleen Otte, Bi-Regional Administrator for the US Administration for Community Living, will discuss efforts and innovations underway at the federal level and provide insights about the future direction of aging services.
This year’s conference offers a variety of replicable practices, including workshops on business acumen, aging in place, partnerships with health care organizations, managed long term care, LGBT, scams, telehealth, caregiving, and promoting healthy aging and age-friendly models, among others.
Michele Roberts, Interim Executive Director of the Association on Aging New York said, “That we have outstanding participation yet again this year, with more than 460 registrants, speaks to the incredible value of ACUU for aging services professionals, who serve an evolving and ever-expanding population of older New Yorkers. We know that to do more to help older New Yorkers maintain their independence, we must work together and find innovative ways to deliver services. There is a great deal of new information the aging services network must continually learn and retain in order to provide quality services at the local level, and ACUU has always been vital in meeting this requirement.”
The ACUU conference is a collaborative professional development event for New York’s 59 county-based area agencies on aging (AAA) and close to 1,200 community-based service providers, and attracts professionals from the community-based long-term services and supports sector, senior centers, adult day services programs, caregiver programs, transportation service providers, nutrition services programs, geriatric mental health programs, consumer directed programs, individuals with disabilities programs, and health care professionals, among others.
About the Association on Aging in New York
As a representative of New York State's 59 mostly county-based area agencies on aging (AAAs), the goal of the Albany-based Association on Aging in New York (Aging NY) is to advocate for and support the AAAs in strengthening and expanding long-term services for older adults so they may age in place in the community. The Association also provides AAAs with professional development and education through conferences, webinars, regional caregiver forums, and a fall leadership institute. Aging NY receives support from AAA membership dues, New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) grants, and educational program sponsorships. For more information on Aging NY, visit www.agingny.org.
About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.