Annual Conference Features Replicable Programs and Practices to Promote Healthy Aging and Age Friendly Communities
The network of aging services professionals and service providers are convening today and tomorrow in Albany for the 22nd annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, which presents 35 training workshops on replicable good practices in innovative programs and service delivery to help older New Yorkers, families, and people of all ages with disabilities live with dignity and autonomy in their homes and communities of choice.
The conference’s opening session by Marty Bell, executive director of the National Aging in Place Council, features communities that are proactively changing through redesign and future-based planning to help older adults successfully age in place. Bell’s presentation highlights dozens of innovative approaches being implemented all over the country that will challenge what it means to be age friendly.
Tomorrow’s keynote speaker, Tom Kamber, PhD, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, and activist who has created new initiatives in aging, technology, affordable housing, and the arts, and is founding executive director of Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). Since 2004, Kamber and his team have helped more than 35,000 older New Yorkers through the creation of one of the nation’s most powerful and successful models to harness technology to change the way we age.
This year’s conference also offers a variety of replicable practices and innovations from across the state’s aging services network including workshops on advocacy, aging in place, partnerships with disabilities organizations, no wrong door, the aging mastery program, scams, telehealth, caregiving, and promoting healthy aging and age-friendly models, among others.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2017 State of the State 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 includes making New York the first age friendly/livable state in the nation as defined by the World Health Organization/AARP 8 domains of livability.
The Governor’s “Health Across all Policies” approach systematically takes into account the health and health system implications of decisions; seeks synergies; and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “The value of older adults to their families and communities is undeniable. This conference is another important step toward realizing Governor Cuomo’s vision to create the first age-friendly state in the nation and provide communities ideas and options to improve their level of livability for people of all ages. Age friendly communities are vibrant and in demand, and benefit the individual, the family, the community, and the economy.”
Michael Romano, President of the Association on Aging New York and Director of the Oneida County Office for the Aging said, “That we have outstanding participation again this year, with more 450 registrants, speaks to the value of ACUU for a growing group of professionals who serve an ever-expanding population of older New Yorkers. The annual conference continues to be valuable resource for all who provide community-based long-term services and supports for older adults. 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 through educational program sponsorships, key supporter program for organizations, and affiliate member for individuals. 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. For more information, please visit NYSOFA’s Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.