Now in the Third Quarter of Life, baby boomers know that the years between ages 50 and 75 rarely prolong the prime time of their lives, physically or professionally. Nonetheless, most look forward to possibilities unimaginable in youth. “Sixty is the new 40,” promises the media. Yet do baby boomers accentuate the positives of aging without facing up to the challenges of advancing years?
On Thursday morning AIA15 attendees gathered together for the final general session of the 2015 Aging in America Conference. Sponsored by AARP, the session was a great finale to a week of sharing ideas, policies, lessons learned and research findings in the interest of improving the quality of life for older adults. Keynote speaker Debra Whitman, PhD, Executive Vice President of Policy, Strategy and International Affairs at AARP, spoke about the critical need for changes in our communities to make them livable for our aging society.
At the halfway point of the AiA15, no one is showing any signs of slowing down. Wednesday morning’s general session started with a moving tribute to the men and women who served and worked through World War II, with special guests that included Elinor Otto who, at 95, was an original "Rosie the Riveter" and only retired this year from her job at a Boeing plant. Elinor was joined by three Tuskegee Airmen.
￼She could always remember the farm. The best gift we could give her was to take her away from the nursing home, drive to the country, and look at the wheat. If we were lucky, we ran into someone we knew working the fields. Back in the nursing home, she kept reminders: a four-foot metal windmill, a concrete pig, and a plastic chicken. But in the country, during the drive, she could remember and she could see.
The hallways of the Hyatt Regency Chicago were buzzing with energy as the AiA15 conference community came together for the second day of the 2015 Aging in America Conference. With sessions throughout the day covering a breadth of issues and topics, attendees had plenty of options to choose from. AiA15 Mobile App user Cozzie King may have summed up the day best when she posted,
Neither rain nor sleet nor snow can stop ASA Members.
I am so excited to be attending the Aging in America Conference! It’s such a wonderful week of learning and connecting with everyone focused on making the aging journey a positive one. At AGE of Central Texas we believe that “Aging is a shared journey of triumph”, and that education is the best tool for accomplishing this.
It is my greatest pleasure to contribute to the American Society on Aging as the chair of the Lifetime Education and Renewal Network (LEARN) Council since nearly two years. I would like to thank the whole council for their amazing work, their enthusiasm and passion in the field of lifelong learning, as well as for the time they have devoted to LEARN. I would also like to thank these members who will complete their terms of service at the 2015 Aging in America Conference: Leah Ferster and Hope Levy.
Let’s start at the beginning: What is NEST?
NEST stands for the Network on Environments, Services and Technologies. We are a group of colleagues from across the spectrum of aging services and across the United States. We are dedicated to maximizing the functional capacity of and promoting independence for elders through appropriately designed environments, services and technologies. For additional information on NEST, click here.