The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center will be one of a handful of agencies in North Carolina that will live-stream this week’s White House Conference on Aging.
The once-a-decade conference takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 13. Residents are invited to participate and ask questions of panel experts via the Twitter hashtag #whcoa.
According to the White House Conference on Aging, the goal of Monday’s event is for “older adults, families, caregivers, advocates, community leaders, and experts in the aging field to hold watch parties across the country to make this the largest White House Conference on Aging to date.”
Helayne Levy, an elder law attorney with A Practice With Purpose, North Carolina’s first and only elder law and life care planning firm, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a director of the local NALEA chapter’s board. NALEA President Shirley Whitenack was selected to be in attendance at the Washington, D.C., conference.
Topics that will be highlighted on Monday include long-term services and supports, healthy aging, elder justice and retirement security, Levy said.
“We know that these areas are critically important to our local residents. Our seniors share very real concerns about the local resources that will be available to them and the quality of those resources,” Levy said. “The most frequent calls for help that we get involve the ability to age in place, at home, with maximum independence and sufficient support to do so with the greatest chances of success. The challenges we see are people that find themselves caught in what we call ‘the system’ of institutionalized care that begins when the level of care needed in the home does not match the level of care provided.
“As a result, a person experiences a catastrophic health event such as a precipitous fall, sustaining a hip fracture, because he/she was living at home with insufficient care. Invariably, the person experiences the revolving door of hospital-to-rehab-to-home but, if home with insufficient support, re-entry into ‘the system’ is bound to happen.”
More than 85 watch parties across the country have registered with the White House.
“The very message we carry with us as local geriatric advocates is this–healthy aging serves as the catalyst for stronger and more sustainable cognitive and physiological functioning at higher levels and for longer periods of time,” Levy said. “Our local area is targeted to experience exponential growth in the numbers of aging adults who will not only need, but will demand, a better way to age.
“The White House Conference on Aging and the local watch parties all around the country allow for concentrated energy and opportunity around this critical dialogue. This speaks to the very core of who we are as a society– one that supports its aged.”