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Aging in Place Conference

SESSION TWO - Thursday, September 18, 2014
A Stakeholders' Conference on Care, Healthcare, Finance and Law 
On Friday, June 20th, 2014, a diverse and attentive audience gathered at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center for the inaugural session of the Touro College and University System Conference on "Aging in Place: A Stakeholder's Conference on Care, Healthcare, Finance, and Law." The interdisciplinary audience consisted of individuals from the fields of social work, law, government, and academia including, Touro Law Center faculty and students. Click on the links to access the “Aging in Place Handout” and the “List of Pertinent Articles and Reports”, Compiled by Kenneth A. Knapp, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy SHSP, New York Medical College.
Following Dean Patricia Salkin's opening remarks, Carol Levine, Director, Families and Health Care Project, United Hospital Fund, kicked off the conference by providing a passionate and insightful glimpse into the "Comprehensive Care Continuum" in particular, the challenges confronting many of our nation's vulnerable seniors and their caregivers. Ms. Levine's presentation titled, "Aging in Place: Can We Get There from Here?", addressed the complicated web of options available to seniors when attempting to navigate our healthcare system. At the conclusion of her presentation, Ms. Levine posed a series of "Questions for the future" notably:
• How do we educate the public about planning for care needs, and reach a broad audience?
• Are there better ways to develop well trained and well paid health care workers?
• Who will take the lead on these issues?
Panel II's keynote speaker, Eric Sokol, Vice President of Public Policy at the Alzheimer's Foundation, discussed the "Impact of Alzheimer's Disease and the Policy Responses to this Challenge." Among the numerous facts and statistics cited by Mr. Sokol during his presentation, the following were particularity noteworthy:
• The total number of people with Alzheimer's Dementia in the United States in 2050 will be 13.8 million, up from 4.7 million in 2010;
• According to the Rush Institute Study, Alzheimer's Disease is the third (3) leading cause of death in the United States. (Click here to access the Rush Institute Study which was published in the March 5 print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.).
• In 2012, the direct costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's Disease to American Society totaled an estimated $200 billion, including $140 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.
At lunch, Jean Accius Ph.D., Director, Health & Long-Term Services and Supports, AARP, provided our speakers and attendees with plenty of food for thought during his presentation, titled, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: The State of Long-Term Services & Supports." During his presentation, Dr. Accius referenced the "State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Disabilities and Family Caregivers." Please click here to access the report and an interactive map of State Rankings and a "State Comparison Tool."
Greg Olsen, Executive Deputy Director, New York State Office for the Aging, got the afternoon session off to a great start by providing a brief overview of the programs and services offered by the New York State Office for the Aging. In addition, Mr. Olsen went on to consider innovative strategies for financing the long-term care offered to seniors.
Panel IV was lead by Professor Marianne Artusio, Director of Touro Law Center's Aging and Longevity Institute and Director of Touro's ElderLaw Clinic. Marianne relied on her vast experience in Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 guardianship matters in presenting the challenges faced by lay guardians to maintain an incapacitated person in the community while simultaneously meeting the complicated obligations imposed by the Court's orders. Before Professor Joan Foley's closing remarks, Bob Abrams, Esq., co-founder of Touro's Aging and Longevity Law Institute, rounded off the conference by cataloging the myriad of legal issues affecting seniors and emphasized the critical role lawyers will play in shaping the way the nation addresses the care afforded to our aging population.
A special thank you to all of our speakers for taking the time to address our audience and for contributing their skill and expertise to this exciting and rewarding conference. In addition, thank you to those speakers who provided PowerPoint presentations and materials which we have created links for above.
The second session of our Aging in Place Conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 18th at the Touro Law Center during which participants will join in facilitated working sessions on innovative models, policies, proposals for legal change, and possible demonstration projects.
If you are interested in attending this second session, please write or call the Conference Administrator, Robert Cannon at or (631) 761-7190.