Advanced Old Age In America: What Can We Count On?
Advanced Old Age In America:
What Can We Count On?

Thursday, September 26, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. ET

Continental breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.
Lunch will be offered after the event.


The recent wave of proposals to reform the health care system and "bend the cost curve" present a tremendous opportunity to improve care for the fastest growing, most expensive, and least well-served age group in the U.S.—our frail elderly. Americans in advanced old age generally have complex health and social situations, limitations in self-care capabilities, and limited financial and personal resources. Yet the health and social services we need when old and frail are poorly planned, unnecessarily costly, and disconnected. As the nation considers different strategies and policy changes to strengthen and streamline health care, we must also include a special focus on the distinct priorities and preferences that we will have when we are old and frail, as well as those of our family members and caregivers.

This roundtable focuses on health care reform and elderly Americans living with frailty in their last years, addressing questions such as:

  • How serious are the shortcomings in services and the expected growth in costs as the population ages? How much time do we have to make arrangements for the coming increase in numbers?

  • What should we promise to individuals living with frailty in old age and their families? How does this differ from the current trajectory?

  • Half of those who live past 85 years old will have cognitive failure. What health care, social supports, and financial arrangements would serve people touched by this challenging situation?

  • Which of the current reforms and trials offer prospects of moving us toward a workable set of solutions—that is, more appropriate and desirable services, at lower cost? Are there additional strategies that should be tested and developed?

  • What role might local coalitions, commissions, and communities have?
Presenters include:
  • Joseph Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute

  • Shannon Brownlee, Senior Vice President, Lown Institute; Senior Fellow, New America Foundation; Instructor, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

  • Suzanne Burke, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

  • Susan Dentzer, Senior Health Policy Adviser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Moderator)

  • John Feather, Chief Executive Officer, Grantmakers In Aging

  • Jennie Chin Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, American Geriatrics Society

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-GA) 

  • Joanne Lynn, Director, Altarum Institute Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness

  • Anne Montgomery, Senior Policy Analyst at Altarum Institute's Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Visiting Scholar at the National Academy of Social Insurance

  • John Rother, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Coalition on Health Care

  • Mimi Toomey, Director, Office of Policy Analysis & Development, Administration for Community Living

  • Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA)