New Year, New Administration: It’s time to pay attention to policy

As everyone knows, a new administration is about to begin in the federal government.

So I have been thinking about what this might mean for the health and well-being of older adults, and family caregivers.

In terms of impact on the lives of seniors, the actions of federal, state, and local governments are MUCH more powerful than the impact of the health and aging innovation sector. Really, what government agencies do — and most importantly, pay for — often leads the tech innovators, rather than the other way around.

In particular, Medicare’s policies drive the health care experience for older adults, Medicaid is a major source of long-term supports and services in aging, and the services funded by the Older Americans Act provide (not yet enough) information and assistance to older adults and families.

Donald Trump, as far as I know, did not really emphasize aging or family caregiving issues during his campaign. His campaign proposed tax deductions for family caregiving.  And I’m not aware of his addressing aging issues other than saying he’d leave Medicare and Social Security alone. [Read more…]

How the White House & Others are “Gauging Aging”

If you were to host a conference on aging, what would you put on the agenda?

And how would you talk about it?

I found myself mulling this over as I watched the first part of the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), which took place on July 13th.

What’s your frame on aging? Start with the Gauging Aging report

It’s especially interesting to consider the WHCOA in light of the recently published “Gauging Aging” report by the Frameworks Institute.

“Gauging Aging,” simply put, is a report about the differences in how aging experts and the public think about aging. It’s based on an in-depth analysis of how experts talk about aging and supporting an aging society, compared to how the public views the issues and the potential solutions.

By understanding the differences, experts can then get better as using communications that brings us to a shared understanding of the problems to be addressed,  in order to effect changes that are meaningful and beneficial. After all, narratives and ideas are important in framing how people perceive problems, and their options for addressing them.

[Read more…]