Women In Government is pleased to announce its Outreach to Vulnerable Populations meeting, held in St. Louis, Missouri. Women legislators from across the country met to discuss policies aimed at addressing the aging populations’ struggles financial literacy, elder justice, achieving higher education, and healthcare.
See details below to learn more about the issues discussed:
Welcome & Aging Overview
David Sykora, the Executive Director at the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging spoke about his work providing excellent community-based services for older adults in the City of St. Louis. From the innovative Minor Home Repair and Chore Program, which provides minor home repairs and household chores for senior citizens from more than four hundred volunteers from several youth programs participate in the program, to transportation and health programs, they improve the lives of those aging in their community. Visit their website to learn more about their comprehensive programs.
Health Living & Aging
During this session, Sarah Lovegreen, Health Manager at the St. Louis Regional Office of the OASIS Institute, focused on closing the gap between the healthcare settings and community offerings, with a specific look at how chronic conditions and falls affect our aging population. Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and tobacco use all increase a person's risk of disease and often, once they have this chronic condition, individuals are at an even greater risk of falling. Ms. Lovegreen examined the rising costs of chronic diseases and falls among seniors and how OASIS acts to address these issues. Learn more by visiting the OASIS website here, and accessing Ms. Lovegreen's presentation here.
This segment focused on how individuals must address their health and nutrition throughout their lives. Denine Rogers, President of HEPSA Living Healthy, discussed topics such as the connection between dental health and healthy eating, regulation of nutritional standards at nursing homes, and nutritional disparities across communities and demographics. Ms. Rogers detailed areas where legislators can offer policy support to address malnutrition of seniors within their states. Learn more by visiting the HEPSA Living Healthywebsite here, and accessing Ms. Rogers' presentation here. You can also view sample legislation from Ohio that addresses Malnutrition here.
Baby Boomers & Hepatitis C
Nicole Niwa, Healthcare Outreach Specialist in the Illinois House of Representatives, discussed Hepatitis C, known as the "silent disease". Hepatitis C is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality and the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. This disease particularly affects the baby boomer generation and veterans. It is linked to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, and is also the leading cause of liver transplantation. Access Women In Government's newly updated Hepatitis C Education & Awareness Toolkit here, and view Ms. Niwa's presentation here.
Mobility for Seniors
James Stowe, MS, the Coordinator for Trauma Injury Prevention at the University of Missouri Hospital provided his expertise on safe driving and mobility counseling for seniors who are medically at risk or impaired. While many older adults limit driving exposure voluntarily, they still have needs to travel and require services to accommodate them, and need counseling when driving is no longer a viable option. Learn more by accessing Mr. Stowe's presentation here.
Focus on Alzheimer’s
This session featured Carrol Rodriguez, the Chief Operating Officer of the Alzheimer's Association of St. Louis spoke about the the recent community conversations that took place in St. Louis, and how public-private partnerships can be focused on early detection and diagnosis. She also provided an overview of the disease, who it impacts, how we can be aware of the diagnosis, and the new Healthy Brain Initiative. Visit the CDC website here to access the Initiative roadmap, and view her presentation here for more information.
Elder Justice Roadmap
Laura Mosqueda, MD, the Chair of Family Medicine and Director of Geriatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, spoke to conference participants about her work. Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation present a complex constellation of issues that requires a multifaceted response from the health, social service, and legal fields. In order to begin the process of developing a comprehensive strategy, policy partners have been working on an “Elder Justice Roadmap” to find solutions. Learn more about the concept of the Road Map here, and at the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect here.
Protecting Vulnerable Adults
Representative Joyce Peppin from the Minnesota State Legislature spoke about her work addressing the way caregivers can buckle under the pressure of an unexpected addition to their responsibilities, and some can even take advantage of the vulnerable adult in their care. Minnesota passed Chapter 175--S.F., No. 1586 to make this kind of elder abuse and neglect a felony in their state.
For Legislator or Registration information, please contact:
Johnathan Lozier, Project Manager, Legislative Outreach
202.333.0825 ext. 214