AAHSA Meeting: Advancing Advocacy, Forecasting a ‘Silver Tsunami’

Advancing its mission of advocacy, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) kicked off its annual conference with a rousing introduction of its new name: LeadingAge; and its tagline: “Expanding the World of Possibilities for Aging.”

Approximately 7,000 attendees and exhibitors filled the Los Angeles Convention Center for a full slate of more than 200 educational sessions that covered everything from healthcare reform and MDS 3.0 issues to clinical topics and diversity in the workplace.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at the opening general session, where the rollicking introductory music, strobe lights, and conviviality among attendees made it feel like an old-time revival meeting, AASHA Board Chairman Wynn Marshall said the name change “reflects our mandate to inspire, serve, and advocate.” He also charged members to get more involved in advocacy on a grassroots level, acknowledging that frontline staff most likely knows little about the association and “have not been invited to the table of inclusion.”

AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix acknowledged the many issues, both political and social, that will have sea-changing effects on long-term care, including the coming “silver tsunami” of Baby Boomers advancing to senior citizenship. He also said technology is a major component of these changes as it aids in developing the sense of community necessary in senior living.

Attendees enjoy snacks in the Los Angeles Convention Center food court.

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