4 Influencers in Aging on the Future of Aging in America

  • 2018-04-20
  • Forbes

Gretchen Alkema, vice president, policy and communication, The SCAN Foundation:

“We often think of aging as negative motifs like a change in function and decline... We have to transform that into how you are living every day, how you are doing, what are the needs and preferences driving a person’s life and how can we support them? It takes a huge shift to do this. The aging services field has a great opportunity to say: ‘Let’s transform the conversation to say: ‘Who you are and what matters to you are as important as the life stage you’re in and the health and daily living activities you face.’"

“The world I live in is health care... Most people want to not engage with the health care system. How many of us woke up today and said: ‘God, I can’t wait to go to the hospital!’ So what is the way we can innovate in that platform? People are walking into health care with the absolute premise of vulnerability; something is not going well and that’s why they are at the doctor… How do we honor the person entering that doorway and say: ‘What’s going on with you now and what do you need?'

“A policy passed in February was fairly astounding for me: The CHRONIC Care Act. It fundamentally transforms the way Medicare can provide services to people with long-standing chronic conditions and fundamental limitations for their daily living needs… We’ve been talking for a long time about how to use Medicare dollars to support people’s health and well-being through things that are not necessarily medical innovations… It’s an important law.”