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GSA Will Address Family Caregiving, Social Isolation in New Orleans Press Briefings

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2016

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Two press briefings designed to inform reporters about issues affecting America’s aging population have been scheduled for The Gerontological Society of America’s upcoming 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This five-day gathering will take place from November 16 to 20 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel and Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. The events listed below will take place in room Studio 4 at the Marriott. Media representatives are invited to register for the meeting free of charge.

Luncheon Press Briefing: "Isolation: The Stealth Health Threat"
Thursday, November 17, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Isolation is more than being alone; it’s the result of being disconnected from support groups of family, friends and community. A number of factors may contribute to disconnection in older adults: reduced mobility, hearing or vision loss, lack of access to affordable transportation, death of a spouse. But whatever the cause, the effect is the same: millions of adults age 50+ are at risk of diminished health because they’re isolated. Did you know that…

  • Prolonged isolation in older adults erodes health — equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day?
  • Seventeen percent of adults age 65+ are isolated?
  • Subjective feelings of loneliness can increase the risk of death by as much as 26 percent?
  • Older adults who struggle financially are at even greater risk of isolation?

Through an interactive discussion, this session will explore the negative health effects of chronic isolation and loneliness.  

Speaker: Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation

Luncheon Press Briefing: “Families Caring for an Aging America”
Friday, November 18, 12:45 to 2 p.m.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently released a report on family caregiving for older adults with recommendations for public and private sector policies to support the capacity of family caregivers to perform critical caregiving tasks, to minimize the barriers that family caregivers encounter in trying to meet the needs of older adults, and to improve the health care and long term services and supports provided to care recipients. This session will provide insight on the findings, recommendations, and next steps related to this report. (Developed by The Gerontological Society of America and supported through a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

Speakers: Richard Schulz, PhD, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh; Rita Choula, MA, senior advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute; Jennifer L. Wolff, PhD, associate professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Rani Snyder, MPA, program director, The John A. Hartford Foundation

Complimentary press registration information and an online meeting planner are available at www.geron.org/press.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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