Illuminations: Growing Old with Dignity

Never in history have so many people lived so long. People aged 60 and older now make ups 12.3 per cent of the global population. Thanks to leaps in medical science, technology and economic opportunity, this includes individuals who have acquired disability earlier in life as well as the general population aging into disability. Challenges and opportunities abound. How can families and guardians, clinicians and direct support staff provide the care our diverse elderly communities require?

To tread this uncharted terrain, we must first grasp the effects of impairment over the life cycle and assess the interventions needed as impaired individuals age. Which interventions impact clinical wellness and quality of life in a positive way, and how can these be applied to broader programs? How do the needs of people with developmental disabilities diverge from those of people with psychiatric disabilities and indeed of people with physical disabilities—or any combination thereof?

Today’s demographic stresses are momentous, however, policymakers lag in their search for sustainable solutions. We laud the expanded life expectancy of people with disabilities once associated with early mortality, yet society is ill prepared to handle the meteoric rise in cases of Alzheimer’s. The health reports on our health services and supports is discouraging, not least in America, where Medicare and Medicaid face prohibitive wait lists and pressures. Any effort to heal these ailing institutions must transcend health care and living facilities. Of equal importance is to provide older adults, particularly those with impairments, the skills and succor to achieve an active, healthy lifestyle that lowers their risk of injury and liability and enhances their quality of life.

To make headway in this complex topic area, we welcome insights from international and local stakeholders including policymakers, researchers, assistive technology innovators, direct support professionals, advocates and current or prospective caregivers of older adults. In our quest for Illuminations: Growing Old with Dignity, we invite bold insights about successful aging.

We are seeking proposals in the following areas:

  • Presentations addressing modalities of inclusion, equality and independence;
  • may encompass assistive technology;Innovative research and best practices in funding for elder care, ; best practices; trend analysis; training and education programs, housing, community living,  and geriatric sciences as it pertains to disability and aging;
  • Multi-disciplinary collaborative efforts and diversity-centered interdisciplinary aging research as it relates to cultural identities, physical and mental ability, religion, class, and other intersections;
  • Solution based advances towards mitigating and eliminating universal issues of poverty, abuse, discrimination and access to care;
  • Sustainable practices for training and maintaining quality caregiver and social support services.
  • Innovative programming, research and advocacy as it relates to the intersection of aging and disability;
  • Prospects and plans for future long terms services and supports, including integrated care approaches for the aging population;
  • Best practices for health care and supports for aging adults with intellectual disabilities.

If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format. 

Please see presentation formats on our webpage at http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/presenters/formats.  Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions or send your proposals via email to prcall@hawaii.edu.

For more information about this topic area, please  contact the Conference Team at prcall@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email prreg@hawaii.edu.