A Thicker Net: Health Forum Aims to Improve Support Services for Seniors

California’s elderly population is growing–while funding for essential services continues to shrink.

Advocates, including seniors themselves, are unhappy but resourceful, and are beginning to strategize about reversing the trend (or determining alternative solutions should that prove impossible).

Enter the second Senior Health Policy Forum, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30 in San Francisco. The first Bay Area Senior Health Policy Forum was held in Oakland in 2009. More than 200 participants came together for panel discussions and workshops to facilitate collaboration among senior advocates and professionals and identify a common focus to help strengthen the safety net for California’s seniors.  On the agenda: how to age in place, caregiving, homecare and medical care/treatment, among other topics.

Among the speakers at Wednesday’s Bay Area Senior Health Policy Forum will be:

  • State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley
  • Diana Dooley, secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Melanie Bella, a director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • David Ishida, regional administrator at the U.S. Administration on Aging.

California’s over-65 population is going to double in the next 25 years, while studies show the number of elderly struggling to pay for medical bills and other basic needs has reached record levels. According to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 47 percent of state residents 65 and older are unable to cover grocery, health and housing costs. Even in the affluent Silicon Valley, 48 percent of seniors fell below the researchers’ survival standard, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Want to go? It’s not too late! The event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. Registration is $45. More information: http://www.shpfregistration.org/

How to get to the event venue, St. Mary’s Cathedral.

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