News/Press Releases

Progress with Geriatrics Legislation Highlights Bipartisan Collaboration for Care We Need as We Age—AGS

New York (Jan. 31, 2019)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today offered a ringing endorsement of the bipartisan Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act, a proposal in the U.S. Senate to ensure communities across the U.S. have access to health professionals and other critical supports improving care for us all as we age.

Introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the bill aims to address the shortage of health professionals expertly trained to care for older people, and also advances supports for older adults, caregivers, and the interprofessional teams responsible for delivering high-quality care. The bill draws on considerable insights from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a collaborative comprised of more than 30 member organizations, including the AGS, reflecting the diverse expertise of millions of professionals who support health and aging for older Americans.

“The future we’re working for at the AGS—a future when all older Americans have access to high-quality, person-centered care—begins by building the workforce to make that possible, and by ensuring that workforce can connect us to the tools and supports we need as we age,” notes AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. “We commend Sens. Collins and Casey for working with us and our partners to make that future a reality with the Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act. By standing behind this legislation, we’re committed to a future when all Americans can look forward to affordable, high-quality, and person-centered care.”

For Older People, Medications Are Common; Updated AGS Beers Criteria® Aims to Make Sure They’re Appropriate, Too

New York (Jan. 31, 2019)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today unveiled its latest update to one of geriatrics’ most frequently cited reference tools: The AGS Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. With more than 90% of older people using at least one prescription and more than 66% using three or more in any given month,1 the AGS Beers Criteria®—a compendium of medications potentially to avoid or consider with caution because they often present an unfavorable balance of benefits and harms for older people—plays a vital role in helping health professionals, older adults, and caregivers work together to ensure medications are appropriate.

“Medications play an important role in health and wellbeing for many older people,” noted Donna M. Fick, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, a co-chair of the expert panel responsible for the 2019 AGS Beers Criteria®. “With this new update, we hope the latest information on what makes medications appropriate for older people can play an equally important role in decisions about treatment options that meets the needs of older adults while also keeping them as safe as possible.”

For Experts in Aging, a New Take on Learning to Lead with Tideswell-AGS-ADGAP ELIA Program

New York (Jan. 3, 2019)—Experts in geriatrics, the healthcare specialty dedicated to our needs as we age, are making more than a New Year’s resolution to continue improving our care as we grow older. With the publication of new research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), these experts also hope their resolution will become a more tangible reality thanks to the Emerging Leaders in Aging (ELIA) Program, a promising approach to leadership development for a profession that has witnessed impressive growth but also tremendous demand in recent years.

Piloted by Tideswell at UCSF, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), and the Association of Directors of Geriatrics Academic Programs (ADGAP), ELIA has offered intensive leadership training to more than 60 geriatrics health professionals from all corners of the country. With an eye toward driving the social change necessary to make high-quality, person-centered care an actionable priority, ELIA’s qualitative and quantitative successes, published today in JAGS, chart a course toward leveraging long-distance mentoring and project-based learning to empower the emerging innovators we will need in greater and growing numbers as more of us age.

ACA Ruling Risks Future Stability of Care as We Age, AGS

New York (Dec. 20, 2018)—As it has since 2016, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) again expressed concern for the future stability of high-quality, person-centered, and affordable health care should bipartisan collaboration falter following a federal court ruling last Friday, which jeopardizes important gains under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The AGS is not alone. A host of legislators, policy experts, healthcare stakeholders, and older adults, families, and caregivers across the country have also called for swift action to clarify and appeal the decision, which questioned the constitutionality of the ACA after its “individual mandate” for health insurance was repealed in 2017. Though this week’s district court ruling does not immediately strike down the systems put in place by the ACA—systems which have been critical to securing health coverage for more Americans, including older adults—it does risk throwing our health care into greater chaos without swift, bipartisan action on effective solutions.

We All Want “Healthy Aging,” But What is It & How Do We Promote It? New AGS Report Looks for Answers & Solutions

  • New report from #geriatrics experts at @AmerGeriatrics explores concept of “healthy #aging”: What it means, why it matters, how it can become a reality for us all as we age https://bit.ly/2EXZsIV

New York (Nov. 1, 2018)—“Healthy aging” sounds like a priority we all can share, but for geriatrics healthcare professionals—the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physicians assistants, social workers, and many others dedicated to the care we need as we age—that term represents something specific, and something worth defining. Led by Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, colleagues from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) set about doing just that as part of an expert panel convened to look critically at what “healthy aging” really means. Their definition—published in a white paper today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15644)—explores the intersection between our personal care goals and innovations in science, education, and public policy as the place where healthy aging may be understood best.