President Obama’s Speech Puts Aging Concerns in National Spotlight

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — echoes President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for investments in medical research, making it a national priority alongside defense, energy, and education.

“Our organization, like the president, urges Congress to protect job-creating investments in science and innovation,” said GSA Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, RPh, MPH. “We agree that federal budget sequestration would have a devastating impact in this arena — particularly for older adults, the fastest growing demographic segment of our population.

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The U.S. Administration on Aging forecasts that one in five Americans will be age 65 or older by 2030; currently, baby boomers are turning 65 at a rate of nearly 10,000 every day.

The president specifically highlighted how federal funding has advanced the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and fostered the discovery of drugs that can repair damaged organs. He also underscored the need for Medicare reform to secure adequate health care for both current and future generations of seniors.

“Furthermore, making higher education more affordable and accessible, which the president emphasized in his speech, will ensure that we have a workforce prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of an aging society,” Appleby said. “GSA encourages a continued national dialog that will steer us toward a healthy and financially secure future for all Americans as they age.”

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