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International Conference on Aging in the Americas to be Held Sept. 17-19

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 9, 2013 — The LBJ School of Public Affairs will present “The 2013 International Conference on Aging in the Americas” (ICAA) on Sept. 17-19 at the Julius Glickman Conference Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The 2013 conference is the sixth installment in the Conference Series on Aging in the Americas, a successful series of meetings on aging in the Hispanic population established in 2001 at the university. This year’s conference is titled “Demographics of Aging in the Americas: How Should We Prepare for an Aging Population in Mexico and in the U.S.A.?” 

“The 2013 ICAA meeting draws attention to issues facing aging populations nationally and globally,” said LBJ School Professor Jacqueline Angel, a leading scholar of aging in Latino and other populations. “Relevant examples are the different but similar problems faced by Mexico and United States as these societies contend with multiple demands for public use of scarce resources. Mexico’s population is relatively young, but at the same time the country must address the needs of a growing elderly population with far more limited resources than the U.S. The United States, with a much older population with a growing fraction of people 85 and over and a shrinking working-age population, must deal with a much larger old-age dependency burden. The conference will address the challenges both countries face in different social, cultural and economic contexts.” 

The conference will provide a unique opportunity for leading scientists involved in the study of Latino health and aging to set the research agenda from a binational perspective on a large and rapidly growing segment of the population in the United States and in Mexico that has long been overlooked.

 “The 2013 ICAA puts us on a more solid footing to produce the research and policy analysis that describe how aging impacts Latinos in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America, and how diversity issues for Latinos influence demographic change in the U.S.,” said Fernando Torres-Gil, a conference co-organizer and leading scholar of minority aging from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Other conference organizers include Jacqueline Angel of The University of Texas at Austin and Alberto Palloni of the University of Wisconsin. The conference is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the Population Research Center, the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Austin Community Foundation, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and AARP.

The conference will take place during National Hispanic Heritage Month. In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a monthlong celebration. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Hispanic Americans and the anniversaries of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua as well as Mexico’s independence on September 16.

The conference will also include a poster session for students conducting research on social, psychological and biological factors that affect the health and long-term care of Hispanic elders. Prizes will be awarded for outstanding research projects.

For more information on the sixth International Conference on Aging in the Americas, including a preliminary agenda, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/2013/

More on the Hispanic population in the U.S.

As of July 1, 2007, the estimated Hispanic population in the United States was 45.5 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority, representing 15 percent of the nation’s total population.  This vital conference will provide the opportunity for scientists involved in the study of Latino health and aging to set the research agenda on a large and growing segment of the U.S. population that has long been overlooked.  

More on the Conference Series on Aging in the Americas

The Conference Series on Aging in the Americas has several goals. One is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration by gathering a broad array of researchers in the fields of Hispanic health, health care policy, and behavioral and social aspects of aging into a single forum to exchange ideas and foster collaborative efforts aimed at addressing key issues affecting the health of aged Latinos.

The first conference, “Aging in the Americas: Critical Social Policy Issues,” took place in 2001 and explored the consequences of changing population processes, including migration, on the economic dependency of Hispanic individuals. For more information, including a conference summary report, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/index.php.

The second conference was held in 2005. A wide variety of issues and opinions were covered at the second conference, but three themes stood out: There is a Hispanic aging boom driven in part by the fact that Hispanics live longer than non-Hispanic whites; longer years of life for Hispanics do not translate into healthier years of life; and for many Hispanic populations, particularly those residents of the U.S.-Mexico border, aging must be understood in a binational context. For more information on the second conference, including a conference summary report, abstracts, videos and transcripts, visit http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/research.php.

The third conference was held in 2009 and examined the biobehavioral underpinnings and social interaction on Hispanic health. Conference participants deduced what was lacking in the research in order to develop effective health care policy in the Mexican-origin population. The conference shed new light on the need for a collaborative effort in investigating Hispanic health and the protective role of immigration and family.

The fourth conference was held in 2010 and examined the issues of disability, caregiving and long-term care policy. The meeting brought together nearly 200 participants, including many of the world’s leading researchers in older people of Mexican origin from academia, science and policy disciplines. For more information, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/2010/index.php

The fifth installment was held in 2012 and focused on national, international and comparative studies of Hispanic aging and related methodological challenges and was held at the University of Southern California. For more information, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/2012/index.php

For more information, including a conference summary, conference report and feedback from conference attendees, visit: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/2009downloads.php