Thursday, May 5, 2011

Women and Aging 2011: Policy Implications for an Aging Population

The United States is bracing for a dramatic cultural and economic shift sparked by our rapidly-aging population. Women over 60 make up a rapidly growing percentage of those retired or entering retirement. As this trend continues, the need for a national dialogue on the future of America’s aging women is more urgent than ever before.

Volunteers of America is excited to announce its third-annual discussion on women and aging on May 10, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Guest panelists include Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post; Debra Ness, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families; Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Executive Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement for AARP; and Mike King, National President of Volunteers of America. The discussion will focus on public policy surrounding the needs of America’s women as they age into an uncertain economic future where access to health care, income and other vital resources is often elusive. Everyone who can make it is encouraged to attend the event and participate in the discussion.

To illustrate the importance of public policy for aging seniors, consider some important facts and figures:

· Women over 60 make up 80% of the caregivers for chronically ill or aging relatives.

· Women can expect to spend 18 years caring for a parent.

· Women have a longer life expectancy than men on average.

· 66% of baby boomers feel they have not adequately prepared financially for the future.

· Nearly half of women caregivers (48 percent) say the economic situation has made providing care more difficult.

· 39% of current non-caregivers are not confident about their ability to cover the costs of their possible future care responsibilities.

Responsible public policy is crucial to meet the needs of our nation’s women. Women like Jeannette can’t afford to wait and women like her need a certain future in our society. As a community, we must start this discussion today. Please join the conversation, spread awareness and get involved today.

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