2018 Press Releases

Could Links Between Our Senses & Cognitive Health Explain Parts of How We Age? Experts Like the Sound (& Sight) of That, According to New Report

  • Could links between vision, hearing, & brain health explain parts of how we age? @AmerGeriatrics & #geriatrics experts like sound (& sight) of those connections, according to @AGSJournal report http://ow.ly/Ng4Y30lX4ge

New York (Sept. 24, 2018)—Experts at a prestigious medical conference hosted by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) hope their work—reported today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society—will have colleagues seeing eye-to-eye on an important but under-researched area of health care: The link between impaired vision, hearing, and cognition (the medical term for our memory and thinking capabilities, which are impacted as we age by health concerns like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).1 With vision and hearing loss already affecting up to 40 percent of older adults1—and with one-in-ten older people already living with Alzheimer’s disease2—the conference reviewed the current state of science regarding how these common health challenges might be connected, why the answer might matter, and what can be done to reduce sensory and cognitive impairments to preserve our health for as long as possible.

New Online Tools Provide Best Practices in Surgical Care for Older Adults

Developed by a multi-specialty editorial board brought together by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Geriatrics Society, and funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, new virtual patient cases include a host of critical issues for older adults facing surgery, from medication management to end-of-life care planning

  • First of their kind #geriatrics virtual patient cases for Surgical and Related Medical Sub-Specialties from @ABMSCert @AmerGeriatrics @JohnAHartford put best practices for surgical care in hands of health professionals who will care for us all as we age https://bit.ly/2pdX31Z

New York (September 17, 2018)—The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, today unveiled one of the field’s first suites of online tools to aid surgeons and related medical sub-specialists who care for older people. With the number of older adults undergoing surgery increasing faster than the rate of the population aging itself1, the new series of nine AGS’ Geriatrics Virtual Patient Cases (VPCs) for Surgical and Related Medical Sub-Specialties are geared toward helping the entire healthcare system better understand and respond to the unique care needs of older adults.

Draft AGS Updated 2018 Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults Now Posted for Public Comment

New York (Aug. 13, 2018)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today opened a public comment period for reviewing the draft AGS 2018 Updated Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. Last updated in 2015, the AGS Beers Criteria® remain one of the most frequently cited reference tools in geriatrics, detailing certain types of medications which may be inappropriate to prescribe to older people who are not receiving hospice or palliative care. Comments from any and all members of the public—accepted only at https://www.americangeriatrics.org/form/ags-beers-criteria-public-comment through 5pm ET on Sept. 4, 2018—will help inform the final version of the AGS 2018 Updated Beers Criteria®, slated for release this fall. 

For their proposed 2018 update, the interprofessional panel of geriatrics experts responsible for the AGS Beers Criteria® identified more than 40 potentially problematic medications or classes of medications presently organized across five lists:

  • Two draft lists detail potentially inappropriate medications for most older adults or for those with specific health conditions; 

  • One draft list describes certain medications that should be used only with considerable caution; 

  • One draft list details specific medication combinations that may lead to harmful “drug-drug” interactions; and

House Budget Plan Proposes Unjustifiable Cuts Impacting Us All as We Age—AGS

Geriatrics experts today voiced grave concerns regarding drastic proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, & other support platforms essential to us all as we age, as outlined in the U.S. House of Representatives.

New York (July 2, 2018)—In response to a budget blueprint in the U.S. House of Representatives proposing more than $530 billion in cuts to Medicare and more than $1.5 trillion in cuts to federal health programs overall—and a time when more Americans than ever before are poised to contribute to our communities thanks to federal services and supports—the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today redoubled its strong opposition to any plan for balancing governmental spending at the expense of older Americans.

“We are troubled by this budget proposal to decrease support for older adults even as more and more people across our communities approach age 65,” noted AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “Federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid have been essential to the forward momentum that has helped us live longer. We continue to offer our support and expertise to the many bipartisan legislators and experts working across the aisle on meaningful proposals that would help—not harm—us all as we age.”

New Geriatrics Legislation in Senate Highlights Bipartisan Collaboration Across Congress Aimed at Better Present, Future for Us All as We Age—AGS

New York (May 22, 2018)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today offered a ringing endorsement of the bipartisan Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act (S. 2888), 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 echoes similar bipartisan legislation proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017. Now pending in each chamber of Congress, both proposals draw on considerable insights from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a collaborative comprised of more than 30 member organizations reflecting the diverse expertise of millions of professionals who support health in aging for older Americans and caregivers.

“The future we’re working for at the AGS—a future where 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, and a similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, we’re committed to a future when all Americans can look forward to high-quality, person-centered care.”

AGS Deeply Troubled by News of Possible Nursing Home Evictions Following Cuts to Medicaid

As the AGS continues to voice concern for public policy changes that jeopardize care for older Americans the Society’s geriatrics experts call for safeguards to protect older people who rely on Medicaid for long-term services and supports.

New York (May 11, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today voiced concern over recent reports that budget cuts in Louisiana could terminate Medicaid benefits for more than 35,000 residents of nursing and group homes, as well as for individuals who receive care at home while living well below the federal poverty line. The loss of Medicaid coverage—the federal program that funds long-term care for older Americans—not only jeopardizes long-term care benefits but also could lead to housing evictions for older people already living with limited means. As other states across the U.S. face similar budget concerns, the AGS urges state and national policymakers to support solutions that ensure all older Americans can look forward to health, safety, and independence in the communities they helped shape.

In Louisiana specifically, the state budget now includes steep health spending cuts—including those aimed at Medicaid benefits—to compensate for lost tax revenue exceeding $1 billion. Worried that other states facing similar budget gaps could turn to healthcare cuts impacting older people, AGS experts again cautioned that programs like Medicaid and Medicare remain crucial to ensuring we all have access to high-quality, person-centered care as we age.

AGS Welcomes 25 New Fellows Recognized for Exceptional Commitment to Geriatrics

New York (May 8, 2018)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has honored 25 leading healthcare professionals who joined the newest class of AGS Fellows—a select group of experts recognized for their deep commitment to the AGS and to advancing high-quality, person-centered care for us all as we age.

“All of our fellows are colleagues who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to geriatrics, have contributed to advances in care, and are active participants in AGS activities,” noted Laurie G. Jacobs, MD, AGSF, President of the AGS, in recognizing the new AGS Fellows at the AGS 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS18; May 3-5 in Orlando, Fla.).

This past year’s fellows hail from all four corners of the country and reflect the increasingly interprofessional nature of geriatrics as a field attracting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physicians assistants, social workers, and many others. They include:

Drawing on 30+ Years as Geriatrician & Health System Leader, Dr. Laurie Jacobs Convenes Congress of 2,500+ Geriatrics Experts as New AGS President

  • Drawing on 30+ years of experience as geriatrician & health system leader, Dr. Laurie Jacobs convenes meeting of 2,500+ #geriatrics experts as new President of @AmerGeriatrics http://ow.ly/iBc030jLiTF

New York (April 30, 2018)—As more than 2,500 geriatrics experts prepare to converge on Orlando, Fla., for the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS18), their commitment to research, clinical practice, and public policy serving us all as we age will be reflected in the expertise of the Society’s newest president: Laurie G. Jacobs, MD, AGSF. A seasoned health systems leader, educator, and geriatrics scholar, Dr. Jacobs has been an AGS member since 1988 and an AGS Board representative since 2011. She will begin her tenure as AGS President outlining her vision to improve health in aging by disrupting outdated models of care as she opens #AGS18, which runs May 3-5 (pre-conference day May 2) at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort®.

“The AGS membership and geriatrics community is uniquely positioned to both provide care to older adults and to shape how that care is provided now and in the coming years,” notes Dr. Jacobs.

Recent Executive Actions Continue to Concern AGS Regarding Care We All Need as We Age

New York (April 18, 2018)—In response to regulatory actions that took aim last week at essential health benefits for all Americans and support systems for the poor, experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) again cautioned that such changes could jeopardize the health, safety, and independence of us all as we age.

“To ensure we have access to high-quality, person-centered care, we need to support policy solutions that can help all of society benefit from increased longevity,” noted AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “Solutions that strip health protections for Americans while also risking important gains for some of society’s most vulnerable individuals remain counterproductive to what we all need as we age.”

These warnings come just days after President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating work requirements for people receiving food assistance, Medicaid, and low-income housing subsidies because they already live at or below the federal poverty line. With many of America’s more than 43 million caregivers relying on such supports to make caregiving possible, such a sweeping directive could risk care quality for older adults now while jeopardizing well-being for more Americans in the years to come.

In New Research Anthology, Geriatric Experts Look to Future for Managing Dementia and Mental Health

A new supplement to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds field leaders in dementia and mental health research weighing in on the science, public policy, and professional education and practice that will change our experience of aging.

New York (April 16, 2018)—In a newly published collection of research reports and essays, more than 20 experts in aging are looking to the future of science, professional education, clinical practice, and public policy to address two of America’s fastest growing health concerns: Dementia and mental health in late life. Across 10 articles compiled as a supplement to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), field leaders in geriatrics, dementia, and mental health have traced the trajectory of everything from our knowledge of neurological systems contributing to dementia to the development of new interprofessional approaches to teaching and managing late life problems in mental health. In so doing, they hope to chart a course forward for bridging the gap between science and clinical practice, which could transform the prevention and treatment of dementia and mental illness for us all as we age.