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Preparing for the ‘Silver Tsunami’: How can we better care for Minnesota seniors without breaking the bank?

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Americans are good at spending a lot of money on health care in our final days, but not as adept at providing the supports frequently needed to maintain health or to deal with chronic illnesses toward the end of life. But the overall quality of life experienced by a large and growing number of Minnesotans will largely be determined by how well we care for our elders. By 2020, for the first time in Minnesota history, those 65 and older will outnumber school-age kids. By 2030, one in four Minnesotans will be 60 or older.

Many believe that neither our health systems nor most individual citizens are fully prepared for this coming “silver tsunami.” As Minnesota’s baby boomers start entering their 70s, some longstanding questions take on new urgency: How can we have better health outcomes while spending the same or less than we do now? What innovations will change the face of elder care in Minnesota? And what roles do individuals and the public sphere have in preparing for our future?

MinnPost Managing Editor Susan Albright will put those questions to leading representatives from several corners of the Minnesota healthcare community in a lively panel discussion. After the experts have given their prescriptions, audience members will have a chance to pose questions of their own, and perhaps offer a second opinion.

Guest panelists include:

  • Mary Jo George — Associate State Director – Advocacy, AARP
  • Dr. Thomas Klemond, MD — Palliative Medicine and Community Care Department Chair, Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Gayle Kvenvold — President/CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota
  • State Sen. Tony Lourey — Chair, Health and Human Services Finance Committee
  • Dawn Simonson — Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging

The conversation will be of interest to a broad set of stakeholders engaged in advancing health care in Minnesota: state and local governments, community partners, the health sector, service organizations, and anyone with a personal interest in eldercare issues.

This event will take place 7:30-9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. Drinks and light breakfast items will be provided.

Registration is required, but admission to the event is free, thanks to the generous support of UCare.