With primary and general elections on the horizon across the U.S., the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today released a series of high-priority questions for candidates. The AGS candidate question guide is aimed at helping Americans keep all political leaders--including and perhaps especially those running for president--committed to a clear, articulated vision how they will support us all as Americans age.
"How candidates answer a question gives us a sense of what policies they would put forward to support us all as we age," explains AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. "The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights how important federal and state leadership are to having policies in place that support the health of us all through a comprehensive approach informed by how geriatrics approaches our care: Team-based, person-centered, and focused on the whole person, with the goal of each of us remaining active and engaged in our communities."
The AGS question guide--published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.16515) and in an easy-to-use, tweetable format at the AGS #Decision2020 Hub, AmericanGeriatrics.org/Decision2020--focuses on eight policy issues important to older adults, caregivers, and the health professionals who help promote their well-being:
1. Ensuring Access to Geriatrics Health Professionals: What policies and programs would you champion that would increase access to geriatrics health professionals for older Americans?
2. Expanding Title VII Geriatrics Training Programs: How would you work to expand the reach of federal training programs so that all older people have access to health professionals who are competent to meet our needs as we age?
3. Ensuring Our Workforce is Competent to Care for Older Americans: How would you reform graduate medical education to address the gap between training requirements and our nation's need for a workforce to care for us as we age?
4. Reducing the Toll and Impact of Chronic Diseases: How would you prioritize aging research across federal agencies and institutions so that we can address the human and economic toll of chronic diseases on older Americans?
5. Ensuring Access to Adequate Pain Relief for Older Americans Living with Advanced Illness: What policies would you champion to ensure frail older Americans living with advanced illness (typically those 85 years old or older, with multiple chronic conditions) have access to adequate pain relief?
6. Supporting American Women:
- What will you do to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work?
- What are your plans for ensuring women and other traditionally underrepresented groups are vibrant parts of your Administration?
7. Supporting American Families: How would you ensure that all Americans, including all those employed by the federal government, have access to paid family leave?
8. Addressing Complexity in Caring for Older Americans:
- How would you work to improve the quality and efficiency of care delivered to the increasing number of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic and complex conditions?
- How would you improve care and care coordination across healthcare settings important to individuals who have dual eligibility for both Medicare and Medicaid?
Each issue included in the guide features background on its importance, as well as potential policy solutions to help guide voter evaluations of candidate responses. To make its recommendations as actionable as possible, the AGS also included contact information for presidential candidates, as well as tools for determining state and local contenders by district, on its #Decision2020 Hub. Visit AmericanGeriatrics.org/Decision2020 to learn more.
About the American Geriatrics Society
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has--for more than 75 years--worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.