White House Conference on Aging

The inaugural White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) took place in 1961. A decennial, Washington, DC-based event, it is designed to facilitate broad engagement among federal officials, stakeholders, and other individuals across the country who are interested in aging issues. A major goal of each WHCOA has been to identify and advance actions that will improve the quality of life for older Americans. Last held in 2005, the next Conference will take place at the White House on July 13, 2015.

The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.The July event is part of a year-long effort to listen, learn, and share with older adults, their families, their caregivers, community leaders, and experts in the aging field on how to best address the changing landscape of aging in the coming decade.  The 2015 Conference has four key topic areas: healthy aging, long-term services and supports, elder justice, and retirement security. Learn more about the WHCOA here

LSA and the WHCOA: Our Involvement and Advocacy

LSA President and CEO to represent the LSA network at the White House Conference on Aging.

Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), will represent the LSA network at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.  This once-a-decade forum will take place at the White House on July 13, and will feature remarks from President Obama and senior Administration officials.  Attendance at the event is by invitation only, but stakeholders across the country are invited to livestream the conference, host watch parties, and engage online.  Learn more about how you can be participate! 

LSA is hosting a Watch Party!

LSA will be hosting a watch party in Washington, DC.  We invite you to join us virtually or send your questions to Lindsey Copeland, LSA's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy by Friday, July 10.  We will submit the questions on your behalf! 

To host your own watch party or to stream the the event live, see our "Get Involved" section below. 

LSA Presents: Senior Services Stories

With two-thirds of our members providing services to seniors nationwide, thousands of elderly adults are touched by the LSA network every year. Here are four inspiring stories of how our members have transformed the lives of those they serve. We will be highlighting these stories in our social media channels. We invite you to follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. #WHCOA

Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries and Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries

Graceworks Lutheran Services Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Lutheran Services Florida Guardianship Program

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Caregiver Support


LSA Policy Recommendations to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging 

Long-Term Services and Supports
  • Develop and adequately fund a national system to finance and provide access to high-quality, culturally competent long-term services and supports (LTSS) for all Americans.
  • Eliminate Medicaid’s historical institutional bias.
  • Increase federal funding and support for critical home and community-based programs, such as those authorized by the Older Americans Act.
  • Eliminate the Medicare requirement that a beneficiary must be “homebound” as narrowly defined in current law and implementing regulations in order to receive ongoing home care coverage.
  • Increase funding for federal programs that support family caregivers, including the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Care Program.
  • Support efforts to help providers identify and implement strategies to respond to the emerging trends in the post-acute care market, so that they can continue to provide care to those that need it most.
  • Develop and promote unique approaches to offer and fund improved team-based training for LTSS care providers, including direct-care workers, family caregivers, and health care professionals.
  • Enhance, improve, and extend the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) and Money Follows the Person (MFP), and further improve mechanisms for ensuring that Medicaid beneficiaries can both choose and access home and community-based LTSS.
Healthy Aging
  • Count time spent in observation status towards the three-day prior hospitalization requirement to be eligible for the Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefit.
  • Build the capacity of the eldercare workforce and provide training in geriatric principles.
  • Implement and adequately fund innovative care coordination models that increase supports and
  • provide caregiver training.
  • Make the Qualified Individual (QI) program and the Medicare improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) low-income outreach and enrollment funding permanent.
  • Establish dementia as a qualifying event for the Medicare home health benefit.
Retirement Security
  • Expand Social Security benefits and extend program solvency by increasing benefits across- the- board; instituting the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which reflects actual elder spending patterns; adding a caregiver credit, which recognizes interruptions in labor force participation to provide services to family members. Any enhancements in Social Security benefits should be exempt from income and should not count for the purpose of Supplement Security Income (SSI) eligibility or benefit amount.
  • Support programs and policies that enhance individual health and economic security.
  • Secure adequate administrative funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to increase staffing and office hours, reduce wait times for applicants and beneficiaries, and reinstitute the mailing of annual benefit statements.
  • Support reallocation of the Old-Age and Survivors (OASI) payroll tax to address the imminent funding shortfall in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
Elder Justice
  • Create a dedicated federal funding stream for Adult Protective Services (APS).
  • Develop a national APS system based on standardized data collection, a core set of service provision standards, and best practices. This national program should be administered by the Administration for Community Living.
  • Ensure adequate funding for and provision of culturally competent provider and workforce training.
  • Banking regulations currently require reporting of suspected fraudulent transactions due to senior exploitation. Direct the Treasury Department to enhance reporting of data and outcomes from Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) including giving feedback on outcomes to financial institutions who file SARs. Report SARs to local law enforcement and Adult Protective Services.
  • Direct all federal agencies who are a part of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council to have elder abuse prevention information, including where to report elder abuse at the state and local levels, on their respective websites. 

LSA Members Participation in the White House Conference on Aging

Read about the LSA members that participated in White House Conference on Aging Forums here.

Participate with LSA: How LSA Members Can Get Involved

While in-person attendance at July's WHCOA will be quite limited, the White House is committed to bringing a national voice to the event.  To facilitate remote participation and widespread engagement both leading up to and during the event, the White House is encouraging stakeholders to get involved in a number of ways:

Watch the Conference Live and Host a Watch Party!

The White House is live streaming the conference and encouraging everyone to watch.  The live stream will be available here on July 13. Invite your friends and colleagues to watch the live stream of the July 13 event. To facilitate a national conversation, the White House has developed this discussion guide.  LSA will be hosting a watch party in Washington, DC.  We invite you to join us virtually!

Ask the Experts: Submit Q&A in Real Time

During the event, post to Facebook and Tweet the White House your questions using #WHCOA.  They will pass them along to the experts participating on panels at the conference.  Follow the WHCOA on Twitter, @WHAging.  If you have questions to submit but will be unable to live stream the event, please send your questions to Lindsey Copeland, LSA's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy by Friday, July 10.  We will submit the questions on your behalf! 

Interview an Older Adult

Download the StoryCorps app to record an interview with an older adult in your family or community. Upload the interview to archive it in the Library of Congress and share it on social media using the #WHCOA hashtag.  For more information about StoryCorps and the WHCOA, please click here. For more information about recording your interview, visit StoryCorps Getting Started. To listen to stories of older Americans selected from the StoryCorps archives, visit StoryCorps.org/whcoa.  We encourage the LSA network to participate in this exciting opportunity.  Please let Lindsey Copeland, LSA's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy know if you record and submit an interview!

Share Your Story

Let the White House know why the issues discussed at the conference are important to you or how you plan to participate in the conference.  You can submit this information via a web-based portal on the WHCOA website, or by clicking here.

Complete the Sentence

How would you finish the sentence: “Getting older is getting better because …”? Download this form and tell the White House how getting older is getting better. Take a photo, fill in your answer, and send it back via Twitter using #WHCOA.

News and Updates

LSA Submits Comments on WHCOA Policy Briefs

The White House Conference on Aging released four policy briefs on the topics of retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice.  The briefs define and frame each issue and examine it from various perspectives. They also include comments collected from the Conference on Aging website, and the latest in evidence based information. Each brief concludes with a series of discussion questions, to which organizations and individuals are encouraged to respond. Comments that were received by June 12 will be used to develop a report that will be issued in conjunction with the summer conference. Read LSA’s comments here.  The issue briefs are available here.

White House Conference on Aging Announces Date for National Conference

On May 28, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced that the national 2015 White House Conference on Aging will be held on July 13 at the White House.  The July event is part of a year-long effort to listen, learn, and share with older adults, their families, their caregivers, community leaders, and experts in the aging field on how to best address the changing landscape of aging in the coming decade. According to Nora Super, Executive Director of the WHCOA, “The 2015 Conference seeks to embrace the transformative demographic shift occurring in the United States to recognize the possibilities, rather than the limitations of aging.”  The White House has yet to release agenda or attendance information, but we expect in-person participation to be limited.  Anticipating interest beyond what the White House will have the capacity to host, the WHCOA has created resources and opportunities for Americans of all ages and across the country to get involved leading up to July 13, and during the event itself.  Learn more here.

Press Releases

LSA Members to Participate in Upcoming White House Conference on Aging Regional Forum

LSA Members Participate in White House Conference on Aging Regional Forum

LSA Members Represented at White House Conference on Aging