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National Aging and Law Conference Addresses Critical Issues Facing the Nation's Older Population

Conference Resources on Critical Issues Available on AARP Foundation Website

AARP Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AARP, along with leading legal and older persons-focused organizations brought together experts to address the critical legal issues facing many of our country's older population at the sixth annual National Aging and Law Conference in Arlington, Virginia from April 20th-23rd.

Headlining the conference were topics including the legal troubles that Hurricane Katrina has brought to the older population, the legal issues surrounding the newly enacted Medicare Modernization Act, common nursing home problems faced by those fifty plus, and the expected impact of the new Supreme Court on laws affecting the older population across the country.

The many valuable resources that were used and presented at the Conference can be found on the AARP Foundation website. Materials include numerous presentation and discussion handouts from the various issue sessions as well as presenter biographies, and background information about the conference itself.

Reporters interested in speaking with conference participants, please contact Martin Burns at 202-434-2572.

Keynote speeches were given by Joanne Lynn, M.D., an internationally-known leader in helping terminally ill patients improve the quality of their lives, and by Kenneth S. Apfel, former Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), who discussed the present and future focus of Social Security.

Martha Bergmark shared stories about Katrina's devastation of coastal Mississippi and the difference volunteer lawyers and law students continue to make in assisting Katrina victims. After her presentation, a panel discussed "lessons learned" for future evacuation needs of older residents.

Legal advocacy is one of the cornerstones of AARP Foundation and encompasses areas of federal and state laws that affect older Americans day-to-day lives including: age and disability discrimination in employment, pensions, financial fraud including predatory lending, health and long-term care, disability and government and public benefits.

Other event sponsors included the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the National Senior Citizens Law Center, The Center for Social Gerontology, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Consumer Law Center, and the National Association of State Units on Aging.

The AARP Foundation is AARP's affiliated charity. Foundation programs provide security, protection and empowerment for older persons in need. Low-income older workers receive the job training and placement they need to re-join the workforce. Free tax preparation is provided for low- and moderate-income individuals, with special attention to those 60 and older. The Foundation's litigation staff protects the legal rights of older Americans in critical health, long-term care, and consumer and employment situations. Additional programs provide information, education and services to ensure that people over 50 lead lives of independence, dignity and purpose. Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP.

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