The proposed new installments of the conference series on aging in the Americas (2012-2014) will focus on the state of readiness for addressing the needs of Latino elders and for sustaining their health and well-being. The most poignant example is the Mexico-U.S. contrast as these societies are contending with multiple demands for public use of scarce resources and have overlapping, interdependent populations and family networks transcending both nations. Thirty papers and six keynote speakers from sociology, psychology, social policy, medicine, economics, gerontology, demography, epidemiology, and community health will 1) discuss the impact of changing demographics on community capacity for successful aging, including health, housing, and food security;2) create a strategic framework for future transnational comparative research on Hispanics in the U.S. and Mexico, including issue identification and the available data resources for advancing a high quality research menu on this fundamental issue;and 3) develop a set of goals for advancing the healthy aging in the Mexicanorigin population from a bi-national perspective. Collectively, the research will provide new knowledge on the health consequences of emerging trends in the Americas for Hispanic communities and will inform new strategic initiatives to adequately respond to the accelerating demands of aging populations.
The coming nexus of aging and diversity faced by the United States will require a greater level of scrutiny and analysis if we are to provide policy solutions to aging and health care in the United States and, by example, in Mexico and throughout Latin America. A conference focusing specifically on increasing scholarly Latino research into the aging process from a bi-national, interdisciplinary, and comparative perspective is vital. The next installments of the Conference Series on Aging in the Americas will make a substantive contribution to the knowledge base, filling a significant vacuum of information on this under-studied but increasingly prominent population and the consensus objectives will inform the NIH Healthy People 2020.
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