So far I have only found a few interesting sites about remarkable older people, although there are a lot of older bloggers, mainly in America who have interesting stories to tell. It has taken hours of relatively aimless surfing to find them. (You can read about my travels by clicking on “Cloud Surfing” in the TAG CLOUD).
At last my cloud surfing adventure finally seems to have led me to something more substantial in terms of social policy.
Today I surfed all the way across the Atlantic and washed up at a conference at the White House. It took a bit of time surfing that far so I arrived late :-). It actually took place on 13th July.
The American Conference on Ageing has taken place every 10 years since 1961. On arrival my first problem was my Google door key had hundreds of options but no obvious directions. So, I went down lots of blind alleys for a while, which seems to be the way with cloud surfing.
Eventually I found a video podcast of President Obama making his introductory speech. President Obama at the 2015 Conference on Ageing (Click here if you have 20 minutes to spare).
President Obama made a very polished speech, with lots of self congratulations about the funding of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Evidently America truly is a land of milk and honey. Though I don’t suppose that President Obama’s old age will be dependent on Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security
He did then mention that 10,000 Americans reach 65 every day.
Then he pointed out:
- Medicare and Medicaid are under demographic pressure and in deficit, so there is a need to “slow the growth of health care costs”. Sounds like code for cuts for the 9 million people on Medicaid.
- Americans are not saving enough for retirement and many have to live only on social security.
- They have a problem with high fees and biased advice for financial products for the elderly.
- 1/3 of Americans do not have a workplace pension.
- Quality and safety in nursing homes is a big issue.
- They are going to train more prosecutors to combat elder abuse.
- Half of all Americans are expected to experience severe financial needs.
This rather takes the shine off President Obama’s message but sounds very similar to the situation in the UK!
It certainly was a polished politician’s speech but it didn’t sound as though President Obama’s promises would amount to very much action.