Guest blog written by Ellen Young
The Irvine Health Foundation brings together expertise and investment to improve the health and well-being of the diverse population of Orange County - with a specific focus on older adults and military veterans. When we first got introduced to Aging2.0, we immediately led the launch of an Orange County, CA Chapter. Wanting to get more involved and committed, we joined the Aging2.0 Leaders Circle in early 2018. Our membership has been incredibly valuable thus far, between the connections we have been able to make and the continuous support from the Aging2.0 HQ team.
The recent Aging2.0 Caregiving Forum in San Francisco on May 1, 2018 was the first event that we attend as Leaders Circle members. Not only was the Forum incredibly well put together, the content was so rich and applicable to the state of caregiving from all perspectives. As we are building our own digital platform in Orange County to support local resources and provide content and community for older adults and their stakeholders, the Caregiving Forum allowed us to gain an even wider view of this important piece to the aging puzzle.
The first panel at the Forum, “From the Front Lines: Family Caregiver Panel” was particularly relevant to us. It was emotional and authentic - giving unique insight into the roles of family caregivers that often find themselves in unexpected and unfamiliar territory. This panel evoked a sense of empathy and also the great need for support and advocacy for caregivers and their families.
The other panels provided additional insight, and first-hand views into the overall landscape through the eyes of trained caregivers, the business perspective, as well as from the solution-oriented innovators. All of the content throughout the day - including deep dives into the challenges, barriers, needs, successes, workforce issues, goals, and many other layers of caregiving - provided such a wide lens into this Grand Challenge topic.
Another beneficial aspect of the Caregiving Forum was the ability to connect with some of the best startups in the space, as well as major companies that committed to this topic. The member-only Alliance Roundtable (which took place immediately after the Forum event) allowed for discussion into the significant sub-challenges of Caregiving - plus time to brainstorm potential solutions and ways to overcome identified barriers. We hope to continue this conversation through our engagement in the Aging2.0 Alliance community.
Our membership with the Aging2.0 Leaders Circle has really opened doors for us to build great relationships, to grow our knowledge, but also to take part in the forward-thinking ideas that flourish when you bring together the business community with innovators, caregivers, community organizations, healthcare providers, and most importantly, the older adult population.
We look forward to the Brain Health Forum in August that will take place in Toronto, Canada. We know that the Aging2.0 team will once again deliver valuable content and connections that will continue to push us to think outside of traditional approach and to be innovators in the ways we move beyond conversation and to actively take part as key players in solutions and progress.