Momentum Discussions

Discussions that stimulate dialogue on trends with great momentum to advance gerontology.

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Friday, November 16 • 10 to 11 am

Improving the Oral Health of an Aging Society
Despite substantial evidence that good oral health is an important part of overall health and well-being, improving or maintaining oral health in the aging society remains a significant challenge due to multiple potential access barriers. To promote better oral health and quality of life outcomes in older adults, we need to focus all members of the health care team on interprofessional whole-person care that recognizes the inherent connection between oral and systemic health and is valued in the health care system. Fundamental to this effort is the conviction that health professionals of all types, not just dental professionals, can be “oral health champions” by advocating, educating stakeholders, and providing and facilitating direct care that supports better oral health. This session will address the need for more research to demonstrate evidence for effectiveness of interventions provided by nondental health professionals, showcase how workforce management and a greater understanding of roles and resources can improve oral health in older adults and illustrate how an interprofessional educational approach to approach to oral health care has enhanced students and practitioners understanding of the oral-systemic linkage.
Supported by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Mars Wrigley Confectionery.

Leveraging Improved Vaccine Technology and the Healthcare Team to Protect Older Adults
The immunization landscape for older adults has experienced a boom of innovation in recent years, such as higher doses, adjuvants, and recombinant technology to offer more effective products against influenza and shingles for older adults. At the same time, research offers a better appreciation of the impact that vaccines have on the health of older adults, including prevention of heart attack and stroke that are caused by influenza disease. All of these developments further the case for a strong recommendation for vaccination by health care professionals, but adult immunization rates remain low. Evidence-based strategies show that the entire health care team can contribute to raising immunization rates in offices and communities.This session will explore the exciting developments in vaccine technology, review the underappreciated benefits of vaccination, and share evidence-based strategies for the health care team to approach raising immunization rates, thereby preventing disease and its complications in older adults.
Supported by Pfizer, Merck, and Seqirus.

Saturday, November 17 • 10 to 11 am

Older Adults and Clinical Trials—Methodological Approaches and Communication Techniques
Patients enrolled in a trial should be representative of the types of patients who are likely to use the medical product. Certain populations can be more at risk for certain diseases—such as diabetes and heart disease—than others. So, it is important for patients in those populations who are more likely to be treated for a condition to be included in a trial. Experience has shown that there can be important differences in how people of diverse groups respond to medical products. This session will provide an overview of key methodological approaches to clinical-trial design for inclusion of older adults and diverse populations. It will also feature a video resource that illustrates how to understand age-associated communications deficits, explains how to manage complex communication issues experienced by many older individuals and demonstrates several communication techniques to expedite recruitment of older adults into clinical trials.
Supported by Pfizer.

Inside Innovative Technologies: Outwit, Outlast, and Outlive—The Role of Artificial Intelligence and Data to Drive Innovation in Aging
Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep neural network techniques have a profound potential to unlock learning, discover new hidden signals in large data, and offer predictions to enhance our health, human performance, and experience of aging. Panelists will discuss techniques, research, and benefits of using these technologies to explore aging. Their insights will enhance our understanding of the assumptions, data, and algorithms used to generate and train these systems. A simple example: if we train our autonomous cars using data accumulated testing with young male drivers, how will the system be prepared to signal need for a human intervention when the driver is an older woman? How should we be thinking about architecting these systems to help us avoid our biases, particularly as we look to improve our understanding of aging and create innovative solutions to support us as we live longer?

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