At #AGS19, geriatrics experts cast widest net yet for social, scientific innovations
Credit: (C) 2019, American Geriatrics Society
When today’s Baby Boomers were just starting their careers, smoking was still en vogue, American life expectancy still hovered in the 60s, and “Medicare” was a term yet to be coined. Yet the advances that have allowed Baby Boomers to live longer than any generation before took root in those early days, when “today” was still “tomorrow.” That same spirit now will shape care for future generations of older adults, as more than 2,500 of the world’s leading geriatrics experts converge on Portland, Ore., this May 2-4, for the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS19).
This cadre of the field’s preeminent physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, long-term and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, journalists, and advocates will collectively explore the latest research, education, and innovation across a program with more than 100 events and built from more than 1,000 scholarly submissions. Browse highlights below, and be sure to visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org for registration, the full program schedule, and everything else #AGS19.
* A Dementia-Specific Advance Directive (May 2; 8:15-9:15am PT)
As cases of dementia continue to rise, so too do medical, legal, and ethical questions about care decisions for those impacted. This session will address dementia-specific advance directives (legal documents that help outline future care preferences and expectations), including laws related to patient rights and the ethical nuance of coordinating better care while also supporting personal rights.
* How to Build a Business Case for Becoming an Age-Friendly Health System (May 2; 8:15-9:15am PT)
This session offers a rare, inside look at how geriatrics experts can create a business case for building the age-friendly health systems critical to the future of our care.
* The Big Screen Paper Session (May 2; 8:15-9:15am PT)
Screenings for delirium (the term for sudden confusion), falls, frailty, and functional decline form the backbone of geriatrics. But how have these tests kept apace of new research? This session will highlight some of the latest (and most anticipated) evidence addressing geriatrics’ most fundamental assessments.
* Plenary Paper Session (May 2; 9:30-10:15am PT)
This session will highlight the top research abstracts submitted for presentation at #AGS19 from a pool of more than 1,000 contenders. Data on the chronic use of opioids following spinal surgery, intensified treatment of high blood pressure after hospital discharge, and assessments of which frailty measures best predict poor outcomes following aortic heart valve replacement round out our selection of top studies.
* Time’s Way Up! Addressing Pay Inequity and Discrimination for Women in Geriatrics (May 2; 10:15-11:15am PT)
Women have come a long way in the workplace, but gender inequity persists across all professions–and geriatrics is no exception. This session will review the work of AGS members from the Public Policy Committee and Women in Geriatrics Section to develop an AGS position statement on how we can achieve equity for women of all disciplines working to improve care for older adults.
* The Practical Side of Value-Based Care (May 2; 11:30am-12:30pm PT)
One of few priorities that has policy experts and clinicians aligned is a need to reward the value rather than volume of care provided in the U.S. This session offers insights into the basics of value-based care–what it is, why it remains important, etc.–as well as a higher level review of real-world experiences putting the concept into practice.
* Health Services & Policy Research Paper Session (May 2; 11:30am-12:30pm PT)
This session will highlight some of the most impactful health policy research submitted for presentation at #AGS19, including updates on state variations in hospice use, the prevalence of house calls across the U.S., validation of measures to capture aggressive care for high blood pressure, and efforts to improve the continuity of care for older veterans living with dementia.
* AGS CoCare: Ortho™ Education Modules: Fractures for Non-Surgeons and Pre-Operative Evaluation (May 2; 1:30-2:30pm PT)
Supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, AGS CoCare: Ortho™ is a new model helping geriatrics co-managers work with orthopedic surgeons to coordinate and improve hospital care for older adults with hip fractures. The program has a track record for reducing risks for delirium, falls, adverse drug events, and infections. This session will offer an inside look at how co-management works best for non-surgeons.
* Geriatric Education Paper Session (May 2; 1:30-2:30pm PT)
As we continue to benefit from increased longevity, access to a geriatrics-trained workforce will be key. Still, the supply of geriatricians still has yet to keep pace with the steep and growing demand for their expertise. This session will review some of the most promising scholarship on how medical and health-profession education can and should change to improve care for us all as we age.
* Ensuring Research is Relevant: Practical Strategies to Support Inclusion of Older Adults (May 2; 2:45-3:45pm PT)
The National Institutes of Health recently implemented its “Inclusion Across the Lifespan” policy, which calls for greater engagement of older people in federally funded health research. In this session, researchers will discuss best practices for overcoming common barriers to recruiting and retaining older study subjects, from addressing cognitive impairments to reflecting the unique perspective of older adults in research findings.
* Epidemiology Paper Session (May 2; 2:45-3:45pm PT)
In this review of top papers submitted to #AGS19 in the field of epidemiology, experts will highlight everything from suicide prevention to binge drinking among older adults.
* Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture: Disrupting the Silent Winter (May 2; 4-5pm PT)
Laura Mosqueda, MD, AGSF, Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, will deliver this year’s prestigious Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture at #AGS19. One of the country’s foremost experts on addressing and preventing elder abuse, Dr. Mosqueda will examine geriatrics’ approach to elder abuse in clinical practice, research and education.
* Presidential Poster Session (May 2; 4-5pm PT)
The Presidential Poster Session celebrates posters that received top-billing from #AGS19 reviewers across a range of categories, including clinical trials, epidemiology, ethics, geriatric bioscience, and health policy.
* AGS Awards Ceremony (May 3; 7:30-8:15am PT)
Join us as we honor more than 20 of the best and brightest clinicians, researchers, and educators representing the future of geriatrics.
* Using Personal Narratives in Geriatrics: How Stories Can Impact Care, Medical Education, and Advocacy for Older Adults (May 3; 8:15-9:15am PT)
For many geriatrics health professionals, taking time to hear patient stories is a principal reason for pursuing this career. The value of storytelling extends beyond patient encounters, however; it also can advance care, education, and even advocacy. In this session, attendees will focus on using personal narratives and oral histories to build better health systems and health policy.
* Keeping Older Adults Out of the Hospital Paper Session (May 3; 8:15-9:15am PT)
Avoiding hospital visits is a priority for most people, and older adults–still among hospitals’ most frequent visitors–are no exception. In this session, researchers will discuss new strategies for reducing emergency room visits, optimizing value-based care, improving transitions to home, and reducing readmissions.
* Yoshikawa Award Lecture for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation (May 3; 9:30-10:15am PT)
The Yoshikawa Lecture will recognize the research accomplishments of Amy Kind, MD, PhD, one of few physicians in the country with doctoral training in population health. Dr. Kind will deliver a marquee presentation on the social determinants of health with an eye toward reorienting research, policy, and clinical practice to broader systemic factors that shape what it means to age.
* Healthy Aging Through Healthy Nutrition (May 3; 10:30-11:30am PT)
There are many strategies to increase longevity and maintain health, safety, and independence, but having a healthy diet is one of the simplest and most effective. In this session, health professionals will explore how food systems, clinical practice, and specific medical and social interventions have fostered healthy aging by addressing the importance of a healthy diet.
* The Science and Clinical Care of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairments Paper Session (May 3; 10:30am-11:30am PT)
Maintaining mental health is a critical priority for all clinicians and older adults. Thankfully, advances in research and medicine are making that possible, even as increased longevity poses new challenges to staying mentally sharp. In this session, researchers and clinicians will present peer-reviewed research on three “hot topics” shaping the future of mental health for older people: Cognitive function, delirium, and dementia.
* Osteoporosis and Soft Tissue (Muscle/Fat) Disorders: U13 Conference Proceedings (May 3; 10:30am-11:30am PT)
Falls, fractures, and physical frailty are major health concerns in their own right, and deeply connected to other risk factors that can jeopardize our independence. In March 2019, experts convened by the AGS with support from the National Institute on Aging hosted a “U13” conference to look at the relationship between health and age-related changes affecting the bones and muscle/fat tissue. This session will focus on the cutting-edge research they reviewed, highlighting new interventions and clinical management opportunities.
* Public Policy Plenary: The 5Ms of G(g)eriatrics Guiding the 4Ms of Age-Friendly Health Systems (May 3; 11:30am-12:30pm PT)
As we live longer, we need “age-friendly” health systems that understand what makes our care unique. In this session, scholars and clinicians will cover the fundamentals of age-friendly care and the reasons why attention to the “Ms” of geriatrics–care for the mind, medications, mobility, multiple chronic conditions, and what matters most to patients–can lead to health systems better prepared to meet all our needs.
* Quality Improvement Strategies to Improve the Emergency Department Care of Older Americans–Your Role as a Clinical Geriatrics Leader (May 3; 1:30-2:30pm PT)
This session will review best practices uncovered by the Geriatrics Emergency Department Collaborative (GEDC), an innovative partnership between hospitals, health systems, and medical experts in geriatric emergency care. National GEDC leaders will describe how integrating quality improvement strategies into the ED can transform what many describe as the “front porch” of our health system.
* Older Adults with Serious Illnesses Paper Session (May 3; 1:30-2:30pm PT)
As more people look forward to living longer, our health system must also innovate solutions to the serious illnesses we are likely to face as we age. In this paper session, presenters will review emerging concepts and new science for health concerns ranging from rehabilitation after prolonged hospitalization to age-related changes in our gut microbiome.
* New Frontiers in Geriatrics: The GEMSSTAR Awardees Report on Research Leading to Improved Care by Surgical and Medical Subspecialists (May 3; 2:45-3:45pm PT)
Ensuring all health professionals appreciate geriatrics principles remains a top priority for the future of our care. This symposium will highlight related research supported by the Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) program. GEMSSTAR scholars are changing health care’s attention to older people across all disciplines and fields. This presentation of their work offers a rare inside look at how a diverse array of specialties are adopting innovative strategies to care for older people.
* Lightning Science: Brief Presentations of Top-Rated Abstracts (May 3; 2:45-3:45pm PT)
This fast-paced, interactive session will showcase some of the best new research and innovation in aging from all of the abstracts submitted for presentation at #AGS19.
* Advance Care Planning: More Than Just Box-Checking (May 4; 7:30-8:30am PT)
Advanced care planning (ACP)–a service that allows health professionals and older adults and caregivers to discuss future care needs, potential care decisions, and advance directives (legal documents for outlining the same)–has a track record for improving patient and provider satisfaction with our health system. In this session, experts will discuss some of the barriers to having these conversations, as well as tools to help clinicians and older adults better prepare for identifying and describing future care decisions.
* The Heart of the Matter Paper Session (May 4; 7:30-8:30am PT)
With heart-related problems still leading the pack among care concerns for all Americans, geriatric cardiology has only continued to grow in prominence. This paper session includes top-line presentations from some of the foremost cardiology researchers and clinicians.
* Geriatrics Literature Update 2018 (May 4; 8:45-10:15am PT)
A must-see for meeting attendees, the Geriatrics Literature Update will focus on more than 20 of 2018’s most important and impactful journal articles shaping health and care for older adults.
* HIV in Older Adults: What Geriatrics Healthcare Providers Need to Know (May 4; 10:30-11:30am PT)
2019 marked news of the second instance of HIV infection effectively being “cured.” For most HIV+ individuals, however–many of whom are now older–managing the condition and preventing its spread are still challenging. This session will outline new evidence on treatment, including the possibility for interactions between prescriptions and opportunities to treat age-related concerns concurrently.
* To Prescribe or Deprescribe Paper Session (May 4; 10:30-11:30am PT)
Geriatrics clinicians have long been recognized for helping older adults reduce their use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, which in turn can lead to better care. In this session, researchers will present highlights from new scholarship weighing the pros and cons of strategies to optimize medication use.
* Diabetes in Older Adults (May 4; 11:45am-12:45pm PT)
Diabetes is still one of the leading chronic health concerns impacting older people in the developed world. In this session, experts will review one of diabetes’ hottest topics: the advantages and disadvantages of different medications for lowering blood sugar levels.
* Pharmacotherapy Update: 2019 (May 4; 1-2pm PT)
This session will address updates in access to medications for older adults, summarizing changes over the past year in prescription drug treatment and coverage.
* Evidence-Based Nursing Home Care Paper Session (May 4; 1-2pm PT)
In #AGS19’s final paper session, top-ranked researchers will review updates in nursing home care, from efforts to improve testing for urinary tract infections to opportunities for addressing different communication styles among members of long-term-care teams.
Session times, topics, and presenters are subject to change. Visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org for details.
About the American Geriatrics Society
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has–for more than 75 years–worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.
About the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting
The AGS Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatrics, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging, and innovative models of care delivery. More than 2,500 nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene May 2-4, 2019 (pre-conference program on May 1), at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. For more information, visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org.
Daniel E Trucil