AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin addressed nearly 10,000 attendees in the Denver Convention Center for the LeadingAge Annual Meeting. LeadingAge is the nation’s premier aging services organization, representing 6,000 not-for-profit organizations in the United States, 39 state partners, hundreds of businesses, research partners, consumer organizations, foundations, and a broad global network of aging services organizations that reach over 30 countries, touching the lives of 4 million individuals, families, employees and volunteers every day.
Coughlin’s remarks were a call to action for systems innovation in aging services. In his talk, “Old Age, Technology & Envisioning the New Futures of Aging Services”, he described the evolving demands of a new generation of old in the United States and the need for new consumer engagement strategies to effectively deliver aging services to families and older people across the economic spectrum. Coughlin described AgeLab’s research and global examples of where technology has provided the opportunity for improved service delivery. However, he cautioned that technology is not the same as innovation. He urged aging service providers to creatively craft new partnerships with retailers, telecommunications providers, consumer electronics companies and financial services to deliver existing and new services. Coughlin suggested that the aging services network has an opportunity to be a trusted provider of information helping families navigate care decisions and options. Finally, he suggested that the unprecedented aging of America, combined with the possibilities of new technology, is a call to innovate for aging services, companies and government at all levels - to rethink and re-envision how we will all live longer, better.