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  2003 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Nikki Smith
Phone: 1-217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

December 5, 2003

Governorís Conference on Aging Features Tough Stuff

SPRINGFIELD, IL – If you need a measure of the diversity and complexity of aging in Illinois today, look no further than the Governorís Conference on Aging. Set for Dec. 10 to 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, the Conference has scheduled sessions that focus on a variety of issues that affect the diverse population of almost 2 million older people in the state.

The Conference, which draws about 600 professionals in the field from across the state, features everything from the tough stuff – like doctors discussing the course of Alzheimerís disease – to a session that is labeled "That fun session at the end of the day."

But the general theme is coping with change. This is the issue that will be discussed by Warner Saunders, news anchor at Channel 5 in Chicago and Charles D. Johnson, director of the Illinois Department on Aging that sponsors the event.

Most of the 66 sessions focus on issues that would not have been considered by older people a decade ago: the older caregiver, the high cost of prescription drugs, computer-learning in a long-term care facility and the experiences of elderly immigrants.

"Older people today are facing challenge and change on every front," explains Johnson. "It is up to us to anticipate their needs and offer programs to meet them. That is what this Conference is all about."

Saunders and Johnson will speak at the opening session from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11.

Also on the program Friday, Dec. 12, are Bryan Samuels, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, who will speak at the awards luncheon from 11:30 to 1 p.m., and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, who will be on a panel from 10 to 11:15 a.m. called "Whatís Ahead for Medicare?"

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