Livability for Longevity Symposium: 2019 Notes and Future Goals

With more than 150 attendees at the April 3 Livability for Longevity Symposium, the Bass Lecture Hall at the LBJ School of Public Affairs was close to capacity. Between opening remarks from Council Member Alison Alter (District 10) about Austin’s efforts to create an age-friendly community and a thoughtful symposium wrap-up from Jesús Garza, former CEO of Seton Healthcare – and input from the audience (that included Luci Baines Johnson) throughout – it felt like the right people had assembled to discuss important issues about aging. Livability for Longevity Symposium 2019 panel and audience

But the true stars of the show were Dr. Jacqueline Angel and her team of students from the LBJ School (Alex Abbott, Patricia Hart,Shadhi Mansoori, Gabriela Mordi,Emma Nye and Kathryn Quan) who walked us through the methodology for and results of their recent research in a presentation titled, “Building an Intergenerational Metropolis in the City of Austin.”

A panel discussion, “Policy and Planning for an Age-friendly Austin,” followed the students’ presentation with real-world insight about the opportunities and challenges of aging-related policy implementation. Guest panelists included Janee Briesemeister, Chair, City of Austin Commission on Seniors; Adam Hauser, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels Central Texas; Annette Juba, Deputy Director, AGE of Central Texas; and Larry Wallace, Enterprise Chief Administrative Officer, Central Health.

LBJ School team at the 2019 Livability for Longevity SymposiumReaction to the presentations was overwhelmingly positive, as reflected in these comments from the post-event survey:

  • “I liked the amazing presentation from Dr. Angel’s students and the subsequent Q & A. The attendees of the seminar represented a wide range of professionals and lay persons all working on different parts of the complex issues on aging.”
  • “I liked the variety of new information presented and a generation that’s willing to get on board and lead the way.”
  • “I appreciated knowing that we have partners who are working together to better life for the aging.”

During lunch (and in the post-event survey), audience members shared insight of their own about their current interests and the topics they’d like to see addressed in future symposiums:

  • Support for those “aging in place”
  • Ways to navigate end-of-life decisions and expenses
  • Innovative, but affordable, housing options
  • Employment after 50
  • The role of artificial intelligence as we age
  • Additional intergenerational concepts
  • Expanded transportation options
  • Caregiving
  • The need for affordable, accessible mental and dental services
  • How to advocate for aging-related programs and how to influence the Texas Legislature
  • Support for middle-income older adults
  • Ways to help “elder orphans” i.e., elders who have no family members to help them as they age

AustinUP extends huge thanks and appreciation to our co-hosts (LBJ School of Public Affairs, City of Austin Commission on Seniors), wonderful sponsors (Atria Senior Living, AARP Texas, St. David’s Foundation, Senior Resource Guide and Westminster) and exhibit partners (AGE of Central Texas, Capital City Village, Drive a Senior, Family Eldercare and Meals on Wheels Central Texas). YOU made this event possible!

View more photos from the 2019 Livability for Longevity Symposium, courtesy of photographer Callie Richmond and the LBJ School.