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National experts discuss ways to reshape health care for seniors and caregivers at Florida Hospital

National experts and leading geriatricians gathered in Orlando on Thursday to discuss ways to reshape health care for seniors and their caregivers during the inaugural SAGE Conference hosted by Florida Hospital for Seniors.

Senior health care — and reshaping America’s health care delivery model for seniors — is a priority at Florida Hospital, which opened Central Florida’s first emergency department dedicated to seniors at Winter Park Memorial Hospital in 2015. The SAGE Conference is just one of several initiatives Florida Hospital is taking to develop state-of-the-art models for senior health care.

The fastest growing age group in Florida are 65- to 74-year-olds, which is projected to grow 23 percent in the next five years. This population is a major consumer of health care, and their caregivers play a vital role.

“As the biggest provider of care to seniors in the country, we feel it is vital for us to lead the way in developing a health care system that provides the highest quality of care to seniors and supports their family caregivers,” said Dr. Rosemary Laird, executive medical director of Florida Hospital for Seniors.

In addition to Laird, the SAGE Conference featured Winter Park Memorial Hospital Administrator Ken Bradley; Dr. Kyle R. Allen of Riverside Health System; Dr. Robert Schreiber of Harvard Medical School and Hebrew SeniorLife Department of Medicine; and Brent Feorene of Health Dimensions Group, all of whom discussed ways to infuse proven, evidence-based models of care into health care delivery.

The speakers discussed a variety of topics, including the importance of creating care networks and partnerships with community-based organizations and other health care providers. The role of caregivers was also discussed, as was the need for support services for caregivers.