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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Rocky Mountain High / Editorial List  

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Rocky Mountain High

I just got off the plane from Denver this morning and Iím still experiencing a ďRocky Mountain high.Ē No, not from the altitude Ė though experiencing the mile high altitude of Denver is a bit different than below sea level, where I live. But, I attribute my windedness to my need for exercise more than anything else. Denver is quite an outstanding place to visit, but the high I am experiencing is more about the reason I was in town than anything else.

I was attending the 37th annual N4A (National Association of Area Agency on Aging) conference along with the 6th annual Caregiver Coalition conference at the Colorado Convention Center. Both events were outstanding due to the level of speakers (always a pleasure to hear from HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee) and the quality of events. Thanks to Sandy Markwood and her staff at N4A as well as Secretary Brian Duke and Gail Hunt, two of the most dedicated care leaders Iíve met over the past 17 years, for their work promoting caregiver coalitions.

The events were packed with tons of timely advice, information and wisdom; but as we have realized at the Fearless Caregiver Conferences, the real action was to be found around the lunch tables and during the impromptu hallway encounters between attendees. Innovative strategies that Area Agency on Aging professionals from around the nation have formulated regarding working with Medicare and Medicaid, promoting community volunteer programs, making magic with very few dollars, as well as advice for supporting their communitiesí family caregivers were flying across the convention center with best practices being shared among community leaders.

Being at these events this week compels me to amend my comments about family caregivers taking advantage of getting advice from their fellow caregivers wherever they meet. The same goes for the professionals, as well.

P.S. for those of you thinking about any other possible reason for attaining a Rocky Mountain high: címon; it ainít the sixties anymore.


Gary Barg

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