2021 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting goes virtual for the first time

The worlds of work, education, and networking have changed drastically in the past year, and the American Geriatrics Society is evolving with them. For the first time ever in AGS Annual Scientific Meeting history, #AGS21 is going virtual. Taking place May 13-15 (pre-conference May 12), the 2021 Virtual AGS Annual Scientific Meeting will present an exciting educational program covering the latest advances in geriatrics research, education, and clinical care to improve the care of us all as we age.

Attendees will enjoy than more 70 pre-recorded symposia, workshops, and sessions with opportunities for real-time Q&A with speakers, a virtual poster gallery, interactive networking events, on-demand access to all educational sessions through August 15, and the ability to earn more continuing education credit than ever before. More than 2,000 nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, researchers, healthcare administrators, journalists, teachers, and advocates are expected to assemble online for the four-day program powered by almost 1,000 abstract submissions.

Browse some meeting highlights below and visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org for registration, the full program schedule, and everything else #AGS21.

Decision Making for Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions (May 13; 10-11 a.m. ET)

The AGS Guiding Principles for the Care of Older Adults with Multimorbidity, which were developed by an expert AGS panel in 2012, present an approach that clinicians can use to make sound care decisions for this population. This session will provide a framework, built on the AGS Guiding Principles, for aligning decisions and care with the health priorities of patients, caregivers, and other clinicians.

Non-Pharmacologic Pain Management Strategies: Use of Supplements, Cannabidiol (CBD) and Mind-Body Therapies (May 13; 10-11 a.m. ET)

This interprofessional symposium will present three unique non-pharmacologic pain management strategies--supplements, CBD, and integrative therapies--and explore culturally relevant communication strategies for interviewing and educating patients about them. Attendees will learn how to recognize common supplements and herbals used for pain relief and assess their adverse effects and drug-disease and drug-drug interactions; describe the data behind the current CBD consumer trend and clearly advise older patients about CBD's risks and benefits as a pain reliever; use such integrative approaches for pain management as mindfulness and yoga; and interview and advise patients about their use of complementary and integrative medium in a neutral, culturally sensitive way.

Plenary Paper Session (May 13; 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. ET)

This session will highlight the top research abstracts submitted for presentation at #AGS21 from a pool of almost 1,000 contenders. Insights into molecular changes in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, a new model for predicting the life expectancy of older adults with multiple chronic diseases and age-related weakness, and older adult and healthcare professionals' perspectives on firearm retirement are the subjects of this year's top studies.

COVID-19: Lessons from a Pandemic (May 13; 12-1 p.m. ET)

This timely session will cover the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older Americans. Speakers will discuss the structural inequities behind the manifestation of aging-related disparities during the public health crisis, insights from the CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Work Group, and the post-pandemic implications of COVID vaccine distribution strategies for isolated older adults.

Pharmacotherapy Update: 2021 (May 13; 1:15-2:15 p.m. ET)

Speakers at this session will present information about newly approved medications and dietary and herbal supplements, including the risks and benefits of incorporating them into clinical practice.

Type 2 Diabetes in Older Adults: Re-Visited (May 13; 1:15-2:15 p.m. ET)

Diabetes is still one of the leading chronic health concerns impacting older people in the developed world. In this session, experts will discuss the latest clinical research on drug and non-drug management strategies for type 2 diabetes, with a focus on new evidence that supports the growing consensus that strict glycemic control strategies can harm older adults.

Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture: Leveraging the Potential of Interprofessional Teams in Primary Care Practice (May 13; 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. ET)

Past President Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging, will deliver this year's prestigious Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture at #AGS21. An expert on interdisciplinary approaches to quality improvement, Dr. Flaherty will discuss the keys to successfully implementing interprofessional teams in primary care practice.

That Was the Year that Will Be (May 14, 10-11 a.m. ET)

Sponsored by the AGS Research Committee, this fan-favorite session among AGS Annual Scientific Meeting attendees always focuses on basic science and translational studies from the past year that will impact clinical care in the next five years.

The Pandemic through a Geriatric Lens Paper Session (May 14; 10-11 a.m. ET)

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the wellbeing and longevity of older adults, as well as taking a huge toll on the frontline staff and family members that care for them. In this session, presenters will discuss their research on topics like COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among long-term services and support staff and the experiences of caregivers of homebound older adults during the pandemic.

Yoshikawa Award Lecture for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation (May 14; 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. ET)

Dr. Alexander Smith's marquee lecture, "Confessions of an Unfocused Researcher," will consider the pros and cons of a researcher maintaining a broader array of interests and nurturing that kind of curiosity in his mentees.

Expanding the Age-Friendly Movement: Tools, Techniques and Resources (May 14; 12:15 -1:15 p.m. ET)

This symposium will encourage attendees to join the Age-Friendly Health System (AFHS) movement by showcasing three case studies. Age-Friendly Health Systems incorporate a set of four evidence-based elements of high-quality care, known as the "4Ms," into their care for older adults: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility. Attendees learn what their health systems need to take to become age-friendly, where to find AFHS resources, and how to design an age-friendly program and resolve any challenges.

It's Not Just Dialysis or Death: Considerations when Starting, Stopping, and Forgoing Dialysis (May 14; 4 - 5:30 p.m. ET)

This plenary session will explore the challenges geriatrics healthcare professionals face when deciding whether or not to initiate dialysis for older adults, ways to support those who forgo dialysis, when to consider stopping dialysis, and ways to enable patients on dialysis to receive hospice services.

Geriatrics Literature Update 2021 (May 15, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. ET)

One of the most popular sessions at the annual meeting, this session led by Dr. Smith, Kenneth Covinsky, MD, MPH, and Eric Widera, MD, will focus on the most important papers published 2020. Discussions will cover the significance of study findings and their application to geriatric practice.

Immunization in Older Adults (May 15; 2-3 p.m. ET)

This clinical symposium will feature brief TED-style talks that cover timely topics like the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable illness in older adults, current immunization recommendations for adults ages 65 and older, and the pharmacist's role in improving vaccination rates in the older adult population.

Disruptive Behaviors in Dementia and Delirium in Dementia (May 15; 2-3 p.m. ET)

Delirium, or changes in an older adult's cognitive function, have resulted in more severe illness, longer hospital stays, and a higher risk of mortality from COVID-19 during the pandemic. Behavioral changes associated with delirium also pose unique challenges for older adults, their caregivers, and health professionals. In this clinical practice symposium, geriatrics experts will discuss the range of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been proven effective for treating disruptive behavior.

Social Isolation: Its Relationship with Social Determinants of Health, Bidirectional Relationship to Health Conditions, and How It Impacts Access and Delivery of Care (May 15; 3:15-4:15 p.m.)

While often aware of social isolation as a problem, clinicians may lack the organizational support to help them care for isolated patients. During this session on a highly relevant topic in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts will explain risk factors and measurement tools for social isolation, associated health outcomes, relevant new ICD-10 codes, ways in which behavioral health and cognitive decline are associated with social isolation and methods by which healthcare professionals can put the new information they learn into practice.

AGS awards ceremony

Join us as we honor more than 30 of the best and brightest clinicians, researchers, and educators representing the future of geriatrics.

Session times, topics, and presenters are subject to change. Visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org for details.


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