Held every 10 years, the conference helps shape federal policy and research in the field of aging. Past conferences have helped establish Medicare and Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, Social Security reforms and the creation of a National Institute on Aging.
Governors have until March 15 to submit the names of their delegates, who will present recommendations to the president and Congress intended to guide aging policies for the next decade. The National Congress of American Indians and members of the U.S. Congress also will select delegates, and some delegates will represent aging organizations and academic institutions.
Elected officials will choose 1,200 of the delegates, and the conference's Policy Committee, appointed by the U.S. Congress, will select another 450 delegates with an eye toward representing a broad cross section of America, organizers said.
The theme of this year's conference is, "The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action," and it will focus on the country's 78 million baby boomers -- born between 1946 and 1964 -- who will begin to turn 60 in 2006.
The conference will be Webcast so that it can be viewed throughout the world, organizers said.