For more than 40 years, Minnix has been a passionate advocate for not-for-profit aging services. He entered the field as an administrative intern at Wesley Woods Center of Emory University, where he went on to serve as CEO. He also served as a LeadingAge board member prior to joining the association as its CEO in 2001.

Why is the training of the health care workforce to care for older adults so important?

Health care workforce is the single fastest growing area of service professionals needed for an aging population. It is personal, delicate work that needs to be done passionately and competently. We need naturally therapeutic people who are capable of doing important tasks for a growing aging population.

What is LeadingAge’s mission?

The mission of LeadingAge is to expand the world of possibilities for aging. It’s our job to find new ways for people to engage in the world who have increasingly limited access to it.

How did you decide to work in the aging field?

The aging services field is a calling for me. There were several key experiences for me along the way: my mental health work, a hospital chaplaincy internship, and personal experiences with elders in my life that compelled me to do this work. It’s a hallowed-ground experience.

What services does LeadingAge provide to address this need?

LeadingAge has three core businesses: applied research, leadership education and development, and public policy advancement. Our 6,000+ members and partners include not-for-profit organizations representing the entire field of aging services, 39 state partners, hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations, and research partners.

Working together, we lead in innovative practices that transform how we serve our aging population, cutting-edge initiatives to develop services that meet older adults’ needs and preferences, and advocacy to advance the interest of the aging consumer.

What do you see as the future of the elder care workforce?

Eldercare will be a great experience for those who pursue it. Its biggest challenge is convincing people to pursue this field, who may not know it can be so rewarding and satisfying- and fun! Our future leaders will likely be people who did not know they wanted to do this work until they encountered an opportunity or an older person who drew them to this arena of service.

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