The halls of the San Diego Convention Center might be a little more crowded in October during the LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo. But LeadingAge is counting on there being strength in numbers.

The organization has announced its intent to affiliate with the Visiting Nurse Associations of America and its parent organization, Elevating HOME, which represents thousands of home care and hospice providers.

Discussions began last year, LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan tells McKnight’s. VNAA / EH members are now members of LeadingAge, and vice versa, although the affiliation won’t be final until it’s voted on by VNAA / EH members, she says.

Sloan expects “significant and exciting opportunities” for all involved.

“For both LeadingAge and VNAA/EH members, the affiliation is a strategic opportunity that increases our collective voice and impact as mission-driven, community-centered providers,” she says. “It brings together VNAA’s clinical practice expertise, ElevatingHOME’s commitment to strengthen home-based care and LeadingAge’s tradition of serving the full continuum with our focus on shaping the future to meet the needs of an increasing number of older adults.”

As lines blur between home care, senior living and skilled care, the organizations’ policy agendas already overlap in areas such as long-term services and supports delivery and financing as well as support for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act and the Medicare Advantage Demonstration, the CEO says.

So providers will be seeing new faces before October, of course — at advocacy events and at the LeadingAge headquarters in Washington, D.C., into which VNAA / EH staff members will be moving.

“From a big-picture perspective, aging services are changing dramatically due to an influx in the number of older adults coupled with the financial complexity of paying for care,” Sloan notes.

This move by LeadingAge and VNAA / EH is another example of how the aging services field is adapting to meet the needs of both providers and consumers.