Experts from the Netherlands and the United States will come together on June 25 to participate in a lunchtime seminar to discuss the opportunities and challenges that nations face as the population of senior citizens increases sharply over the next decade.

“Aging in Place in the Community” will feature Dutch and American experts from the health, nonprofit, government, and private sectors who will discuss measures that the Netherlands and the US are taking to ensure the quality of life, health, and safety for people 65 and older.

An aging population

The world’s population of people 65 and older will reach nearly 1 billion in the next decade. In that same time, the Netherlands will have 2.1 million people who are 75 or older.

The Netherlands is a leader in aging preparedness. Today, Dutch people are living longer and healthier lives.There are 1.3 million people over 75 years old in the Netherlands, out of a population of more than 17 million.

According to the US Census Bureau, 2030 will mark a major demographic turning point in the United States. By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65, resulting in an expansion in the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age.


Congressmen Donald Norcross and Tim Walberg will join Heleen Bakker, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in speaking at the symposium.

The panel discussion will include:

  • Stephanie Firestone, senior strategic policy advisor, of AARP
  • Edwin Walker, deputy assistant secretary for aging, the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Renier Koppelaar, program manager, Aging in Place, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
  • Mike Mansfield, program director, Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement

Mike Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, will moderate the event, and Dr. Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer of Philips will demonstrate wellness, healthcare, and aging in place technology.

The event will take place at 12 p.m. June 25 at the Rayburn House Office Building. Members of the media who would like to attend should email by 12 pm on June 24.

The “Aging in Place in the Community” event is part of the Embassy’s Holland on the Hill Lunch and Learn initiative. Holland on the Hill was created to highlight the shared values of freedom, justice and entrepreneurship between the Netherlands and the United States.