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The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) Annual Meeting is the premier educational program focused solely on late-life mental illness. The AAGP Annual meeting provides the latest information on clinical care, research innovations and models of care delivery. The theme this year was ‘Preparing for a Rising Tide: The Changing Face of Mental Health Practice as Baby Boomers Age.’ Over 800 psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other professionals in late-life mental healthcare convened in sunny Hawaii on the 5–8 March for the 2009 AAGP Annual Meeting, an educational conference featuring the latest research and clinical updates in geriatric psychiatry, solutions for tomorrow's challenges and networking opportunities. The program was chaired by William McDonald, with the participation of the immediate past-president Bruce G Pollock.