Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coalition seeks input on issues facing LGBT seniors

The National Senior Citizens Law Center, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), are working together to raise awareness of the issues facing older adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) and live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities. We hope to identify areas where policy changes will improve care, and to find other older adults, advocates and providers interested in these issues.

The survey is only 16 questions. It should take no more than ten minutes to fill it out.  The survey completely protects your confidentiality. (However, we are looking for volunteers willing to be interviewed, so please consider checking that box!)

Click here to fill out the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=UPQXC5Gub99IvdRNz83Hwg_3d_3d or if you would like to fill out this survey manually, you can print it out from the link above and mail it to:

Nancy Arévalo
National Senior Citizens Law Center
1330 Broadway, Suite 525
Oakland, CA 94612

The deadline for responding to the survey is December 15, 2009.

Whether you are an older adult living in a long-term care facility or a family member, caretaker, social worker or friend, your answers to these questions will help as we work together to fight discrimination, abuse and neglect against LGBT older adults.  Specifically, you should fill out this survey if you are:

• A lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender older adult who lives or has lived in a long-term care facility;
• A caregiver of an LGBT older adult who lives or has lived in a long-term care facility;
• A family member or friend with knowledge of an LGBT older adult’s experience in a long-term care facility;
• A social worker or other helping professional who works with older adults.

Long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living communities and senior living facilities.

If you have any questions, please contact Heather Wollin at: hwollin@nsclc.org.

November 10, 2009 in Discrimination | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Family Caregivers are Urged to Consider Senior Care Options During National Caregivers’ Month

November’s recognition of National Caregivers’ Month is a good opportunity for families suffering under the strain of providing care to an aging loved one to examine senior care options and alternatives. Too often families go through extraordinary lengths that leave them physically and emotionally exhausted to keep a loved one from having to leave home and enter a long term care institution.  Family caregivers are often unaware that a successful model of elder care exists that is proven to improve the health and wellbeing of seniors while allowing them to live independently in their home.  This model of care is called Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Developed more than 30 years ago, the PACE model of care provides an innovative alternative to nursing homes paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. The common sense approach that the PACE team uses to provide medical care and coordinate support services helps keep people in their homes so they can be near friends and family.  It is the hands-on approach and individualized patient attention that makes PACE unique from every other long term care option and so successful in helping seniors remain healthy and independent.  

“As society gets older and 77 million Baby Boomers near retirement, it’s important that families know that there is a successful model of elder care that can improve seniors’ health while providing support and relief to family caregivers,” said Shawn Bloom, President and CEO of the National PACE Association. “Caring for an aging family member is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly can provide the support families and their seniors need.  During National Caregivers’ Month, I encourage caregivers to visit www.PACE4You.org to learn more about the benefits of the coordinated care and improved quality of life that a PACE program offers.”

The NPA’s Web site, www.PACE4You.org, helps caregivers understand and learn more about PACE programs by providing background on the PACE model of long term care.  Visitors can view a PACE video that tells the stories of PACE participants and their families, read testimonials and access a PACE Program Finder that helps people find a PACE program in their community.

With 70 PACE programs now operating in 31 states, aging Americans and their caregivers have an even greater opportunity to benefit from the PACE approach to elder care.  The popularity of these programs has increased so quickly because PACE effectively maintains the health, independence and dignity of seniors with long term care needs as they age by emphasizing preventive and primary care as well as nutrition, transportation and most other services that support the health and well-being of program participants.,

Adam Burrows, Medical Director of Upham's Elder Service Plan, a PACE program in Boston, notes how a PACE program can help alleviate the physical and emotional strain that caregivers often experience in their desire to keep their loved ones at home.  “Caregiving is extremely hard work and for family members to take this on in an effort to keep a loved one at home can be daunting,” said Dr. Burrows. “At PACE a team of caregivers and medical professionals is dedicated to optimizing the health, well-being, and physical function of an enrollee so that aging seniors are able to live at home independently.”
PACE programs’ documented results in preserving wellness, supporting healthy outcomes, and promoting quality of life help reduce hospital visits and avoid nursing home admissions.  By avoiding these costs, PACE programs reduce expensive care interventions and provide families with piece of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care in the most appropriate setting.  

“The celebration of National Caregivers’ Month gives family caregivers a great opportunity to discuss their options as caregivers, and also examine the best method of providing care for their aging family members,” said Bloom.  “PACE can alleviate the challenges that caregivers face while helping seniors age in their own home.  I encourage caregivers to learn more about PACE, its availability, and why it may be the best care option for them.”

About NPA:

The National PACE Association works to advance the efforts of Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to support, maintain, safeguard and promote the provision of quality, comprehensive and cost-effective health care services for frail older adults.  More information on NPA and PACE is available at www.npaonline.org.

November 10, 2009 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Message from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee for Veterans Day 20

Veterans Day is also a day when we honor those veterans who live among us --  in our homes, communities and in congregate settings such as assisted living and nursing homes.  The contributions of these courageous men and women who are our grandparents, parents, spouses, children, other family members, neighbors and friends continue to inspire us each day as United States citizens. 

I urge everyone to take time out on Wednesday, November 11, to thank a veteran for their service America. To read the President's proclamation, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-veterans-day    



November 10, 2009 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ALCA offers free webinar on Medicaid and assisted living

The Assisted Living Consumers Alliance presents

State Medicaid Reimbursement Policies and Practices in Assisted Living
Join us for a Webinar on November 17
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PST / 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


As Medicaid becomes a more viable payment option for Assisted Living, what does that mean for the consumer? What is Medicaid really covering? How does that impact an individual’s access to assisted living? This webinar will address these issues and more.

Robert Mollica, Ed.D., Independent Consultant, formerly with the National Academy for State Health Policy and Eric Carlson, National Senior Citizens Law Center and President of ALCA, will discuss issues related to Medicaid waiver coverage for assisted living, including findings from a recently released report, State Medicaid Reimbursement Policies and Practices in Assisted Living, conducted by Mr. Mollica on behalf of the National Center for Assisted Living. See the report at, http://www.ahcancal.org/ncal/resources/Documents/MedicaidAssistedLivingReport.pdf.

November 3, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AoA newsletter available via website

Here's the TOC for the AoA's  monthly e-Newsletter.  Check it out at http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Press_Room/Enews/index.aspx

 Table of Contents

 AoA News

   Messages on National Observances from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee

   New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department Secretary Cindy Padilla to Join AoA

   ASA Greenlee Visits Local DC Senior Centers 

   November Speaking Engagements by ASA Greenlee Other HHS News

   HHS to Provide More Than $2.6 Billion to States to Help Low-Income Households with Energy Costs

   FDA and WebMD Expand Consumer Health Information Partnership

   New FDA Website Provides the Facts on Hearing Aids

   H1N1 Flu Fraud Widget

   New Tips to Prevent Medical Identity Theft and Medicare Fraud

   Enhanced Online Tools Make Comparing Medicare’s 2010 Prescription Drug and Health Plan Options Easier

   CMS Establishes New Requirements for DMEPOS Suppliers

   National State-by-State Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) Tables on the CMS website

   NIA Extends Research on Health, Economics of Older Americans

   Consumer-Friendly Resources in Spanish Provided by AHRQ

   HHS Report on Health Insurance Reform and Breast Cancer Federal Funding Opportunities

   AoA to Fund LGBT National Resource Center

   CDC to Fund Communities Putting Prevention to Work

   CDC to Fund Healthier Communities

More Aging News

   Employment Opportunity with the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living

   Brookdale Foundation to Fund 30 New Seed Grants for Its Relatives as Parents Program

   American Cancer Society Marks the 34th Great American Smokeout®

   November Is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

   Falls Prevention among Older Adults

   Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals

   Nutrition.gov on Twitter

   NCOA to Offer Webinar Series on How to Connect Older Volunteers with Organizations in Need of Help

   Groups Conduct Survey to Assess Long-Term Care of Older Adults Who Are LGBT

   Planning for Your Elder Years

Submit a Story!


November 3, 2009 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

British couple leaves suicide note criticizing anti- aid-in-dying policies

Dennis and Flora Milner, aged 83 and 81, were found dead in their home in Newbury on Sunday, police confirmed.  A letter and statement saying they had "chosen to peacefully end our lives" was delivered to BBC South on Tuesday.  They said they wanted to highlight the "serious human dilemma" which prevents people from legally ending their own lives with loved ones around them.  Mr and Mrs Milner's daughter Chrissy said her parents had been in good health but did not want to get to a stage were they would be too ill to care for themselves.  She said they had told her: "We won't be here for Christmas."  Their statement, sent to the BBC and headlined "a personal critical self assessment", appeared to be signed by both husband and wife.

It read: "We have been fortunate to have lived through and enjoyed 80 plus years of a happy, loving and exciting life.It would be impossible to thank all the people and organisations which every day, without fail, have contributed to our lifespan.There's just one outstanding [group] which we think everyone would go along with, the medical profession and the NHS in which they serve. They have usefully extended our lives by at least 25-30 years. We leave this life with just one serious and disappointing criticism of our society.  Today we have been denied what we believe to be our basic human right - to terminate our own lives, in our own home, at our own choosing, with our loved ones around us, without anyone having to face any legal possibilities or harassment."

Source:  BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/berkshire/8340808.stm

November 3, 2009 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Help national leaders devise affordable, reliable public transit for seniors and persons with disabilities

The Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) invites you to participate in the United We Ride National Dialogue! 

Do you have suggestions and ideas that you would like to share with national leaders that can assist communities to increase access to affordable and reliable transportation services for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes?

If so, you are invited to join a Federal Government online outreach effort to develop new ideas for transportation access for people with disabilities, older adults and persons of limited income!   For more information, and to register, visit the Dialogue website at www.UWRdialogue.org

The Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) invites you to participate in the United We Ride National Dialogue. This groundbreaking, web-based interactive dialogue is designed to allow a broader range of opinions and ideas to inform future policies, the CCAM Strategic Plan and to strengthen the CCAM's relationship with its vast array of partners and stakeholders, including state, local, and tribal governments, transportation agencies, human service agencies, healthcare providers, employment specialists, educators, and consumers.

In order to capture this critical feedback, the CCAM is seeking your participation in a 2 week long, web-based dialogue that will begin on November 2nd and end on November 13th. The dialogue will allow participants to submit, comment, and rate ideas interactively on how to increase access to affordable and reliable transportation services for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes. Your invaluable participation will directly inform the work of the CCAM on future policy decisions and the Strategic Plan.

This dialogue is being organized by the National Academy of Public Administration and Easter Seals, in partnership with the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy.     


November 2, 2009 in Discrimination, Travel | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

November is National Family Caregivers Month

AoA Secretary Greenlee's message:

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and the recent implementation of the Lifespan Respite Care Program have positioned AoA, the Aging Network and the broader home and community-based services network to ensure that caregivers are supported in their daily efforts to keep their loved ones at home, in the community and avoid more costly and restrictive institutional settings.   I am committed to working with our Aging Network and other partners at the Federal, state and local levels to improve the quality of life for our nation’s caregivers across the lifespan.  

I encourage all of you to participate in the numerous events across the country to celebrate and acknowledge the selfless dedication and commitment of family caregivers.

To read the Presidential proclamation, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamations-national-family-caregivers-month    

November 2, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)