New Funding Opportunities To Conduct Research on Exercise Interventions for People with Disabilities, and Health & Function for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Two new grant opportunities from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research(NIDILRR) at ACL have been announced: the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on exercise interventions for people with disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on health & function for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (including international activities) to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.

DRRP on Exercise Interventions for People with Disabilities — The purpose of this DRRP is to generate new knowledge about the effectiveness of exercise interventions for people with disabilities.

Full story at

Home Sharing: Growing Trend or Desperate Need?

You may remember the show “The Golden Girls,” which showcased four aging womenwho took a creative approach to senior living: shared housing. They were way ahead of their time. Is home sharing a viable option for older adults? It can be a desired lifestyle choice for many but equally a life necessity for others.

Many baby boomers have a real desire to age in their own home, provided they’re capable and it’s safe. But sometimes the economic realities of upkeep, the need for companionship and socialization and even help around the house makes you want to consider a more formal senior community. Home sharing provides an alternative to senior living, whose costs can range from $2,500 a month in an independent community to over $100,000 a year in a skilled nursing facility.

Full story at US Health News

New Technologies Help Seniors Age In Place — And Not Feel Alone

Nancy Delano, 80, of Denver has no plans to slow down anytime soon. She still drives to movies, plays and dinners out with friends. A retired elder care nurse who lives alone, she also knows that “when you reach a certain age, emergencies can happen fast.” So, when her son, Tom Rogers, talked to her about installing a remote monitoring system, she didn’t hesitate.

With motion sensors placed throughout the house, Rogers can see if his mom is moving around, if she’s sleeping (or not), if she forgot to lock the door and, based on a sophisticated algorithm that detects behavioral patterns, whether her activity level or eating habits have changed significantly, for instance.

“It gives both of us peace of mind, particularly as she ages and wants to live at home,” said Rogers, who lives near Washington, D.C., hundreds of miles away from her.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

Frail, Old and Dying, but Their Only Way Out of Prison Is a Coffin

Kevin Zeich had three and a half years to go on his prison sentence, but his doctors told him he had less than half that long to live. Nearly blind, battling cancer and virtually unable to eat, he requested “compassionate release,” a special provision for inmates who are very sick or old.

His warden approved the request, but officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons turned him down, saying his “life expectancy is currently indeterminate.”

Congress created compassionate release as a way to free certain inmates, such as the terminally ill, when it becomes “inequitable” to keep them in prison any longer. Supporters view the program as a humanitarian measure and a sensible way to reduce health care costs for ailing, elderly inmates who pose little risk to public safety. But despite urging from lawmakers of both parties, numerous advocacy groups and even the Bureau of Prisons’ own watchdog, prison officials use it only sparingly.

Full story at The New York Times

Some Linn County health providers say Medicaid payment changes not sustainable long term

A change in a Medicaid waiver reimbursement system for the state’s special-needs population has left some health providers without enough funding to sustain their services.

Changes to the home- and community-based services waiver — which affects approximately 5,000 Iowans who have traumatic brain injuries, developmental or intellectual disabilities — moved the payment model from a fee-for-service model to a tiered rate system, effective Dec. 1, 2017.

While Iowa Department of Human Services officials say this change will create more stability to the reimbursement system, it leaves some such as Jean Sturtz, who care for those covered by the waiver, concerned for their loved ones’ future.

Full story at The Gazette

Social security’s process for determining disability in adults

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines to what extent and in which ways health care utilization — such as in-patient hospitalizations, emergency department use, and hospital readmission — reflects disease severity, disability, and ability to perform gainful activity. The committee that conducted the study was unable to find an association between health care utilization and disease severity as it relates to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) determination of severe impairment — an impairment or combination of impairments severe enough to prevent a person from performing any gainful activity regardless of age, education, or work experience.

Types of health care utilization vary with combinations of health conditions, and although there might be a connection between some types of utilization and impairment severity or disability, the committee could not make that specific connection on the basis of available data.

The SSA administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides disability benefits to people under the full retirement age who are no longer able to work because of a disabling medical condition or a terminal illness. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a means-tested income-assistance program for disabled, blind, and aged people who have limited income and resources regardless of their prior participation in the labor force.

Full story at Science Daily

How Knowing When to Call in Professional Help is Key

Even though we would like to think we can, it’s impossible to handle all of life’s nuisances on our own. In fact, many of history’s most successful people attributed their successes to knowing when to seek the help of others. This goes for all areas of life whether it be business, education or dealing with a problem. For me, dealing with a major problem is where I finally learned this significant life lesson.

Trying to always handle things myself, I came to a road block when a huge problem arose within my family. After recently putting my grandmother in a nursing home, she made us aware that things really weren’t going so well. She was complaining to us that the food seemed to be making her sick. My family and I shrugged her complaints off for a while and just thought she was being dramatic and trying to get taken out of the home. However, as time went on, we realized that she was right. She looked worse than ever, seemed a lot thinner and didn’t have much energy. The staff started to give her more medications to help her stomach which ended up having a whole host of negative side effects.

Full story at the Huffington Post

Webinar: More Than Just a Partnership–a Hospital and CBO Collaboration

Peninsula Regional Medical Center and MAC, Inc., (Maintaining Active Citizens) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and its Living Well Center of Excellence provide support for patients ready to return home through home- and community-based programs and services to help reduce hospital readmissions.

This webinar will describe the value this partnership brings to the AAA, the healthcare system, providers and, most importantly, to the people being served. Presenters will describe how the relationship began; the value a community-based organization (CBO) adds to service delivery and improved health outcomes; the types of patients who can be helped; the culture change needed to make the partnerships work; and the roles of the healthcare system and the CBO.

Full story at

Care managers in patient-centered medical homes increase improvements in diabetes patient outcomes, study shows

Patient centered medical homes (PCMHs) have been found to be an effective way to help care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes. Dr. Robert Gabbay, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center, and his team conducted a study that shows the strategic placement of care managers in PCMHs can further improve patient outcomes for high-risk diabetes patients.

The study, conducted in southeastern Pennsylvania, compared different models of care management and how they impacted diabetes outcomes in three practices with 25 primary-care PCMHs. The identity of the care managers varied among the sites: with some positions filled by nurses or nurse practitioners, while others used social workers or medical assistants.

Full story of medical home improvements at Science Daily


To prevent people with disabilities from homelessness the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced nearly $98 million in funding for 13 state housing agencies for rental assistance to low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are transitioning out of institutional settings or are at high risk of homelessness.

HUD’s support of these state agencies is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (PRA Demo) which enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of median income to live in integrated mainstream settings.

Full story of permanent housing for low income at