What to Look for in a Geriatric Care Manager

WHEN OLDER ADULTS CAN no longer care for themselves, it’s usually up to their family members to take over the responsibility. But it’s hard to know where to begin managing the care of someone who has chronic health conditions, requires frequent doctor visits and needs assistance at home – which may be in another town. “Families are often overwhelmed and ask, ‘What do we do? How do we handle this?’” says Nancy Avitabile, president of the board of directors of the Aging Life Care Association.

Avitabile is an aging life care manager (also known as a geriatric care manager), a type of elder care professional trained to jump into these challenging situations and offer solutions, guidance and hands-on management.

“It’s not uncommon for adult children to involve a geriatric care manager when things are getting complicated with a new diagnosis or a change in function or cognition, especially when the family lives far away and they need guidance on which options are available,” says Dr. Christine Ritchie, a geriatrician, palliative care physician and professor at the University of California—San Francisco School of Medicine.

Full story at US News

Should Seniors Be Driving?

PRINCE PHILIP, WHO’S 97, was recently involved in a car crash that injured two women and prompted a debate on older drivers in Britain. Two days after the accident, he was photographed driving a Land Rover and not wearing a seatbelt. Of course, that reignited a debate about seniors and driving.

An Emotionally Charged Issue

What if I told you that tomorrow, just for a day, you would all of a sudden not have a car available? What if I said a week? You can start to see how your independence would be affected.

A car represents different things to people: a way to get to places for some; status and identity for others; freedom and spontaneity. What it represents also says a lot about how you approach the situation.

Full story at US News

Home Instead Senior Care Partners with GrandPad To Provide Enhanced Integrated Care Solution

Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor for the Home Instead Senior Care®  network, today announced a partnership with GrandPad®, the first tablet-based solution designed exclusively for seniors. The two organizations are coming together to offer innovation that will change the way we care for the growing number of older adults.

The partnership provides a platform for Home Instead franchise owners to offer integrated care solutions that will enhance the client experience while a Home Instead CAREGiverSM is in the home. It also sets the stage for Home Instead to offer new services, such as interactive remote care, which would create new opportunities for the delivery of technology-based home care across underserved populations and rural geographies.

The agreement includes an equity investment in GrandPad. Additionally, Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc., has been added to the GrandPad board of directors.

Full story at Home Instead

Medicare Cuts Payments To Nursing Homes Whose Patients Keep Ending Up In Hospital

The federal government has taken a new step to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions of nursing home patients by lowering a year’s worth of payments to nearly 11,000 nursing homes. It gave bonuses to nearly 4,000 others.

These financial incentives, determined by each home’s readmission rates, significantly expand Medicare’s effort to pay medical providers based on the quality of care instead of just the number or condition of their patients. Until now, Medicare limited these kinds of incentives mostly to hospitals, which have gotten used to facing financial repercussions if too many of their patients are readmitted, suffer infections or other injuries, or die.

“To some nursing homes, it could mean a significant amount of money,” said Thomas Martin, director of post-acute care analytics at CarePort Health, which works for both hospitals and nursing homes. “A lot are operating on very small margins.”

Full story at Kaiser Health News

What Factors Make for the Best Assisted Living Facilities?

IF YOU WERE BORN between 1946 and 1964, you count yourself, of course, as part of the baby boomer generation that is the largest in American history. And boomers age just like everyone else. In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2035, adults aged 65 and older will number more than 78 million. By comparison, kids aged 18 and younger are expected to total just 76.4 million, meaning that in short order, the number of seniors in the country will outnumber children for the first time in American history.

As they continue to age, many people need some help in completing the daily tasks of living. Faced with the decision of how to address these needs, thousands are settling on the option of an assisted living facility.

Definitions of assisted living can vary from state to state and facility to facility, but “we generally define it as another long-term care option for folks that generally don’t need 24/7 skilled nursing care, which is what most long-term nursing homes provide,” says Rachel Reeves, director of communications for the National Center for Assisted Living, a non-profit organization representing about 4,000 assisted living facilities across the country. For many people, assisted living means they need help with some aspects of daily living, such bathing, dressing, toileting, eating or transferring to bed at night. “Assisted living really focuses on supporting individuals with those activities, but then also maximizing independence and socialization in a home-like environment,” Reeves says. Currently, the NCAL reports that there are more than 835,000 Americans residing in assisted living facilities.

Full story at US News

A Retirement Community Turned Away These Married Women

Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance did considerable research in 2016 before deciding to move into a continuing care retirement community outside St. Louis.

They took a tour of Friendship Village Sunset Hills and were impressed by its pool and fitness center, a calendar crammed with activities, the newly built apartments for independent living. They had meals with a friend and with a former co-worker, and their spouses, all of them enthusiastic residents.

“We’d met other people from the community, and they were very friendly,” said Ms. Walsh, 72, a retired manager for AT&T. “I was feeling good about it.”

Like most C.C.R.C.s, Friendship Village — a “faith-based” but nondenominational nonprofit — includes assisted living and a nursing home on its 52-acre campus, an important consideration.

Full story at the New York Times

Congress voices concern over CMS’ response to nursing facility abuse

Republican lawmakers on Monday told the CMS they are concerned the agency may not be doing enough to prevent patient abuse in skilled-nursing facilities.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee highlighted recent media reports describing instances of abuse, neglect and patient harm occurring at nursing facilities across the country.

“These reports raise serious questions about the degree to which the CMS is fulfilling its responsibility to ensure federal quality of care standards are being met, as well as its duty to protect vulnerable seniors from elder abuse and harm in facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” the letter stated.

Full story at Modern Healthcare

In San Diego County, a Battle Against Elder Abuse

SAN DIEGO — TERRIFIC weather, welcoming beaches and a famous zoo have earned San Diego a reputation for family fun.

It’s also among the safest big cities in the country, crows San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, with its crime rate at a 49-year low and its homicide rate at its lowest ever. And San Diego County‘s above-average score in public safety – based on homicide and crime rates, deadly vehicle crashes and other data from recent years – helped it crack U.S. News’ ranking of America’s top 500 Healthiest Communities, a project that assessed some 3,000 communities across the U.S. on a range of factors tied to residents’ overall health.

In March, however, Stephan’s office launched a new initiative to go after a scourge of elder abuse – a category of illicit activity that includes physical assault and financial crime, and is often perpetrated by caretakers and even the victims’ children. It’s been on the increase in San Diego County, which encompasses the city of San Diego and is home to some 3 million people, and is bound to become more of a national problem as the baby boomer generation ages.

Full story at US News

A South Carolina CIL Leads the Way on Employment for Youth with Disabilities

Able South Carolina is a Center for Independent Living (CIL) that has taken a leading role in promoting successful employment outcomes for the state’s youth with disabilities. Reflecting the independent living principle of “nothing about us without us,” 80% of Able SC’s staff are people with disabilities. Their efforts highlight the importance of building broad coalitions and letting people with disabilities lead the way.

In 2016, Able SC became the first Center for Independent Living awarded a Partnerships in Employment (PIE) Systems Change Grant. These five-year grants fund various state agencies and organizations to form consortiums that improve employment outcomes, expand competitive employment in integrated settings, and improve statewide system policies and practices for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 2011, ACL’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has funded PIE grants for 14 state projects.

Full story at acl.gov

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 acl.gov