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

These Annual Checkups Help Seniors Not Only Survive But Thrive

Bea Lipsky shuffled into her wellness coach’s office one morning this fall and parked her walker by the wall. Lipsky, 89, had had a trying year, enduring a hernia operation and two emergency room visits for heart problems. She’s losing her hearing, and recently gave up her dream of riding in a hot air balloon for her 90th birthday.

That day, though, she was filled with pride: She told her coach she’d achieved her goals for the year, including attending her grandson’s wedding in China.

Lipsky spent two months training, doing leg curls and riding a stationary bicycle, to build up the strength to make it through a 10-day trip to China, accompanied by an aide. “It was absolutely divine,” she told coach Susan Flashner-Fineman, who works at the Orchard Cove retirement community in Canton, Mass., where Lipsky has lived for the past four years.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

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 ACL.gov

Aging Population Offers Investing Opportunities

Americans are aging and that is creating opportunity for savvy investors.

With about 46 million Americans over the age of 65 – a number expected to double over the next 25 years – families, health care providers and patients are having to adapt to managing chronic health conditions, accessibility and good quality of life.

In a study by America’s Research Group, 72 percent said they would do everything possible to avoid staying in a traditional nursing home. Caregiving is one of the biggest job growth sectors and 14 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s have cared for an aging parent or elderly family member, according to the Pew Research Center. Most others expect to care for an aging family member.

Full story at US News

Elder abuse research yields new evidence on incidence, risks, outcomes

As World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed on June 15, new study data from the Chinese community in Chicago is shedding light on the impact of elder abuse in America.

The discoveries are reported in five articles appearing in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Rush University Medical Center Medical Center Professor XinQi Dong, MD, MPH, led the team that conducted the research.

“What we’re finding is that elder abuse is an extremely complex problem, with severe consequences regarding psychological well-being,” Dong said. “Patterns of victimization may be influenced by the older adults’ health, intergenerational relationships, and other social determinants like culture.

Full story of new evidence on elderly abuse at Science Daily

Worker-owned cooperatives may help address elder care deficit

A growing elder care shortage could be eased by worker-owned cooperatives, a little-used business model that also improves the working conditions and the quality of life for caregivers. That’s the conclusion reached by University of Georgia faculty member Rebecca Matthew and Vanessa Bransburg, a cooperative development specialist, in a recent, award-winning case study.

Matthew, an assistant professor at the UGA School of Social Work, and Bransburg, a staff member at Democracy at Work Institute in San Diego, California, looked for a successful system of home-based caring labor that puts equal emphasis on the well-being of both the care recipient and the provider. They examined the most popular forms of paid child care — for-profit and nonprofit services — alongside worker-owned child care cooperatives. The latter system is popular in other parts of the world, but represents a fraction of the caregiving services available in the U.S.

The cooperatives, which give employees greater control over their working conditions and a share in profits, improved the quality of life of both care recipients and providers.

Full story of worker-owned cooperatives and the elder care deficit at Science Daily

Elders living alone with abuser more likely to endure severe mistreatment

A new study examining elder abuse–released by researchers at the University of Toronto, Cornell University, and Weill-Cornell Medical College–has found that older adult victims living alone with their abuser were up to four times more likely to endure more severe levels of mistreatment. The study suggests that the addition of non-perpetrators also living in the home played a protective function to buffer severity.

“Older adults are particularly vulnerable to severe mistreatment when the abuser has unrestricted and uninhibited access to the victim,” said co-author Dr. Karl Pillemer, Hazel E. Reed Professor at Cornell University’s Department of Human Development and Professor of Gerontology at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Research on older adults tends to categorize subjects according to different age groups, including the ‘youngest old’ (ages 60 to 74) and the ‘oldest old’ (ages 85 and up). One surprising finding was that across each type of elder abuse, it was the ‘youngest old’ who experienced the most severe forms of mistreatment.

Full story of elders living alone with abusers at Science Daily