VOLUME 18 | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director

New AoA grant to strengthen state leaders

IGSW Joins Partnership for Aging Network
Training and Evaluation

By Scott Miyake Geron

ScottI am pleased to announce that IGSW will be a partner with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) on its new project Strengthening the Aging Network: An Opportunity for Training and Evaluation. This project brings together a diverse group of distinguished organizations and institutions to employ the power of training to influence policy implementation. It provides IGSW a new opportunity in that the focus will be directly on state policy-makers, rather than on practitioners, at whom IGSW efforts for workforce change are usually aimed....

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Issues and Views

What about safety?

Auto Is Most Important Travel Option for Elders

By Sandra Rosenbloom

SandraBy 2030, almost every person who reaches traditional retirement age will do so as a licensed driver; even in 2008, almost 92 percent of Americans over the age of 70 had a driver's license, and most were active drivers. It should not be surprising, then, that the car is the most important travel mode of all older people, whether or not they drive. In fact, each successive generation of older people is more likely than previous generations to depend on the car for mobility, and less likely to use alternatives. The second most important travel choice of older travelers is walking—all other modes combined are relatively insignificant for most older people....

Sandra Rosenbloom, a nationally known expert in planning, transportation, and aging, calls for a more realistic approach.

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Featured Course

Driving Transitions with Older Adults

Getting around—driving and not driving—is a major challenge for many older people, with the issue an important concern for their families and communities as well. Social service practitioners and others who work with older adults often are called upon to lead discussions on driving with elders and families and to facilitate assessment of driving skills, alterations of driving behavior or cessation of driving, and development of alternative transportation options. This course provides practitioners with the knowledge and skills to do so effectively. The course examines how visual, cognitive, and other functions that change with age can affect driving and how they can sometimes be mitigated by training or occupational and physical therapy. Relevant laws and resources are examined. The course provides screening tools, useful links, and video clips, including this clip in which Officer Bailey of the Massachusetts Police Department in Waltham offers tips to help older adults improve their driving skills.

To register for this course or for more information

AAA services 'cost-effective, appropriate'

White Paper for State Policy-Makers Shows
Value of Aging Network

photo 1The aging network, the configuration of mostly nonprofit and publicly financed service agencies and programs conceived as part of the Older Americans Act, has provided a foundation of home- and community-based care for older adults across the country for the past 40 years. Now, as provisions of the Affordable Care Act assign a top priority to in-home care, the aging network faces both chronic and recession-based funding difficulties in meeting burgeoning demand as well as a new set of challenges.

One of these is the growing interest that for-profit managed-care organizations show in participating more heavily in this market. When the Florida Legislature, with such managed care in mind, introduced Medicaid long-term-care reform in 2010, the state's aging network developed an authoritative report detailing its own recommendations to improve the Florida long-term-care system. The White Paper on Long Term Care Reform, which included documentation of the effectiveness of current aging-network services, could well be a blueprint for informing policy-makers and others about the work of the aging network in any state....

Max B. Rothman, a leader in the Florida aging network, talks about the white paper and what's happening now.

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Featured Course

A Guide to the Aging Network

photo 1Through the maze of services. From case management to health assessment, home-delivered meals, paratransit, and legal assistance, the services older people require come from a complex network of federal, state, and local programs and agencies and depend on a range of professionals specially trained in aging and from other fields, along with volunteer organizations and philanthropies. Here is a course that guides practitioners through this maze of available services. Course participants develop critical skills that will enable them to provide appropriate information and referrals for older people and their families, crucial in any number of settings.

To register for this course or for more information

News to Note

Trouble ahead?

CLASS Program, in Effect as of January 1,
Makes Deficit Commission's Hit List

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, the landmark long-term-care provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, went into effect as scheduled on January 1, but not before it made the hit list of the President's commission for deficit reduction. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which issued its recommendations on December 3, called for the CLASS program to be reformed or repealed, saying it is financially unsound and destined to be unappealing to consumers. While Commission members failed to give the report the number of votes required to send it on to Congress, inclusion on the list may signal potential trouble ahead for the CLASS program.

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Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions

New DHHS Collaboration Will Benefit Elders

LynnThe new Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions, an innovative public-private collaboration recently established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be of particular benefit to older adults as it aims to improve the overall health status of individuals with multiple chronic conditions through better coordination and management of care.

"In addition to focusing attention on improving the way we deliver healthcare in the U.S., the strategic framework also will promote patient- and family-centered care, which is what most older adults and their families want and need," said Lynn Feinberg, former director of the Campaign for Better Care, of the National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington, D.C., and now senior strategic policy advisor at AARP's Public Policy Institute.

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