VOLUME 19 | SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2012 | IGSW at Boston University

From the Director

New name, expanded focus, same commitment

IGSW Will Become Center for Aging and Disability
Education and Research at Boston University

By Scott Miyake Geron

Fighting for Our HealthAfter 10 years as the Institute for Geriatric Social Work, we will soon be changing our name to reflect the evolution of our mission over the past several years. IGSW will now be known as the Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research at Boston University, dedicated to workforce development in both the aging and the disability fields. This change is based on our part in the growing movement to integrate supports and services for older adults and people with disabilities and our efforts to meet the corresponding education and training needs of workers and providers who increasingly serve both groups. Unchanged is our longtime commitment to building the workforce for an aging and diverse society. Taking this leap forward prompts a look at how far we've come.... Read more

Photo of Scott Miyake Geron courtesy of Boston University

From Administration for Community Living

New Grant Will Fund Training for Aging, Disability
Providers in Negotiating with Managed-Care Organizations

IGSW/Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research has just been awarded a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living-Office of Aging and Disability Policy to train aging and disability providers, including those on tribal lands, in negotiating with health and managed-care organizations. The award of $153,500 is for the first year of what is expected to be a three-year project.... Read more

Issues and Views

IGSW courses' expanded focus

Workers in Health and Long-Term-Care Supports
and Services Need Diverse, Evolving Set of Skills

By Bronwyn Keefe

The goal of the new Administration for Community Living—to improve the supports and services that older adults and people with disabilities may need in order to live with dignity in their communities—highlights the importance of what people who work with these individuals do every day in their jobs. Their work is complex and requires a diverse and evolving set of knowledge and skills, now more than ever. At IGSW over the past 10 years, our innovative courses and learning programs have helped thousands of social service practitioners and other health and human service workers to strengthen their knowledge and skills for work with older adults. As services for older adults and people with disabilities have become increasingly integrated, our courses have evolved accordingly.

Core Issues in Aging and Disability, our latest course offering, brings service providers up to date as they increasingly work with individuals from both populations.... Read more about what's in the works.

Photo of Bronwyn Keefe courtesy of Boston University

Local, state, and national solutions

Advocate of Elder Substance Abuse Programs
Is Nominee for National Drug Control Office

By Mary Johnson

Substance abuse among older adults remains a serious problem that is exacerbated by a lack of prevention and treatment specifically geared for elders, say the CDC and other public health researchers. Michael Botticelli (right) has served for the past nine years as director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where, among many other challenges and achievements, he championed substance-abuse prevention and treatment for older adults. He has just been nominated to be the next deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control in Washington, D.C. Will he still be an advocate for elders? Read what Michael Botticelli said in a recent IGSW News interview.

Photo of Michael Botticelli courtesy Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Address a hidden problem with this IGSW Course

Substance Abuse Among Older Adults

Through case examples, assessment questions, and interactive activities, this course brings social service providers and others to an understanding of substance abuse as an issue that affects the older adults in their practice. Learn to recognize substance abuse and to undertake steps to effective identification, referral, and intervention. Sign up now for a 10 percent discount or learn more about this course

See also: Treatment Approach for Advanced Substance Abuse

News to Note

'In Whose Hands?'

IOM Report: Boost Work Force, Fund Training to
Address Elder Substance Abuse, Mental Health

Training of health and social service professionals across all disciplines should ensure competence in care of older adults with substance use and mental health problems, says a new Institute of Medicine report, The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? According to the committee that wrote the report, the magnitude of these problems is so great that no single approach or isolated changes in a few federal agencies or programs will address it. The committee called for Medicare and Medicaid coverage of related counseling, care management, and other services, and for action by licensure and accreditation organizations.... Read more

Again, it's about care coordination

New 'Guiding Principles' of Quality Care
for Elders with Multiple Chronic Conditions

A just-released report from the American Geriatrics Society, Patient-Centered Care for Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Stepwise Approach, offers a new set of "guiding principles" to better individualize and coordinate care for this growing population. More than half of adults 65 and older have at least three chronic conditions, and about 93 percent of Medicare expenditure goes to care for these patients, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report's new principles are distilled into five basic steps for better care. All underline the importance of the care coordination that social service practitioners provide.... Read more