Quote of the Month
“After a lifetime of contributions, they have earned our care and respect, and they deserve to live out their years with dignity and independence. … This month, we celebrate the accomplishments and sacrifices of our elders, and we reaffirm our belief that the promise of our Nation extends to Americans of all ages.” – President Barack Obama (From the 2015 Older Americans Month Proclamation)
2015 Cost of Care Survey
Genworth Financial released results from its annual Cost of Care survey, which analyzes the costs of receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the United States from home care providers, adult day health facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. The information is primarily targeted to a consumer audience to assist with planning for LTSS expenses. Their research shows that more than 70% of people over 65 will need LTSS at some point in their lifetime. This year’s survey found that while overall LTSS costs continue to rise, the rate for receiving services in an assisted living facility or nursing home are increasing at a faster rate than homemaker services or home health aides. For example, the survey found that the median annual cost of care for an assisted living facility is $43,200, an annual increase of 2.5% over the past 5 years, while the annual cost of care in a nursing home is $91,250, an annual increase of 4% over the past 5 years. Nationally, the 2015 median hourly cost for services of a homecare aide is $20. This cost has risen an average of 1% annually over the past five years Click here to download the full study. Click here for Pennsylvania-specific data.
White House Conference on Aging Update
The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) posted two new issue briefs on topics that will be addressed at the WHCOA. A series of questions are posed at the end of each brief. The WHCOA encourages you to respond to these questions and provide feedback and comments. The WHCOA long-term services and supports (LTSS) brief addresses five key areas: informal caregiving, formal services and supports, direct care workers, information access, and LTSS financing. The WHCOA policy brief on healthy aging “examines how Americans can enjoy long and healthy lives by maximizing their physical, mental, and social well-being.” Two more briefs will be released soon on elder justice and retirement security.
The WHCOA hosted a series of regional forums to engage with stakeholders on key issues affecting older Americans to help provide input for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, which will be held in Washington, DC later this year. Participation is by invitation, but the events are being webcasted. The last forum is scheduled for May 28 in Boston and the morning program should be streamed live. Recordings of past forums are available here. Be sure to sign-up for email alerts directly from the WHCOA website to be alerted to all upcoming activities.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has produced a special issue of The Gerontologist in preparation for the upcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging. You can read this edition now online for free. (Not sure if or when this option will expire.)
Last month, the Department of Human Services (DHS) starting implementing the Adult Protective Services (APS) Law for adults between 18 and 59 years of age who have a physical or mental disability. The Department of Human Services (DHS) website was recently updated to include guidance for mandatory reporters on the APS law. APS is similar to the Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA) administered by the Department of Aging for those 60 and over. Liberty Healthcare now has a contract to investigate APS cases statewide. Anyone who suspects that an adult is the victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment should call the statewide protective services hotline at 1-800-490-8505. This intake line is the same for adults of all ages. Cases involving adults 60 and over will be referred to the appropriate Area Agency on Aging while those 18-59 will be referred to Liberty Healthcare for investigation.
DHS announced several staff changes within the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL).
- Jennifer Burnett rejoins the administration as Deputy Secretary of OLTL. She held this position under former Gov. Rendell. She most recently served for four years at the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at CMS.
- Leesa Allen, formerly the executive director of Medicaid Programs, is now the Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance Programs.
- Kevin Hancock is the new OLTL Chief of Staff.
- Peggy Morningstar is the Director of the Bureau of Finance.
DHS is eliminating the SNAP asset test effective April 27, 2015.
Webcast and Videos
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) will welcome acclaimed authors Jerome Groopman, M.D. and Pamela Hartzband, M.D. as featured speakers for the sixth annual Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies. The husband-and-wife team will present “When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision Making.” The lecture will be streamed live at www.videocast.nih.gov.
The Tufts Health Plan Foundation released of a new 1.5 minute video,Building Age-Friendly Communities.
Grantmakers in Aging is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 20 from 2:00–3:00 pm ET, Aging and Homelessness. “Seniors and older adults experiencing homelessness are often a forgotten population. In this webinar, we will hear about the current framework for working with this population, explore the ways in which systems serving seniors can work better together, and discuss the funder’s role in ending and preventing homelessness for older adults.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation posted video Medicare and Medicaid at 50.
Just the Links
CARIE is a partner with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), the National Center for Victims of Crime (the National Center), and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) to celebrate the First Global Summit on Elder Abuse, which is being held to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The Summit will take place on June 15th, 2015 at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, DC. A related webinar, sponsored by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), is scheduled on May 22nd.
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act’s April 2015 Advisory Council meeting presentation slides and videos are now available online.
Justice in Aging (formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center) released a new issue brief, A Right to Person-Centered Care Planning, for Medicaid consumers of long term services and supports.
AARP’s Public Policy Institute launched the AARP Livability Index, “a first of its kind resource that allows people to determine how well their communities are meeting their current and future needs.”
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released new reports includingCognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Actionthat assesses the public health dimensions of cognitive aging and Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress that includes fifteen measures for assessing and monitoring the progress of the nation’s health. Explore the infographic to see examples. (Please note that the National Academy of Sciences voted to change the name of the Institute of Medicine to the National Academy of Medicine effective July 1.)
The Center for Medicare Advocacy posted an alert, Observation Status Update and AARP’s PPI posted, Observation Status: Financial Implications for Medicare Beneficiaries.
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) released a study, The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, which found that 15.5% of seniors or 9.6 million Americans age 60 or older faced the threat of hunger. The NFESH & NASUAD formed aSenior Hunger Think Tank that “will bring together state officials, experts in senior hunger and leaders from the private sector to examine the impact that individual state policies can have in addressing the growing problem of senior hunger.”
Keystone Crossroads posted an article, How Can PA Cities Prepare for their Aging Populations?
Pennsylvania’s Joint State Government Commission released a report, The Physician Shortage in Pennsylvania.
A digital version of the 2015 Benefits & Rights for Older Pennsylvanians is now available.
Emmanuel Austin, a CARIE student intern from Drexel University’s School of Public Health, completed an analysis of Philadelphia hospitals’ Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) and implementation plans as part of his internship experience at CARIE.
Just for Fun
CARIE’s favorite TV consumer reporter, Jim Donovan, recently did a news story to help people find unclaimed cash. “Did you know that one in every 10 people are owed some sort of unclaimed funds? In our region more than $8 billion dollars are being held by state treasury offices waiting to be claimed – find out if you’re one of them!” Jim provideslinks to resources in all 50 states. Good luck in finding some cash!
Thanks to all who attended, supported, and volunteered at CARIE’s Cavalcade of Stars – Celebrating older loved ones and friends who inspire! The two recipients of this year’s Spirit of CARIE award, Terry Roth and Dr. Norma Thomas gave inspirational remarks. Jim Donovan was truly a “Master” of Ceremonies. A good time seemed to be had by all. Thanks again!
CARIE and SeniorLaw Center had an open house inviting all of the wonderful senior artists who generously donated artwork now displayed throughout our office. The May edition of Milestones, features an article about the senior artists, Two senior advocacy organizations deck their walls with works by senior artists. (Reprinted by permission from Milestones, a publication of Philadelphia Corporation for Aging)
On April 13, CARIE sent a letter to Senator Toomey and Senator Casey about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The bill contains both positive and negative provisions related to older adults. President Obama signed the bill into law. See last month’s newsletter for more information.
CARIE Connection Archives
Are looking for a past issue of CARIE Connection? Click here to access past newsletters.
Public Policy Meeting Announcement
The next Dorothy S. Washburn Legislative Committee meeting will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at CARIE’s office at Two Penn Center – Suite 1500. Here is the agenda. All are welcome. Hope you can join us.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions.
267-546-3438 or 1-800-356-3606, ext. 3438