Health AGEnda

Dementia Care: A John A. Hartford Foundation
Change AGEnts Issue Brief

This is the first in a series of seven issue briefs.

The John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts Initiative accelerates sustained practice change that improves the care of older adults. It does this by harnessing the collective power of The John A. Hartford Foundation’s interprofessional community of scholars, clinicians, and health system leaders.

In December 2015, nearly 100 John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts gathered in Philadelphia, PA to identify challenges and opportunities for improving care of older adults in several care settings and issue areas. Each group worked toward identifying actionable areas for John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts, the Foundation, and colleagues in the field to pursue. The brief below represents the summary of the Dementia Care group’s proceedings and should inform future work to create widespread and systemic changes in the care of older adults.The other issue briefs will be published on Health AGEnda over the following weeks.

dementia_care_shutterstock_149259164_300pDementia Care

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Dr. Eckstrom: ‘Cultural Shift’ Needed to Improve Care of Older Adults

Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH

Geriatrician Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH, shares her professional perspective on caregiving in the book she co-authored, The Gift of Caring.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and gift giving will abound. It makes me think of those who give the gift of selflessly caring for others, such as those family and friends who care for their older adult loved ones.

There are many resources to help these family caregivers. The Gift of Caring: Saving Our Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare is one new resource that shares both a personal and professional perspective on caring for older adults.

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Telling Our Story

Click on image to read the article.

Click on image to read the article.

A headline in Tuesday’s New York Times asks a very important question: “As the population ages, where are the geriatricians?

The story, by Katie Hafner, describes the shortage of geriatrics and gerontologic expertise in our health system today. It features the important and compelling work of our colleague Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, and her team at Oregon Health and Science University, where we have funded a number of grant projects, notably in geriatric nursing and care models. The story also features comments from several John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts who work every day to share their precious expertise in caring for older adults.

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Making Elder Justice a Reality

Click on image above to view or download the FrameWorks Institute report on elder justice.

Click on image above to view or download the FrameWorks Institute report on elder justice.

I had the privilege of presenting at a webinar last week titled “Making Elder Justice a Reality: The Federal and Philanthropic Perspectives,” the first in the new year of Grantmakers in Aging’s “Conversations with GIA” series. During his introductory remarks, GIA Chief Executive Officer John Feather described elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation as “a silent problem.”

How can that be?

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Tools You Can Use: New Collaborative Guideline Spotlights Optimal Care for Older Adults Undergoing Surgery

TS_121011_surgeons_400pMy 77-year old father underwent surgery two years ago and I recall how frightening it was for him, my mother, and our entire family. Unfortunately, our fear was realized when he had a terrible post-operative infection that sent him to the emergency room and on to a follow-up surgery.

Sadly, he and my mom were not given good hospital discharge instructions and they ignored signs of problems far too long. No follow-up appointment with his primary care provider had been set, either, which could have averted the complication (and to this day, I kick myself for not catching that).

It could have been much worse. For patients older than my father with more chronic conditions, even surgery that is technically perfect can be fraught with danger and poor outcomes without the application of geriatric best practices that address the whole-person needs of the patient.

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SIF Grant Helps Strengthen ‘Butte-tiful’ Community

Beautiful vistas surround "The Richest Hill on Earth."

Beautiful vistas surround “The Richest Hill on Earth.”

Editor’s Note: The Southwest Montana Community Health Center  in Butte, Montana, is one of eight primary care community clinics receiving funding through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF) initiative to spread the IMPACT program, also known as Collaborative Care, in the rural Northwest.

The John A. Hartford Foundation was one of just four new awardees chosen in 2012 to serve as an intermediary between SIF and subgrantees implementing innovative care models. As a result, a $3 million federal grant has been matched by $3 million from the John A. Hartford Foundation, with additional matching grants from the subgrantees, to spread the IMPACT/Collaborative Care model of depression treatment in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

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Happy New Year! But First …
Health AGEnda Highlights from 2015

2016_NewYear_shutterstock_339017210_400pAs we prepare to greet 2016 tonight, we want to take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy and happy new year!

We hope you share our excitement about the coming year, and the bright prospects it brings to deliver better care for older adults. But before we sing Auld Lang Syne, we’d like to take a minute to reflect on and celebrate some of our Health AGEnda highlights from 2015.

New Leadership

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Happy Holidays!

holiday_2015_shutterstock_235946851_600pWarm Holiday Wishes from Health AGEnda and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

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Five New Grants Totaling $6.7 Million Will Improve
Care of Older Adults

nurse_older_woman_shutterstock_310053887_400pAs the new year approaches, we look forward to the new grant projects that promise to make 2016 an exciting time for the John A. Hartford Foundation, our grantees, and colleagues who are all working to improve the care of older adults! We have so much to celebrate that has already been accomplished and the momentum going forward is palpable.

I am pleased to let you know that last week, our Trustees, led by Board Chair Peggy Wolff, approved five grants totaling $6.7 million. These projects, while focusing on a range of settings where older adults need improved care, all have several important features in common.

Whether it is the emergency department (ED), nursing homes, or in primary care, these projects will each utilize the deep knowledge of our John A. Hartford Foundation network of experts in the care of older adults. And while a single organization serves as our official grantee for each, they all will be successful because of strong collaboration among multiple organizations that share a commitment to creating large-scale change to meet the needs of older adults, their families, and our entire society.

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Giving Thanks (even after Thanksgiving): News from the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

NHCGNE-logo_400pWhile the turkey (and leftovers) have long been consumed, dishes washed, and guests departed, we continue to give thanks at the John A. Hartford Foundation for the work of our grantees to improve the care of older adults.

Today, we thank the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) for their 3.5 years of partnership with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE). And with great excitement, we announce that, effective January 2016, the National Hartford Center will relocate to the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing in order to build on the success achieved to date at GSA and to enhance the momentum of our growing membership.

Since 2000, the focus of the work of the National Hartford Center has been to prepare new academic gerontological nursing leaders and enhance the gerontological nursing expertise of current faculty. Much has been accomplished during the National Hartford Center’s time at GSA: the center has grown its annual Academic Leadership Conference and married the work of the National Hartford Center with that of our more than 300-plus nursing alumni member organization (formerly known as the Hartford Gerontological Nursing Leaders).

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