During the years when copper was king in Butte, Montana, it was known as “The Richest Hill on Earth.”
Editor’s Note: For more than a year, the Health AGEnda blog has been featuring occasional guest posts regarding the 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 Pacific Northwest.
When it comes to improving the care of older adults, family caregivers are too often left out of the equation. This occurs despite their critical role in supporting the health and well-being of millions of older people.
The CARE Act, model legislation developed and spread by AARP and its state offices, has been enacted in about 30 states, providing a new tool to help balance that equation by requiring the identification, notification, and education of family caregivers of individuals who are hospitalized. (For more information, read the AARP Thinking Policy blog post Stepping Up to Support Caregivers.)
While this is just one step in one setting, we have the chance to help implement this law in the right way and leverage it into broader changes so that family caregivers are recognized and assisted in all parts of the health care system.
Amy Berman testifies before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
When I was first diagnosed with end stage cancer, I wanted to find a way to use my experience of care to inform people, families, health care providers, and policymakers about the attributes of good care for the seriously ill.
Sophie Shepherd at the KANA Clinic in Alaska with therapist Meara Baldwin, LCSW, a care manager in the depression treatment program funded through the SIF initiative. – From the JAHF 2015 Annual Report
In addition to highlighting several important grant projects approved in 2015, the report features an in-depth look at the Foundation’s Social Innovation Fund initiative, a creative public-private partnership that is spreading the evidence-based collaborative care model of depression treatment to underserved, low-income rural communities in Washington, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.
Today, June 15th, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, offering an opportunity for all of us to join a global chorus calling for more awareness and action to end all forms of elder mistreatment.
As a clinician with expertise in caring for older adults, I have made elder mistreatment a priority in my research and practice. It is a common and even deadly problem, but it all too frequently goes undiagnosed and unreported. It has also too often been ignored as the true public health concern that it is.
An estimated one in ten older Americans suffer elder mistreatment, defined as physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or abandonment. I’ve seen it in clinical practice; we sometimes see it in the news. It is horrifying and awful, yet there is much we can immediately do to protect older adults, support their family caregivers, and prevent abuse and mistreatment from occurring.
We are very pleased to announce five new grants totaling $4.8 million approved by The John A. Hartford Foundation Board of Trustees in June that target critical gaps that exist in providing comprehensive, age-specific, coordinated care to older adults and their families.
Each of these exciting projects supports the work of innovative organizations and individuals, and all relate to emerging priorities that we see as critical over the next several years.
Through a new initiative that brings together national leaders in the move to improve home-based primary care, we are bridging the gap in care for the frailest, sickest homebound elders for whom house calls could be a saving grace. We are also addressing important gaps in health care policy related to palliative care, hospital admission status, and oral health through outreach, education, and advocacy. And through a potentially game-changing partnership with Kaiser Health News (KHN), we are addressing the gap in high-quality news coverage and public understanding about the complex issues of health care delivery and its impact on older adults and their families.
JAHF President Terry Fulmer, left, showed Kathrin Lozah the connection between passion and innovation during Lozah’s six-month internship.
Working in a setting that has a diverse group of people with differing backgrounds, education, and experiences who are passionate about what they do creates the ideal habitat for innovation. That is something I learned very quickly in my time working as an intern at The John A. Hartford Foundation over the past six months.
The variety in the skill set of the JAHF staff creates the perfect environment for developing multidisciplinary teams, fostering partnerships, and improving overall creative potential. Degrees and education among the staff members vary significantly, ranging from RNs to MPAs, PhDs to MPHs, and many more.
Editor’s Note: Today, we welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ellen Goodman, co-founder and director of The Conversation Project, to Health AGEnda. The Conversation Project is part of a $3.5 million John A. Hartford Foundation grant approved in March supporting an exciting collaborative of six practitioners who will work cooperatively to expand the availability and improve the quality of advance care planning and end-of-life care. Since it was launched in 2010, The Conversation Project has focused on helping families and friends talk openly about their wishes for end-of-life care in a way that makes sure those wishes are not only expressed, but respected.
When we launched The Conversation Project, we knew the importance of encouraging people to express their wishes for end-of-life care before there was a crisis. In a survey we did, people often gave the same excuse for not having the conversation: “it’s too soon.” To which we always replied, “It’s always too soon, until it’s too late.”
There is nothing that shows the wisdom of that statement more than the terrible experiences of families and friends whose loved ones suffer from Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We—and my family is part of that “we”—often feel tragically unable to have these important conversations after someone we love goes into cognitive decline.
Each year, staff of The John A. Hartford Foundation look forward to May and the annual scientific meeting of long-time grantee and partner, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). This year’s meeting in Long Beach, CA will once again offer us the chance to showcase the work of grantees, learn about the latest advances in aging and health research, meet with colleagues in the field, and celebrate those who have made important contributions to improving care for older adults.
Wally Patawaran’s mother, Emma, in Seville, Spain, before her first stroke.
“My mother understands everything we’re saying.”
My brother was addressing the latest home health aide, giving her an orientation. She nodded on cue, but it seemed clear that she was giving this latest assignment a look-over before signing on. She could have been forgiven for wondering about the truth of the statement.