Health AGEnda

Floods, Fires, and Zika: Emergency Preparedness Must Include Older Adults

wildfire_shutterstock_235607584_400pThis summer we have witnessed catastrophic flooding in Louisiana, raging wildfires in California, and the rapid spread of the Zika virus. These frightening events should remind us about the importance of emergency preparedness. For those of us in the field of aging, these emergencies obligate us to remind everyone about their often outsized effects on older adults and the extra preparations needed for the safety of our aging population.

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Flooding in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina.

With the floods in Louisiana, the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy, the numbers are staggering. At least 40,000 homes have been damaged, more than 30,000 people had to be rescued, and more than 8,000 people were in shelters last week, including many older adults. Four nursing homes in the Baton Rouge area were evacuated. The death toll attributed to the floods sadly rose to 13 this past weekend with the most recent victim a 93-year old woman who contracted pneumonia after inhaling flood water.

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Southern Maine Agency on Aging Wins First Business Innovation Award at n4a Conference

SMAA Full Color Logo_300pIn recognition of its successful collaboration with a health care system, we are proud to announce that the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) is the first winner of The John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award. We congratulate SMAA for its bold, transformative work to improve the quality of life for older adults and/or people with disabilities through this sustainable business partnership.

The award was presented recently at the annual conference of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), which–along with its partners at the American Society on Aging (ASA), Independent Living Research Utilization/National Center for Aging and Disability, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley/Healthy Living Center of Excellence, and Partners in Care Foundation—is working under a three-year John A. Hartford Foundation grant to support an initiative to successfully build and strengthen partnerships between social service agencies and health care systems and health plans. The goal is to expand access by older adults to evidence-based programs that help them live with dignity and independence in their homes and communities as long as possible.

Rani Snyder, right, presents the first John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award to Larry Gross, CEO of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.

Rani Snyder, right, presents the first John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award to Larry Gross, CEO of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.

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Home and Community-Based Services:
A John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts Issue Brief

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

This is the last 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 Home and Community-Based Care group’s proceedings and should inform future work to create widespread and systemic changes in the care of older adults.

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Institutional Long-Term Care:
A John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts Issue Brief

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

This is the sixth 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 Institutional Long-Term Care group’s proceedings and should inform future work to create widespread and systemic changes in the care of older adults.The final issue brief in the series will be published on Health AGEnda in the coming weeks.

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Coming Home

Rani Snyder, MPA

Rani Snyder, MPA, Program Director, The John A. Hartford Foundation

Nothing pleases me more than having the opportunity to tell my colleagues and the world at large that I am the new Program Director for The John A. Hartford Foundation. And nothing could be truer than to say that the Foundation has not just shaped, but has actually determined the course of my professional life.

Like a parent guiding and teaching, the Foundation put me on a path and gave me the freedom to leave the nest and find my way—gaining valuable experience and maturity along the journey. Now, I have come back home.

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

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

This is the fifth 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 Acute Care group’s proceedings and should inform future work to create widespread and systemic changes in the care of older adults.The remaining issue briefs will be published on Health AGEnda in the coming weeks.

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

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

This is the fourth 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 Primary 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. 

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Three New Grants Totaling $6.7 Million Represent Powerful Opportunities to Improve Care of Older Adults

From right, Amy Berman, John A. Hartford Foundation President Terry Fulmer, Jon Broyles of C-TAC, and Bud Hammes of Respecting Choices engage in a convening held in June 2015 by JAHF on “End of Life and Serious Illness.”

The John A. Hartford Foundation’s dedicated staff is constantly monitoring the dynamic health care landscape to identify powerful opportunities for large-scale change that will result in better care and better lives for all older adults. I am very pleased to announce that our Trustees last week approved three new grants totaling $6.7 million that leverage these opportunities.

One of the keys to effective grantmaking is to partner with innovative leaders at the very top of their fields. That is certainly true of the Foundation’s new grants.

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Modern Day Heroes: Celebrating Family Caregivers of Older Adults and Their Caring Superpowers

The John A. Hartford Foundation President Terry Fulmer, at the Rockefeller Center display window.

The John A. Hartford Foundation President Terry Fulmer, at the Rockefeller Center display window.

Every day, millions of older adults receive assistance from their very own personal superheroes: the friends and family caregivers who help coordinate medical appointments, prepare meals, give medications, and perform myriad other critical caregiving tasks.

Even without capes and masks, and despite providing $470 billion worth of care annually, these modern day heroes often go unrecognized. Too often, they also go without adequate support and training, which can be dangerous for them as well as the older adults in their care.

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End of Life and Serious Illness:
A John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts Issue Brief

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

This is the third 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 End of Life and Serious Illness 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. 

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