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Georgia News

FEBRUARY 2010

Culture Change Network of Georgia Receives Grant for Development & Education

A BIG THANKS to Healthcare Research, Inc. for supporting the Culture Change Network of Georgia with a grant for the continued coordination and development of culture change work in Georgia!  You will begin to notice changes in the website that provides you with timely, significant information as well as resources (like the new FREE webinar series mentioned below), and promising practices from providers throughout Georgia.  The grant also provides funding for training via scholarships to the 3rd Annual Georgia Culture Change Summit.  Several new webinars will be developed to provide you with information to help you implement culture change in your organization.  Lastly, the grant will fund 500 of Richard Taylor’s first DVD, “Be with me TODAY.”  Every nursing home in Georgia will receive one of these DVDs this spring!

Webinar Series Presented by the Culture Change Network of Georgia ~ Setting the Stage for Culture Change: Preparing for Our Aging Population

This webinar series provides a summary of each of the three tracks presented at the 2nd Annual Culture Change Network of Georgia Summit, and an overview of the culture change movement.  Session 1: Overview of Culture Change and Person-Centered Care by Kim McRae; Session 2: Dementia and Communication by Karen Stobbe; Session 3: Vision and Leadership by Steve Shields; and Session 4: Implementation, “How To…” and Celebrating Success by Karen Nichols.  Support for the series was generously provided by Healthcare Research, Inc. Recordings of these complementary webinars are available 24/7 so that everyone in your organization can have access to this wonderful information.  Available on the web site (www.culturechangega.org). 

100% of Georgia Nursing Homes are Participating in the Advancing Excellence Campaign!

We applaud each of you for your commitment to quality improvement by signing up for the Advancing Excellence Campaign. Georgia is one of only a few states where 100% of our nursing facilities are taking part in this great work! Over 6000 U.S. nursing homes have signed on to participate.  The national average of participation was 38.8%. 

Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes is a national campaign to encourage, assist and empower nursing homes to improve the quality of care and life for residents.  Comprised of long term care providers, medical professionals, consumers, employees, and state and federal agencies, AE is the largest and first coalition of its kind to measure quality by setting clinical and organizational goals for nursing homes. 

LANEs (Local Area Networks of Excellence) are the statewide coalitions of stakeholders.  The LANE is the central organization within a state to support participating nursing homes in achieving their clinical and organizational goals and help the Campaign succeed.  The LANE is comprised of a wide spectrum of long-term care stakeholders including representatives of the nursing home associations, state survey agency, ombudsman office and quality improvement organization as well as consumer advocacy organizations.

When asked why the Georgia LANE is so active in promoting nursing home enrollment in Advancing Excellence, LANE co-convener Linda Kluge noted that, “The Campaign provides the framework for nursing homes to be able to improve the quality they offer their residents. Participating nursing homes, through involvement in the Campaign and use of its technical assistance resources, can position themselves to provide better care, have better surveys, and get better satisfaction results.”

The coalition stimulates quality improvements by providing nursing homes with free, current and practical evidence-based resources, empowering residents and their families with education, and helping participants reach their targets. Homes can compare their progress with state and national averages.

The eight goals included in the campaign are: Goal 1 – Staff Turnover; Goal 2 – Consistent Assignment; Goal 3 – Restraints; Goal 4 – Pressure Ulcers; Goal 5 – Pain; Goal 6 – Advance Care Planning; Goal 7 – Resident/Family Satisfaction; Goal 8 – Staff Satisfaction.  The ranking of goals selected by nursing homes in Georgia can be found here:  Congratulations to you all as you begin this very important work.

Georgia One of Three States to Participate in the National Pilot Project Creating Home: A Consumer Initiative to Educate Consumers about Long-term Care and the Need for Change

Pioneer Network and the state culture change coalitions have been working hard to create places where elders are happy to live and workers are proud to work.  In addition, they support the need to create more options and choices for elders and others who need assistance and want to stay in their own homes.

Providers and organizations are changing, and now it is time to educate and inform consumers that things (aging and long-term care) can be different. Read more.

 

MARCH 2010

GEORGIA CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY FUNDS (CMPs) ARE ON THE TABLE AT THE GEORGIA STATE CAPITOL

By:  Kim McRae

Aging Services of Georgia, along with other groups, organizations and individuals throughout the state, has supported an effort to appropriate “Civil Monetary Penalty” funds (CMPs) to programs supporting Culture Change. By federal law these CMP dollars, which were collected as fines on nursing homes, must be spent to benefit residents of nursing homes.  Due to the “hole” in the FY ’10 budget, legislators are reluctant to fund any new programs, and the Senate version of the budget appropriates all of the CMP funds (an amount of more than $10 million) in an attempt to adhere to federal law yet still be used to address the budget deficit.  The House version appropriates $1 million to the long term care ombudsman program and $600,000 to Adult Protective Services.  The differences will have to be worked out by a conference committee when the General Assembly re-convenes on March 8.

 

Background: In 1986, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA) which allowed the government to issue sanctions against nursing homes that failed to comply with federal Medicare and Medicaid quality of care requirements. Civil money penalties (CMPs) are one type of sanction. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts with the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) to inspect nursing homes on a regular basis and to issue CMPs for failure to comply with federal statute.

 

CMP funds collected are held in an account (for violations of state statute and regulations) to be used for various initiatives allowed by CMS. CMS issued guidance to states encouraging the use of federal CMP funds for innovative projects that improve the quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents. Specifically, CMS stated, “Because CMP funds collected by a state are state funds, the state may use the money for any project that directly benefits facility residents.”

 

Civil Monetary Penalties: An Opportunity promoted by CMS for Funding Innovation in Nursing Home Care

 

Many states are using the fines collected as a result of nursing home violations to fund projects to improve the quality of life and quality of care of nursing home residents. In those states, nursing home advisory committees provide consultation to state regulatory agencies on the expenditure of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds and make recommendations for funding of innovative projects. In addition to efforts to improve the quality of clinical care (such as the reduction of pressure ulcers and the use of restraints), states are also encouraging person directed care, promoting consumer and resident advocacy, developing family and community involvement, and supporting culture change initiatives.

 

Alternative models of care have emerged in response to the growing realization that there is a better way to provide care for our nation’s elders in nursing homes. Sometimes referred to as “person centered care,” “resident directed care” or “culture change;” the focus is on empowering residents to direct their own care and caregivers to act creatively in responding to the needs of residents. CMP

funds are a potentially powerful source for supporting innovation that improves conditions for everyone who resides or works in a nursing home.

 

See the August 8, 2002 memo from CMS: Use of Civil Monetary (CMP) Funds by States Memorandum, which discusses "Appropriate CMP Fund Use" including culture change efforts.  See the June 19, 2009 memo from CMS: Use of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Funds by States and Reporting of CMP Funds Returned to the State, clarifying how CMPs may be directed and used by States, and sharing suggestions of innovative projects and activities that have already been undertaken with CMP funds in some States.

 

In the 2009 memo, CMS reiterated that “statutory intent is clear that they (CMP funds) should be used for activities that will benefit facility residents.” The 2009 memo stated that inappropriate uses of funds are (anything) that is “not related to improving the quality of life and care of nursing home residents.” Culture Change initiatives are one of the examples of accepted ways to use the funds. “Culture

Change” is the name of the national movement to transform the way care and services are provided to older adults, mostly in nursing home settings.


Funding for Innovation: A Review of State Practices with Civil Monetary Penalties, is a report funded by The Commonwealth Fund.  In it you will find The Long Term Care Community Coalition's summary of findings from a 2006 study of states' use of CMP funds with recommendations for state and federal governments and strategies for stakeholders.  It recommends the use of federal CMP funds for innovation, and strongly advocates for public disclosure of the use of these funds. The report also provides examples of special projects funded in other states:

*        Support for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

*        Culture change initiatives

*        Initiatives that support recruitment and retention of nursing assistants

*        Promotion of resident and family councils and other types of consumer advocacy

*        Alzheimer’s and dementia care training

*        Research to identify the extent of mental illness among residents and to make recommendations regarding staff training

*        Training workshops for facilities on restraints, pain and pressure ulcers

*        Also included will be training tied to the goals of the national Advancing Excellence in Nursing Homes campaign including consistent assignment,       reducing turnover, resident/family satisfaction and employee satisfaction.

 

In terms of what is going to happen here in Georgia, We Will See

Georgia is Participating in Pioneer Network Pilot Project to Reach Consumers
A Good Age: Making Nursing Homes More Like Home

The Pioneer Network, an umbrella group in Rochester, N.Y., and the Picker Institute in Camden, Maine, are gathering elder advocates in Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida to talk about how elders can have a stronger voice and more choice in services.  Focus groups talk about how services can cater more to what an older person wants.
This includes respecting the residents’ wishes on schedules for getting up in the morning, having meals, showering, and going to bed at night. More

Front Line Staff Could Benefit from Affordable Homeownership through the Habitat for Humanity program

You can be the link by connecting your staff members with the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in your area and providing valuable information.  The benefits to your organization could be many…better staff retention when employees are homeowners, thus adding value to their job, a more financially stable staff, and staff possibly living closer to work, cutting commute time and cost.  You provide the mentoring contact for your staff.  They will know that you care about the quality of their housing, too.

By the way, there are more than 70 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Georgia.  Connect your staff with a local affiliate to see if they qualify to buy a home through the program.  Visit the Habitat for Humanity International Web site to find the affiliate in your area: More information

All Georgia Nursing Homes to Receive “Be With Me Today” DVD by Richard Taylor, PhD

The Culture Change Network of Georgia received a grant from Healthcare Research, Inc. to provide this significant resource to every nursing home in Georgia.  Shipping will begin in May. For a preview of the DVD click here.

 

APRIL 2010

 

Advancing Excellence in Nursing Homes Campaign Begins to Get Word Out to Consumers: Georgia 1 of 3 States with 100% Participation

(Source: WABE)

The "Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign" provides information and questions to help families understand nursing home care planning, staffing, good care and ways to measure resident and family satisfaction. Here, WABE's Steve Goss, talks with the chair of the campaign's steering committee, Dr. Mary Jane Koren...  Working together to improve quality; including a staffing focus – adopting “consistent assignment” where staff can really KNOW the resident; new consumer tip sheet now available (www.nhqualitycampaign.org).  Georgia one of three states with 100% participation.  The Local Area Network (LANE) is to be housed within the Culture Change Network of Georgia…   WABE radio news clip from Monday, April 5th

Linda Kluge, Director, QIO/Georgia Honored

Congratulations and KUDOS to Linda Kluge, Director, QIO/Georgia, gmcf for being honored with the Distinguished Service Award at the Aging Services of Georgia Conference.  Linda is a tremendous supporter and advocate of Culture Change.  Georgia is very fortunate that Linda is working everyday to make life better for our elders!

 

Public Policy Update: General Assembly Struggles with Budget

Last month it was reported that Aging Services of Georgia has supported an effort to appropriate “civil monetary penalty” (CMP) funds to programs supporting Culture Change.  These CMP dollars, which are collected as fines on nursing homes, according to federal law must be spent to benefit residents of nursing homes. 

 

There are only a few days left in the 2010 legislative session, so it is still unclear how this will turn out.  The Culture Change Network of Georgia hopes for an opportunity to help develop a plan for these funds which will benefit the quality of life of the elders in our state.  Stay tuned…

 

Wesley Woods Newnan-Peachtree City Holds Two Days of Culture Change Training With Alice Truluck

(Source: The Times-Herald)

The staff at Wesley Woods recently took part in an “exciting” training session with Alice Truluck, a national “Culture Change” educator and mentor.  Truluck conducted two day-long sessions on March 17 and 18 for employees on the values and principles of culture change for health care.  In addition to the entire staff of Wesley Woods of Newnan, many employees from sister retirement communities in Atlanta and Athens attended the training…  MORE

 

MAY 2010

CMP Funds Spared In Georgia!!!

(Source: Coffey Break)

In the past we have reported that Aging Services of Georgia had supported an effort to appropriate “civil monetary penalty” (CMP) funds to programs supporting Culture Change.  These CMP dollars, which are collected as fines on nursing homes, according to federal law must be spent to benefit residents of nursing homes.  The FY ’11 budget appropriated $1 million to the long term care ombudsman program and $ 600,000 to Adult Protective Services to allay previous reductions in these programs.  The remaining funds were left in alone.  Aging Services will continue working with other organizations/advocates to submit a plan to DCH on appropriate/effective ways to use CMP to support the culture change work in Georgia. 

Culture Change Network of Georgia Presents at “Thinking Outside The Box: Policy, Service, and Research for Older Georgians in the New Decade" Conference

Left to Right: Anne Hernandez, Dianne O’Donnell, Joan Carlson and Kim McRae

This conference was co-sponsored by the University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology and the Georgia Division of Aging Services, and took place on May3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Cobb Galleria Centre.  Sponsors of the event thank all of those that gathered for this productive day of sharing experiences and ideas. Please follow their website for future aging-related conferences. (If you would like video from this event, please contact Jayne Clamp.)

Richard Taylor, PhD Speaks at Georgia Institute on Aging’s Assisted Living Symposium

Assisted Living: HOTEL or HOME?  Humanizing Care and Creating HOME in YOUR Organization

Richard Taylor’s presentation, “I’m Still Here” -- Humanizing Care in Assisted Living, created some “Ah-Ha” moments for those who heard him:

“Awesome!  I am touched and I pray I will become “humanized.”  I believe his message should be shared with all caregivers whether or not they work with residents with dementia.  It is a universal message.”

 

“It totally opened my eyes to how daily living for both resident and staff must become the upmost reason to make every community a home.  This program was a WOW moment!”

 

“I know now people with Alzheimer’s are whole people, and are to be treated the way I would like to be treated.  Mr. Richard’s speech was very interesting.  I have learned so much more today than I have learned in all the years that I have been a C.N.A.”

 

“It made me think differently about Dementia.  It made me think about ways that I can help my residents express themselves or ask for things when they can no longer find the words.  I want to see their light shine again.”

 

“We need to include questions of “WHO” they are on our assessments.  Not just their history and their illnesses but WHO are they and how do they want us to help them continue to be themselves.”

 

“Holy Moly!  This presentation changed my entire perspective.”

Information about the April 29th Symposium

 

JUNE 2010

 

Georgia LTC Ombudsman, Becky Kurtz, Named New Director of the AoA Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs

 

Becky Kurtz agreed to join AoA as the new Director of the Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs.  Since 1994, Becky has served as the Georgia State Long Term Care Ombudsman in Atlanta.  Prior to that position, Becky was the Advocacy Coordinator for the Senior Citizens Advocacy Project in the Atlanta Legal Aid Society as well as serving as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York Law Department.  Becky has a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law and a B.S. from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia.  CONGRATULATIONS BECKY!!!

 

Georgia LANE to Participate In Pilot to Improve Care in Nursing Homes Who Serve Predominately Poor and Minority Population

 

The Georgia LANE (Local Area Network of Excellence) for Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Home is happy to announce that Georgia is one of four states participating in a pilot project to improve care in nursing homes who serve a predominately poor and minority population. Four areas of the country have been identified including Atlanta, Chicago, Miami and Cleveland. Nursing Homes will be recruited for a quality collaborative to improve leadership, reduce staff turnover and increase the use of consistent assignment.

 

The initial planning session for the pilot is scheduled for June 23, 2010 at the offices of Aging Services of Georgia. Georgia partners in the pilot include Aging Services of Georgia, Georgia Health Care Association, Georgia LTC Ombudsmen, Division of Health and Facility Regulations, Georgia Medical Care Foundation, Culture Change Network of Georgia and the Region IV CMS office.

 

The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign supports statewide coalitions of stakeholders called Local Area Networks of Excellence (LANEs). The LANE is the central organization within a state to support participating nursing homes in achieving their clinical and organizational goals and help the Campaign succeed.

 

Every Nursing Home in Georgia Received a Free Copy of Richard Taylor’s DVD,

Be with me TODAY.”™

 

Due to the generous support of Healthcare Research, Inc., EVERY nursing home in the state of Georgia, along with 150 other long-term care providers, received a copy of Richard Taylor’s first DVD, “Be with me TODAY.”™  Richard Taylor was diagnosed with dementia, probably of the Alzheimer’s type, when he was 58 years old.  Now 66, Richard speaks to the public about what it feels like to live with the disease, and sends out a challenge to the Alzheimer’s outsider. 

It is a remarkable documentation of Richard’s presentation, urging everyone to embrace the culture change philosophy of person-centered care and to recognize that “THERE IS A PERSON IN THERE!”

 

For those of you who received one of the DVDs, we strongly encourage you to be a CHANGE MAKER in your organization and in your community.  Share Richard’s message with your staff, families, residents and the greater community.  Make sure that everyone has an opportunity to learn the vital importance of treating people who are living with dementia like PEOPLE, not a disease.

 

Ideas to spread the word through theBe with me TODAY”™ DVD:  integrate it into your general training opportunities; make it a part of new staff orientation; use it with support groups or family councils; use it as an opportunity to start a group for people who are living with dementia (newly diagnosed); create a “movie screening event” and invite all staff, families, residents and the greater community to come together.  Be creative… And be a DIFFERENCE MAKER and a CHANGE AGENT! Thank You to Healthcare Research Foundation!  MORE  

 

Atlanta Regional Commission’s Lifelong Communities Program Earns International Recognition

 

ARC’s Lifelong Communities Initiative is one of eight projects from around the world that received the Congress for New Urbanism’s 2010 Charter Award for Excellence in Urbanism. The award was presented May 22 during the 18th Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) held in Atlanta.

 

Lifelong Communities was chosen from among 90 entries fielded from around the world. The award recognizes the initiative for collaboration among ARC, nonprofit organizations, public partners and Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) to examine ways in which the region’s built environment poorly meets the needs of a rapidly-growing elderly population. Using the knowledge gained over the course of a nine-day charrette, DPZ created plans to turn major sites in six counties into communities that better supports residents at every stage of their lives.

 

Elder Abuse Project Announced For Georgia County

(Source: Ctpost.com)

 

ATLANTA (AP) — DeKalb County is teaming with Emory Healthcare to offer a new program to investigate abuse of senior citizens and find them temporary shelter — one of the first such programs in the country.  MORE

 

Check Out Of the Hospital - And Stay Out

Georgia Pilot Program Aims to Cut State Hospital Readmission Rate Of 17.7 Percent

(Source: AARP Bulletin)

 

  • ·         Up to 40 percent of hospital readmissions are preventable.
  • ·          
  • ·         Medicare-funded pilot program under way in Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties.
  • ·          
  • ·         In Georgia, 17.7 percent of Medicare patients wind up back in the hospital within 30 days.  MORE

 

Does Your Staff Have The Same Quality Housing As The Residents You Serve?

Aging Services of Georgia Works with Habitat for Humanity to Benefit Front-Line Staff

 

Aging Services of GA members are committed to offering their residents the best housing and services possible.  You know your residents enjoy quality, safe and affordable housing.  But…do you know if all of your staff enjoy those same quality standards in their own homes?

 

According to a recent national report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (Out of Reach 2009), rent has increased in Georgia by 25% over the past nine years alone.  The Fair Market Rent in our state is $762 for a 2 BR apartment.  This means a household earning minimum wage would need to work 81 hours per week in order to afford rent and utilities.  In other words, a family would need more than 2 wage earners working full-time to afford a 2 BR apartment.  That number jumps to 3 wage earners for a 3 BR apartment.  Another report reveals that one-third of Certified Nursing Assistants rely on some form of public assistance.

 

Front Line Staff Could Benefit from Affordable Homeownership through the Habitat for Humanity program.  You can be the link by connecting your staff members with the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in your area and providing valuable information.  The benefits to your organization could be many…better staff retention when employees are homeowners, thus adding value to their job, a more financially stable staff, and staff possibly living closer to work, cutting commute time and cost.  You provide the mentoring contact for your staff.  They will know that you care about the quality of their housing, too.

 

By the way, there are more than 70 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Georgia.  Connect your staff with a local affiliate to see if they qualify to buy a home through the program.  Visit the Habitat for Humanity International website to find the affiliate in your area:  MORE   Habitat for Humanity. Building houses. Building hope.

 

JULY 2010

Three-Part DVD Series Provided to Every Nursing Home in Georgia

Many Paths to Person-Centered Care: A Three-Part Introduction and Exploration of Culture Change” was introduced this month.  Featuring Carmen Bowman, the series includes: What is Culture Change?, Artifacts of Culture Change: An Organizational Readiness and Assessment Tool, and Individualized Care Planning: Getting to Know the Person. The development of these DVDs was a part of the grant we received from Healthcare Research, Inc. Because of their generous support, this training series with handouts and supporting material, has been provided to EVERY nursing home in the state of Georgia, along with 150 other long-term care providers and organizations. See www.culturechangega.org for more information.

 

 

Culture Change Symposia to be Held in North and South Georgia

Changing the Culture of Long-Term Care is a symposium aimed at promoting culture change in Georgia. National leaders Rose Marie Fagan and Karen Nichols will be keynote speakers. The one-day event will take place in Athens on September 8, and Valdosta on September 10. The Georgia Division of Aging Services’ Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman is co-sponsoring the events in cooperation with the Culture Change Network of Georgia, The University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology, Georgia Geriatric Education Center, Georgia Council on Aging (Georgia for a Lifetime), and Valdosta State University Division of Social Work. Registration is FREE and space is limited to 180 attendees. Final program details and logistics will be out soon and available on the Culture Change Network of Georgia website (www.culturechangega.org). If you are close to these areas, please hold these dates.

A group of HUD colleagues from several states are working with members of the Culture Change Network of Georgia on a new “instrument” to begin the dialogue of Culture Change in Affordable Housing.  “Instrumenting Culture Change in Affordable Housing” will be available in September along with a webinar explaining the project.  Affordable housing members in Georgia will be the first to use this new tool to think about how culture change is reflected in affordable housing settings.

Categories being used to look at culture change in affordable housing include:
1.  Values-Driven Leadership – vision; recognize it takes the willingness to change policies, systems and practices; transfer of knowledge into practice
2.  Workplace Practices – practices that affect a culture focusing on staff involvement, growth and retention (continuous learning environment); quality of life, relationships and community
3.  Community & Resident-Directed Life
– Ways to restore to elders as much control, choice and normalcy as possible to live life in a true home-like setting; embrace and draw all staff and family members (and others) into a shared partnership of supporting and caring for the resident
4.  Physical Environment – create a meaningful relationship between the person and her/his living environment

Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

 

AUGUST 2010

 

FREE Culture Change Events in Athens and Valdosta:  “Changing the Culture of Long-Term Care”

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Georgia Division of Aging Services) invites you to join us for a day-long symposium called "Changing the Culture of Long Term Care." The symposium is an opportunity to explore the Culture Change movement, which is based on person-centered values and practices, where the voices of elders and those working with them always come first. Together with representatives from local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), ombudsman programs, legislators, regulators, and providers in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities, attendees will explore Culture Change transformation, learn about models used nationwide, share best practices, discuss obstacles, and brainstorm ideas for local and long-term progress.

The program will be offered in Athens, Georgia, on September 8 and in Valdosta, Georgia, on September 10. National-level keynote speakers will be Rose Marie Fagan, former Executive Director of the Pioneer Network; Karen Nichols, Executive Director of The Cascades Verdae; and Kim McRae, Co-Founder and Coordinator of the Culture Change Network of Georgia. Thanks to additional sponsorship by the Institute of Gerontology and the Georgia Geriatric Education Center, College of Public Health, University of Georgia; the Georgia Council on Aging and its initiative Georgia for a Lifetime; the Culture Change Network of Georgia Advisory Partners; and the Division of Social Work, Valdosta State University, the program is offered free to the first 180 participants registered at each site. Registration is open July 18 to August 31.  NOTE that Athens registration is full.  First-come, first-served for Valdosta!

For more information and resources please see the online registration form,  We hope you will be able to join us.

Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University Releases New Book, “Frontline Workers in Assisted Living

Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at the Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University on the release of a new book, Frontline Workers in Assisted Living now available from Johns Hopkins University Press.  This book uses qualitative methods and multilevel statistical modeling techniques to examine individual- and community-level factors that influence the experiences and work conditions of direct care workers in assisted living. Edited by Mary M. Ball, Molly M. Perkins, Carole Hollingsworth, and Candace L. Kemp. Dr. Ball serves on the Georgia Ombudsman Program Advisory Council, and was formerly a staff member of Georgia's Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

New Research Reveals Georgians Unaware of Those Living With Developmental Disabilities:
Statewide survey portrays persons with disabilities as invisible people with invisible issues.

(Source: Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, www.disabled-world.com)

Just days before the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new statewide survey reveals that Georgians have little exposure to persons with disabilities and understanding of the daily challenges they face.

According to the survey commissioned by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), only one-third of Georgia's general public come across or interact with persons with developmental disabilities in their everyday life (33 percent), even if they or a family member has a disability (44 percent). Further, most (nearly 38 percent) said when they do encounter a person with a disability, they immediately feel sympathetic about the difficulties that person must experience on a daily basis. However, the survey also reveals that the general public isn't really aware of what those difficulties are. Respondents cited prejudice, discrimination, lack of acceptance, fear and stigma as the top issues persons with developmental disabilities face when trying to participate fully in community life. While participants representing the disabilities community agreed, they also ranked practical and survival issues such as accessibility, needed supports to live independently, job opportunities and finances as difficulties experienced in everyday living in landslide margins.

"This survey reveals that persons with developmental disabilities and their issues are still somewhat invisible to everyday society," said Eric Jacobson, executive director, GCDD. "Although, we have made progress as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is still a lot of education to be done among the general public; and the best way for that to happen is to create a society that better integrates persons with disabilities in our schools, workforce and community. Understanding comes through exposure and awareness. The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities is committed to achieving this goal through public policy, advocacy, programs and public information."  MORE

 

SEPTEMBER 2010

 

Changing the Culture of Long-Term Care

Changing the Culture of Long-Term Care was a free symposia aimed at promoting culture change in Georgia. It was an opportunity to explore the Culture Change movement, which is based on person-centered values and practices, where the voices of elders and those working with them always come first.

The symposia was held in both Athens (Sept 8, 2010) and Valdosta (Sept 10, 2010) and was co-sponsored by the Georgia Division of Aging Services' Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology, the Georgia Geriatric Education Center, Georgia Council on Aging (Georgia for a Lifetime), Culture Change Network of Georgia and the Valdosta State University Division of Social Work.

We'd like to thank all those who attended the symposium as well as the excellent speakers throughout the day. Below are photos from both locations and the symposium program.

Click to download the attached file(s): CultureChangeLTC

 

OCTOBER 2010

 

 

Walter Coffey, Aging Services of Georgia President/CEO Receives Honor

Walter Coffey was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from The Gerontology Institute of Georgia State University.  The award was presented in recognition of significant services, leadership, and advocacy for older adults in Georgia.  Walter completed his Graduate Certificate in Gerontology at GSU in 1990 and his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management in 1997.

Second Phase of the Green House at Calvary Should be Completed by February

(Source: By ALLISON KENNEDY / akennedy@ledger-enquirer.com)

The Green House is sprouting and growing.  After three years, Calvary Ministries on Old Moon Road is adding a second phase to its three-year-old Green House at Calvary, a residence for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The existing building has 10 private bedrooms; phase two will mirror it and should be finished in February…

The Rev. Don Wilhite, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church since 1975, helped break ground on the second phase Wednesday.

Mike HaskeyHaskey/mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

Georgia Rep. Richard Smith, Green House at Calvary director Angie Williamson and Rep. Kip Smith break ground on phase two of The Green House at Calvary during a ceremony Wednesday morning.

Family members of some of the residents who are now deceased were among the approximately 40 people in attendance.  “It’s like a family,” said Pam Jones, whose mother, Cubia Helms, lived at the Green House until her death a year ago. “The philosophy is unique. They’re loved. They kissed my mother goodnight every night.”  READ MORE

 

JANUARY 2011

"Reaching 100 years of age may be more about attitude and adaptation than health history, UGA study finds"

(Source:  www.uga.edu)

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia research has provided new clues on surviving to be 100 years old, finding that how we feel about ourselves and our ability to adapt to an accumulation of challenging life experiences may be as or more important than health factors. 

The research found that critical life events and personal history, along with how people adapt to stressful situations and cope with them are crucial to explaining successful aging.  “Understanding health in these terms has huge implications for quality of life,” said Leonard Poon, director of the Institute of Gerontology in the UGA College of Public Health and lead author of the study. “What is happening to you matters, but more importantly, it is your perception of what is happening to you that is really important for your individual health.”

A majority of past research on the oldest of the old focused on health factors, but the researchers found that centenarians’ feelings about their own health, well-being and support systems, rather than measures such as blood pressure and blood sugar are stronger predictors of survival, said Poon.  READ MORE HERE  

Care At Home: A New Civil Right

(Source:  by Joseph Shapiro, NPR)

If you ever visit Martin Luther King Jr.'s gravesite in Atlanta, turn around and look across the street at the nursing home in a red brick building. If you look through a big plate-glass window to the left of the front door, you may just see Rosa Hendrix in her wheelchair looking out at you.  Every day, she sits at the window and watches the visitors paying their respects at the civil rights leader's grave. But Hendrix, 87, is fighting her own civil rights battle: to continue her life in her own home.

Hendrix has lived at this nursing home for five years. She says no one's ever taken her across the street to visit the grave. She'd like to go, but she'd rather just get out of the nursing home.

"I get up in the morning. Eat my breakfast. Take a shower. And make my bed and all that and sit in this chair all day," she says. "I look out the window. Laugh. At least it gives you something else to look at."

Many people believe that nursing home residents are too sick to live at home. Yet there are many people who have the same disabilities found in nursing homes, who are able to live in their own homes with assistance from family or aides.  There's a growing body of law and federal policy that states when the government pays for someone's care in a nursing home, that person should have the choice to get his care at home. That it's a civil rights issue.  MORE  

Congratulations to Dianne O’Donnell, New Senior Citizens Advocacy Project (SCAP) Coordinator

Dianne O'Donnell will be advocating for Georgia's seniors at the Capitol.  Dianne is a gerontologist, elder law attorney and consultant with over 20 years of professional experience in management, administration, legal research, business strategy and communications related to retirement plans, health and wellness programs, human resources, aging services and long-term care.