What Have We Done for You Lately? – October 2017

Our Story | October 25, 2017

LeadingAge is proud of the work it does every day to serve our members. Here are some highlights of our work for you during October 2017.

Discussed Disaster Preparedness and Response with Senate Aging Committee

LeadingAge submitted a statement for the record of the Senate Aging Committee's hearing on Disaster Preparedness and Response: The Special Needs of Older Americans. The hearing took place Sept. 20 in the wake of the deaths of nursing home residents after Hurricane Irma.

LeadingAge commended the sponsors of the Protecting Seniors During Disasters Act (S. 1834), which calls for the appointment of a National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters to evaluate the medical and public health needs of older adults in emergency situations. The advisory committee would also consult with state authorities on preparedness and response.

LeadingAge urged the bill’s sponsors to include representatives of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the advisory committee because senior housing residents are vulnerable to homelessness and often go without basic necessities – like food, water and electrical power – after a disaster.

Helped Launch a Hurricane Hotline

LeadingAge worked with National Church Residences to launch a Hurricane Services for Seniors Hotline. Older adults and their families in hurricane-impacted regions can call 844-259-4747 for help in coordinating housing and services.

Released a QuickCast on Affordable Housing Funding

LeadingAge shared the latest hurdles and opportunities for affordable housing funding in a new QuickCast: Update on Federal Funding for Housing Programs Serving Older Adults. The 8-minute presentation reviews the status of the House and Senate HUD funding bills and what they mean for affordable housing for older adults.

Released Tools for Selecting Social Connectedness Technology

The LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) released a new resource to help LeadingAge members select and implement technologies designed to reduce social isolation among older adults. The resource includes a whitepaper and interactive guide, product selection matrix, online selection tool and provider case studies.

Promoted Telehealth on Capitol Hill

CAST educated U.S. Senators, Congressional staff and industry leaders about its vision for telehealth during a Telehealth Expo sponsored by the U.S. Senate Broadband Caucus. LeadingAge Senior Vice President of Technology and CAST Executive Director Majd Alwan was on hand to share LeadingAge’s technology policy priorities, which aim to broaden the use of telehealth by increasing access to affordable broadband Internet access, and removing restrictions on telehealth and telemedicine reimbursements.

Expanded our RoPs Tools and Resources

LeadingAge expanded its collection of toolkits, resources and QuickPaths to help members meet the Nov. 28 deadline for compliance with the Phase 2 Requirements of Participation (RoP). The new RoPs tools include a Medication Management Quickpath; Qapi Quickpath; Resident Rights Quickpath; Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Quickpath; Staff Competency Quickpath; and Transfer, Notice and Discharge Quickpath.

Advocated for Changes in Federal Policy

During October, our Advocacy Team made its voice heard on your behalf by:

  • Working with Congressional offices to urge passage of a full Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) spending bill by Dec. 8. A continuing resolution will fund federal programs at FY 2017 levels until Dec. 8. LeadingAge voiced its concern that the passage of any additional continuing resolutions would provide insufficient funds to fully maintain federal housing programs.
  • Sending an advocacy alert urging LeadingAge members to contact their Senators and Representatives in support of adequate HUD funding for FY 2018. In addition to adequate funding, we also need House and Senate offices to hear from housing advocates that Congress should expand HUD’s successful Rental Assistance Demonstration to include Section 202 Housing for the Elderly communities subsidized with Project Rental Assistance Contracts.
  • Praising Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Pat Meehan (R-PA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), for introducing the Community Based Independence for Seniors Act in the Senate (S. 309) and the House of Representatives (H.R. 4006). This legislation would establish a new Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan demonstration program that would target home and community-based services, including some long-term services and supports, to low-income, Medicare beneficiaries who need help with 2 or more activities of daily living.
  • Applauding the U.S. Senate's unanimous passage of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028). LeadingAge is working to foster bipartisan support for the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill would identify recommended actions for recognizing and supporting family caregivers in a manner that reflects their diverse needs.
  • Achieving some successes on our 3 main advocacy issues for 2017: funding for senior housing, the preservation of Medicaid, and regulatory relief. More work remains to be done, however, as we reported on Oct. 20.

Raised $503,000 for Members Affected by Hurricanes

The LeadingAge Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund has received more than $503,000 to help member communities, their team members and residents who were affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. One-hundred-percent of the funds are being distributed directly to organizations with the highest priority needs. Please consider a donation if you haven't already done so.

Prepared for the 2017 Annual Meeting

We’ve been working hard for months to get ready for the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and EXPO, which takes place Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in New Orleans. We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of LeadingAge members for 4 days filled with opportunities to share victories, exchange ideas, renew inspiration and build relationships. Whether you’re a CEO of a multi-site organization, a case manager in a hospice organization or a service coordinator at an affordable housing community, we know you’ll be impressed with our program of education sessions, general sessions and eye-opening experiences They’re designed to offer you innovative solutions to your challenges and new ways to improve operations and quality.