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CalAIM Community Supports: Promoting Independent Living Among Older Adults and People with Disabilities

April 26, 2022

Through CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal), a multiyear initiative to transform the Medi-Cal program, managed care plans now have the option to offer any of 14 Community Supports that provide person-centered services to address a variety of social drivers of health. Several of these Community Supports could help older adults and people with disabilities remain in their own homes, participate in their communities, and live independently in the setting of their choice.To support understanding and increased uptake of these services over time, this report provides an overview of and evidence summary for six Community Supports most relevant to supporting independent living for older adults and people with disabilities, including:Respite Services. Short-term services aimed at providing relief to caregivers of those who require occasional or temporary assistance or supervision.Nursing Facility Transition / Diversion to Assisted Living Facilities. Services that help people remain in the community by facilitating transitions from a nursing facility back into a home-like, community setting or prevent nursing facility admissions for those with imminent need.Community Transition Services / Nursing Facility Transition to a Home. Nonrecurring support, including setup expenses, to avoid further institutionalization and help people remain in the community as they return home from a licensed nursing facility.Personal Care and Homemaker Services. Supports for people needing assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, eating, and personal hygiene.Environmental Accessibility Adaptations (Home Modifications). Physical adaptations to a home when necessary to ensure health, welfare, and safety, or promote greater independence at home through improved functionality and mobility.Medically Supportive Food / Meals / Medically Tailored Meals. Meal services to help people achieve their nutritional goals at critical times (such as after a hospital or nursing facility stay) to regain and maintain their health.

How Discrimination in Health Care Affects Older Americans, and What Health Systems and Providers Can Do

April 21, 2022

Racial and ethnic discrimination has a significant impact on the health of people of color, affecting mental health and contributing to high blood pressure, negative health behaviors, and early aging. For Black older adults, the cumulative effects of race-related stress experienced over the course of a life can increase the risk for mental and physical health problems.In health care settings, experiences of discrimination can include providers dismissing a patient's symptoms or health concerns, offering different treatment based on a patient's type of insurance, or not providing care in a patient's preferred language.We analyzed findings from the Commonwealth Fund 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults to examine experiences of racial discrimination in health care settings among Latinx/Hispanic and Black older adults. (See "How We Conducted This Study" for more details.) To provide some cross-national context, we first detail the extent to which older adults in 11 high-income countries believe their national health system treats people unfairly because of race or ethnicity. We then look more in-depth at the United States and report on older Americans' experiences of discrimination and the consequences of health providers' unfair or dismissive treatment. Finally, we consider steps that U.S. health system leaders, health care educators, policymakers, and others can take to address discrimination and dismantle systemic racism in health care.

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

April 6, 2022

Nursing homes play a unique dual role in the long-term care continuum, serving as a place where people receive needed health care and a place they call home. Ineffective responses to the complex challenges of nursing home care have resulted in a system that often fails to ensure the well-being and safety of nursing home residents. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing home residents and staff has renewed attention to the long-standing weaknesses that impede the provision of high-quality nursing home care.With support from a coalition of sponsors, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine formed the Committee on the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes to examine how the United States delivers, finances, regulates, and measures the quality of nursing home care. The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff identifies seven broad goals and supporting recommendations which provide the overarching framework for a comprehensive approach to improving the quality of care in nursing homes.

The Graying of America: Shifting Demographics and Implications for Immigration Reform

February 23, 2022

This report from the Baker Institute's Center for the United States and Mexico explores how new immigration policies can help maintain a strong economy as a growing number of older Americans leave the workforce.

Home Front and Center: Supporting Access to Affordable and Quality Housing

February 23, 2022

We are excited to share with you RRF Foundation for Aging's (RRF) latest issue brief in a series of publications describing the Foundation's approach to grantmaking and improving the quality of life of older people. Home Front and Center: Supporting Access to Affordable and Quality Housing gives an overview of the rise of housing insecurity for older adults, describes some of the work the Foundation is funding to promote safe and affordable housing, and invites others to join us.Our Approach to Increasing Safe, Affordable Housing for Older AdultsWhile the issue of accessible housing confronts millions of Americans, the problem is especially acute for older adults. But for those whose access to safe and affordable housing has been limited by economic inequities and discrimination, such as communities of color and LGBTQ+ individuals, the disparities of housing insecurity loom much larger. And with the end of COVID-19 eviction moratoriums, the threat of homelessness confronts many older adults with low or fixed incomes. For these reasons, and more, studies show that the ranks of homeless older people are rising fast, despite a decline in homelessness in other age groups.RRF Foundation for Aging has been at the forefront of collaborating with organizations and individuals developing and advocating for promising approaches to bolstering housing access, security, and equality for older people. Our grantees are helping older tenants of Chicago organize for better housing, advocating for stronger rights under federal housing laws, gathering data on affordable housing availability, and much more.Read our latest issue brief to learn more about our Three Strategies for More Affordable, Supportive Housing and the innovative work of our grantees in this important area.We look forward to partnering with you on this critical work!Click "Download" to access this resource online.

No One Is Spared: Abuses Against Older People in Armed Conflict

February 1, 2022

This report describes patterns of abuses against older people affected by armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. It also draws on the situation of serious protracted violence in two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Myanmar security force atrocities against older ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State, and the experiences of older refugees in Lebanon displaced by conflict in Syria. It also includes abuses against older people in the 2020 armed conflict in the ethnic-Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

How Health Literacy Can Help You and the People You Care for with Dementia Workbook

January 20, 2022

Toolkit GoalsImprove the health, health care, and caregiving for people who have dementia.Help family members and caregivers communicate better with health providers, people with dementia, and family members.Use this toolkit to:Improve your health literacy.Communicate better with doctors, family members, and people you care for.Plan and coordinate care.Find resources that can help you and the people you care for.Click "Download" to view this resource online.

Housing Needs and Economic Conditions of Cook County’s Older Adults, 2021

December 14, 2021

The development of impactful policy to address the unique housing needs of Cook County's older adults requires local and timely data on changing conditions, informed by the data needs of issue-area stakeholders. This analysis leverages the local knowledge of roughly 20 Chicago-area organizations working on older adult housing issues to create a practitioner-focused resource on key demographic and socioeconomic conditions related to older-adult housing demand and economic and housing insecurity in Cook County.Click "Download" to access this resource online.

Challenging ageism: A guide to talking about ageing and older age

December 6, 2021

This guide from UK-based Centre for Ageing Better is designed as a practical tool to support organisations in communicating about aging and older age.Ageism is widespread in society and can be found everywhere from our workplaces and health systems to the stereotypes we see on TV, advertising and in the media.In the UK, ageism is the most prevalent form of discrimination amongst all age groups, with one in three people experiencing age-based prejudice or discrimination.The way people currently talk about ageing and older age is largely negative. To change this conversation we need to stop reinforcing these beliefs – and tell a new story. Small changes to the ways that we speak and write about ageing and older age, if applied consistently, could have a big impact.The authors hope this guide gives people the confidence to challenge ageism and champion positive and realistic representations of ageing and later life.Click "Download" to access this resource.

Caring for the Caregiver: Incentivizing Medical Providers to Include Caregivers as Part of the Treatment Team

November 12, 2021

More than 1 in 5 people in the United States care for a family member, friend, or neighbor with a health care need or functional disability. More family caregivers find themselves caring for multiple people (24 percent) and working while caregiving (61 percent). Family caregivers face increasing complexity meeting the medical and support needs of their care recipients; 7 in 10 do so with no paid help. Without adequate and affordable services and supports, the escalating demands on family caregivers contribute to their physical, emotional, financial strain, and decline in self-reported health.In this white paper, published by The National Alliance for Caregiving, experts discuss incentives in the existing Medicare program that could motivate health systems and providers to offer more robust support to family caregivers.Click "Download" to access this resource.

Engaged and Thriving: Promoting Social and Intergenerational Connectedness

October 28, 2021

We are pleased to introduce RRF's third issue brief in a series of publications describing the Foundation's approach to grantmaking and improving the quality of life of older people.  Engaged and Thriving: Promoting Social and Intergenerational Connectedness gives an overview of older adults' experiences of social isolation and loneliness, describes some of the work the Foundation is funding to promote social connectedness, and invites others to join us in developing creative, innovative solutions to address this critical component of healthy aging.RRF's Response to this CrisisMeaningful connection is a fundamental part of what constitutes a good life at any age. And although relationships may be many or few and may vary in intensity and duration, they are a kind of emotional lifeblood, nourishing us and playing a critical role in our larger health and well-being, especially as we get older. Of course, the flip side of social connection is isolation and the feelings of loneliness that may follow.In one study, 40% of older adults reported feeling lonely and 24% were socially isolated. There are many reasons why older adults can be isolated and as the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light, the unequal allocation of resources has further created a divide that separates many of us from the technological supports and services that can provide needed connections to people and programs.RRF is responding to this crisis not only by funding innovative projects to address social isolation and loneliness, but also by supporting the development and implementation of new assessment tools to measure these issues and their impact. In addition, we are asking questions that will lead to better understanding of what works and why, and how to best replicate those successful efforts. Read our latest issue brief to learn more about RRF's Four Strategies Towards Greater Connection and the innovative work of our grantees in this important area.Click "Download" to view this resource online.

Housing Needs for Older Adults in Southeastern Wisconsin [Two-Pager]

October 8, 2021

The Social IMPACT Research Center has conducted an assessment of the affordable housing needs of older adults in Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Racine Counties in Wisconsin. The report documents the affordable housing gap in Southeastern Wisconsin for older adults, and details the services that the growing aging population will most need. The full report can be found at: https://socialimpactresearchcenter.issuelab.org/resource/housing-needs-for-older-adults-in-southeastern-wisconsin.html.