ASA 2012

by Louis on April 9, 2012

Last week was one of the fullest of my whole life. It was the annual American Society on Aging conference as well as the Boomer Business Summit in Washington, D. C. I saw lots of dear friends/colleagues and met some great new folks. I gave three presentations and kicked off the Aging in Place Institute.

I view conferences as opportunities to learn and to be validated. I want to know what is going on, what is new, and to make sure my thinking aligns with at least some other folks. A good conference provides updated context for my interests.

A few of the sessions I attended presented really good models. One is a stellar collaborative between two long standing community institutions whose collaboration is not just mutually beneficial to the organizations but to the community as well. The other session demonstrates the codifying of models I have known about for years.

The collaboration model was co-presented by Delores Lynch, executive director of Senior Outreach Services and Andrea Martemus-Peters, a community outreach social worker at the Cleveland Clinic. SOS has been an active community center and outreach organization in the shadow of the fortress like Cleveland Clinic for years.  Now SOS is newly housed within the Cleveland Clinic Langston Hughes Center. The partnership they described is extraordinary – not only better facilities, much better and less expensive security,  marketing/PR and organizing advice but also real relationship building resulting in much better health outcomes. SOS is soon to be rebranded- Active Living-  with help from a marketing/PR agency their renewed self image will be reflected in the name facing the community.

Example: The senior center staff can now refer directly resulting in such innovative programs as medicine compliance coaching. When senior center folks suspect someone is not taking their meds correctly (a huge, recognized problem) they connect their participant to a clinic nurse. They organize a series of contacts over weeks reinforcing the details of the medical regimen.

Example: SOS provides vouchers to community residents that allow purchase of fresh goods at the local farmer’s market.

This video demonstrates incredible collaborative innovations. The hospital system used to be a disconnected blob in the neighborhood. Now the doctors are humans changing attitudes, health and building community in both directions.

Another session explained how ‘self direction’ has come a long way since the first ‘cash and counseling‘ models starting in 1998! The presenters from a for profit multi-state self directed home care provider, Consumer Direct, has identified four variations. They are:

1. Traditional home care agency

2. Traditional home care with self direction principles.

3. Co-Employer, agency with client direction- the agency remains the employer of record but the client is very involved in management

4. Fiscal Management where the client is the employer of record but the agency is involved for budget, control and administrative assistance.

I asked why 3 and 4? The presenters explained that it had to do with assets and taxes (and so forth). Their explanation made sense. I am excited to see that the results of the cash and counseling experiments are available to consumers.

It was a great conference. See you at ASA 2013? I hope so.



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