Conversations with Ginny
"The best ideas start as conversations." Jonathan Ive, former chief design officer of Apple
LeadingAge Georgia members are mission-driven and it shows in the way residents and clients thrive in our communities and organizations. Last week, Francis Battisti, our advisor for our strategic plan and I visited six of our member communities and he saw what I hoped he would see – that the culture of caring shows in the warmth and smiles of the staff. He also saw LeadingAge members light up as they talked about their commitment to person-centered care and well-being of residents and staff.
At a recent meeting in Colorado, the president of LeadingAge Minnesota shared that there had been significant media coverage of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults and surprisingly, one of the neglect cases occurred in an independent housing LeadingAge member community. Elaine Wright, director of State Licensure Programs, Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division recently said abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults is on the rise in Georgia. She said it is occurring mostly on the evening and weekend shifts, that the most common occurrences are theft, taking of the resident's medications and the most common citing is for the abusive way staff speaks to residents. Elaine said that in order for abuse, neglect and exploitation to be prevented, there needs to be a culture that has zero tolerance for it and there needs to be a culture that welcomes reporting when abuse, neglect or exploitation is witnessed.
The LeadingAge Georgia board and the LeadingAge Georgia Institute on Aging board met this week to work on our strategic plan for 2020-2023. The board members all agree that our strategic direction should focus on supporting our members in being mission-driven and creating and maintaining cultures that are person-centered and enhance the well-being of both residents and staff. It is being mission-driven with a focus on well-being that will ensure that abuse, neglect and exploitation does not occur in our communities/organizations and that our residents/clients and staff thrive.
Walter Coffey, our staff, boards, professional development committee and others have laid a great foundation for bringing education to Georgia to help members create cultures of person-centered care and well-being. We need to build on that foundation. We know that one area that needs attention is well-being of staff and building workplace cultures where people want to work.
We would like your ideas on what being mission-driven means, what it looks like, what having a culture of well-being looks like, what enhancing positive aging looks like and how LeadingAge Georgia can be of support to your community/organization in these endeavors. Please take this short survey and share your ideas with us. Here's the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3G32NMX.
This year, with Profiles of Aging, we want to honor and bring awareness to individuals who are profiles of positive aging, who can give others ideas of how to age well. Please give some thought to who you might nominate for the Profiles of Positive Aging. We hope to engage the media this year in order to inspire other older adults and to bring awareness to our communities where people thrive as they age.
Take a look at the information on upcoming training programs to see how you can invest in your staff and your culture. Make sure to sign up for the Culture Change Summit, and the Leadership Symposium to build on your skills for recruiting and retaining the right staff – the key to person centered care. If you haven't attended the Eden training please sign up. I'll be joining you for the training at Park Springs. Also, take a look and give some thought to supporting the golf tournament and Profiles of Positive Aging.
202 PRAC Funding: An Update from HUD on PRAC Contract Renewals, Suspension of PRAC Reserve Increases for Remainder of FY19
LeadingAge has been informed by HUD officials that 202 PRAC funding availability is very tight right now and will remain so for the remainder of FY19. In fact, HUD acknowledged that July contract renewals are going to be late (though we haven't heard of this being a problem with our members). However, funding obligations needed to issue PRAC renewals for July are reportedly going out now, so the July contract renewal delays should not be long.
HUD has indicated it needs to keep funding as close to current levels as possible to get through the fiscal year end. As a result, funding for contracts expected to be renewed for August and September will only be issued "just in time", as HUD tries to manage closely the funding releases to get the right $ out to the field for contract renewals.
HUD has also cautioned that any contracts subject to renewal after September will be wholly dependent on new (FY20) appropriations.
Additionally, HUD has initiated a few temporary policies to help ensure that funds are available as needed for renewal of PRAC contract renewals through September. These include:
- a freeze on Reserve for Replacements at current levels, and
- a new requirement that any requested rent adjustment over 5% be sent to HUD headquarters for review.
One member has already shared with us a notification they received from their local HUD office stating: "This message is to inform you that all budgeted increases to the reserve account are immediately suspended until FY 2020 (September). Any budgets submitted that have not already been approved that involve increasing the reserves will not be approved. No retroactive reserve increases will be approved."
Certainly freezing R4R adjustments right now, particularly as we have been urging members to be proactive about making modifications to current PRAC budgets and reserve funding levels in preparation for possible RAD for PRAC positioning, is anything but ideal. According to this HUD official, owners will be able to pursue adjustments to reserves at their next renewal and/or may come in for a mid-year adjustment.
We have been urging HUD for some time to update guidance on how to handle PRAC renewals and budget adjustments. We are assured that the Office of Asset Management and Program Oversight (OAMPO) is working in concert with the Office of Preservation to develop an updated policy or some internal guidance on reviewing comprehensive needs assessments (CNAs) and translating that to rent adjustments.
It may be that HUD timing for lifting the freeze on reserve increases will depend on when HUD FY20 appropriations funding is finalized and how much funding is made available.
LeadingAge will make sure that HUD appropriators are apprised of the situation, as HUD should have been appropriated sufficient funding for renewals and necessary increases to reserve accounts. We will remain in close contact with HUD as related issues develop.
Please keep us posted on your experiences with PRAC funding and subsidy payments as we near the end of the fiscal and calendar year.
Member Survey The LeadingAge state affiliates are fortunate to have Nancy Hooks as our liaison with LeadingAge national. Nancy is the perfect person to represent LeadingAge national and she really goes to bat for us every chance she gets. Last week at a meeting, Nancy told us that 25% of our members have completed the LeadingAge 2019 member survey and she asked that we work to get that number to 40% by August 30th. If you haven't completed your survey please do it today. The deadline has been extended to August 30th. For more information visit LeadingAge.org/2019MemberSurvey or email email@example.com.
Details of the Georgia Long-term Care Background Check Program
The Georgia Department of Community Health and the Office of the Inspector General are working with us to ensure that our members are ready for the October 1, 2019 launch of the fingerprint background check program. There are some great training materials and forms for you to use on the website of the Department of Community Health. They include tutorials on GCHEXS (where you will be checking to make sure applicants are not listed on various registries) as well as on the fingerprint background check which will be done through Gemalto. Click HERE for the tutorials.
In addition to the training provided by DCH, the GCHEXS vendor will be hosting six online webinars in September (approx. 2 hours each) to provide an opportunity for appropriate staff to see a demonstration of the system and ask questions. The webinars will be identical in content. As soon as there are confirmed dates and times for the webinars, DCH will share the dates with us. Please watch for emails from DCH in the coming weeks.
The new Rules for Criminal Background Checks were approved by the Georgia Department of Community Health board on August 8, 2019 and are now with the Secretary of State for final approval. DCH will post the final version on the website as soon as approval is received.
We are grateful to Elaine Wright, Director, State Licensure, Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division for the training she provided to our members on the new regulations. If you missed the training, take a look at her presentation.
LeadingAge Georgia Public Policy Report Based on the needs expressed by our HUD members, we partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and presented an issue to the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia's Elderly (COAGE) in July to seek between $750,000 and $1.5 million to bring behavioral health coaches to HUD communities.
If funded, this would allow us to expand on an ARC pilot project that brings a behavioral health coach to HUD communities. The coach works with staff to identify residents in need of help, builds relationships with the residents and then helps the resident access both clinical and non-clinical resources. The project has helped reduce evictions by 99% in other older adult housing communities.
This initiative was chosen by COAGE members as a budget request to work on in the next legislative session which starts in January. We will work hard on it and it take a lot of hard work because of the current environment. If you've been watching the news, you know that Georgia was experiencing strong revenue until the Georgia legislature voted to cut the top income tax rate from 6% to 5.75% this past session. Governor Kemp has looked for ways to off-set the drop in income to the state. One way that he is off-setting the income loss is by instructing state departments to cut their expenses by 4% to 6%. So, it will be a challenge to get the legislature to commit to new funding in an environment of budget cuts.
If we are to be successful in garnering the support of legislators to provide funding for this initiative, we will need to show that the funding will lead to a savings for the State. We know that HUD members work very hard to prevent evictions but when they occur, it is often due to untreated behavioral health issues. We need to be able to provide data to legislators that shows that persons who are evicted move to settings that are more costly to the state. In the next month, we will be sending out surveys for HUD members to fill in that show what type of housing a person moved to after eviction from a HUD community. We want to show the number that moved to homeless shelters, personal care homes and nursing homes. Please be on the lookout for the survey.
We will be working to finalize our public policy platform for 2020 over the next month. We will be attending legislative hearings and meeting with legislators as well.
Insights on the CMS Rules for Requirements for Participation in Nursing Homes Jennifer Hilliard, an attorney with Arnall Golden and Gregory is sharing her insights on the proposed CMS changes to the Requirements of Participation for nursing homes. Jennifer focuses her practice on long-term care and aging services issues and has extensive experience with nursing home regulatory matters, compliance and operations. Additionally, she has significant experience with Federal public policy and government affairs in such related areas as Medicare and Medicaid regulation, home health and hospice regulation, DEA controlled substances regulation, OSHA and other labor and employment issues affecting aging services providers, and federal non-profit tax issues.
Prior to joining AGG, Jennifer served for over 18 years in a variety of legal and advocacy-related capacities at LeadingAge, in Washington, DC. Jennifer and AGG recently joined LeadingAge Georgia.
Click below for Jennifer's insights on the rules.
Click HERE for Part I
Click HERE for Part II
New Coaching Supervision Being Offered in Macon We are all learning that one of the keys to a good team and reduced turnover is a strong supervisor. Being a supervisor sometimes comes naturally but coaching certainly helps make for a more effective supervisor. Our members have asked for training in the Macon area and we're launching a new coaching for supervisor session on September 20th in Macon. Walter Coffey and David Sprowl who have great experience will be conducting the session.
Click HERE to learn more about it and to sign up.
Profiles of Positive Aging
Profiles of Positive Aging is a very special event where LeadingAge Georgia members from across the state nominate individuals who deserve to be honored for living lives full of purpose, meaning and joy and who are truly profiles of positive aging. Our event is coming up on Sunday, November 10th from 3-5 pm at the Atlanta History Center. We will be working with the media this year to highlight our Profiles of Positive aging winners and to tell their stories so that others may be inspired to have purpose and meaning in their lives as they age.
Please support this event in two ways: first, nominate individuals in your community or organization who deserve to be recognized for being a profile of positive aging. Secondly, contact Scott Bassett or Ginny Helms to discuss being a sponsor for this important event.
Nominations are due by September 6. Click HERE for nomination form.
Culture Change Network of Georgia Summit – Register Now!
Barbara Frank and Cathie Brady, are undoubtedly two of the nation's leading experts on person-centered leadership. We're fortunate that they will be conducting our Culture Change Network of Georgia Summit on October 3rd. They will teach us HOW to develop a person-centered organization. We all know that recruiting and retaining the right staff is the foundation of true person-centered care. Barbara and Cathie will share proven steps for recruiting and retaining the right staff.
Click HERE to learn more about what is in store for us.
A Harvard Study for Increased Happiness at Work By Ginny Helms
I'll never forget the woman I met at one of our communities who appeared to be younger than the other residents. I asked her why she chose to move into a community at such a young age and she explained that she moved in to build her tribe and that after her husband died, she still had her tribe and she was okay.
A new Harvard study shows staff in long-term care need to build their own tribes – outside of work in order to stay grounded and happy. Take a few minutes and look at a study that has key insights on how to be happy at work. It should make us all pause and give thought to how we will build better social connections.
Living Alone with Dementia
LeadingAge members who have independent housing for older adults often struggle with how to best serve individuals who are living alone with dementia.
Mike Splaine, one of the country's best minds on living well with dementia and top expert on living alone with dementia will be coming to King's Bridge Retirement Community along with Stephen Post, PhD, one the country's top ethicists on September 5th.
Please join us for this one day symposium, join in the discussion of how to best serve individuals living alone with dementia and help us shape future policies for ensuring the well-being of these individuals.
Click here to learn more about the symposium and to register to join the conversation.
LeadingAge Georgia members can sign up to receive first-rate pricing through Value First, an option for our members to purchase a wide array of supplies and services, with no cost to enroll and no obligation to purchase. You can enroll in Value First and participate in other Group Purchasing Organizations at the same time. The portfolio of more than 500 vendors includes food distributors, medical supplies, therapy, facility operations, furniture, equipment, technology, and construction services.
We recently conducted a cost study for a community using the nationally recognized company they currently used, and our price resulted in 20 % savings that will save the community $85,000 a year, including rebates and incentives! A cost study is a simple process. Make sure you stop by booth #616 at the 56th Annual Convention and Exposition to find out how we can save you money.
Accessing your Vizient Catalog has now also been made easier than ever! To find out how to register and access the online catalog, view the graphic below.
Robert "Bobby" Bernal, Value First Regional Southeast Manager
C: (850) 509-8112 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
LeadingAge National Conference
The LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO brings together thousands of passionate individuals who walk in your same shoes. With a program that touches on every facet of aging services, this is where you'll join other dedicated professionals to exchange ideas, explore new strategies and master the latest best practices all while reigniting your commitment and dedication to the people you serve.
Click HERE to register
Georgia Night Dinner
Take in the amazing San Diego sunset with a breathtaking view of Petco Park, San Diego bay and the city skyline. Georgia Night will take place on Sunday, October 27 from 5:30-8:30 at the Ultimate Sky Box, San Diego.
Click HERE to sign up.
A special thanks to Brassfield & Gorrie, Shaw Contract, ZumBrunnen, The Hauser Group, and BB&T Capital Markets for helping to sponsor this year's event.
The 24th Annual Center for Positive Aging Golf Tournament
This event is held in honor of Harry G. Haisten, Jr. Harry is a long-time member of North Avenue Presbyterian Church and an avid golfer, who exemplifies positive aging. He has been the champion for ensuring this golf event happens in support of the Center's work.
The competition will be a scramble format, with prizes awarded to the top three teams, both men and ladies. The 1st place team is awarded custodianship of the trophy for a year (last year won by National Church Residences). Additionally, there are numerous prizes for longest drives, closest to the hole, and oldest and youngest participant.
2019 Tournament Itinerary
Columbus Day: Monday, October 14
8:15 am: Registration | Practice Range
9:00 am: Shotgun Start
11:30 am: Lunch on the Fairway
2:30 pm: Presentation of Prizes
Ways To Support:
• Hole Sponsorship
• Closest to the Hole Sponsorship
• Register a Foursome
• Register a Twosome
• Donate Golf Balls
• Donate Door Prizes
Click HERE for registration brochure
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DJ Alexander Entertainment
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