Conversations with Ginny
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." African Proverb used by LeadingAge Georgia Board Chair Chris Keysor in his message in the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan
Chris's sentiment about going far together represents the excitement of the LeadingAge Georgia board and the Georgia Institute on Aging board as they worked together to conceptualize the 2020-2023 LeadingAge Georgia Strategic Plan. The plan reflects the great respect for the work of all of our members and our ability to work together to reach our overarching goal of creating and maintaining mission-driven cultures that reflect the well-being of older adults and those who serve them.We'll introduce our 2020-2023 strategic plan at our annual business meeting. Please mark your calendar to attend the meeting which will be held on December 5th from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm at Lenbrook.
One of my favorite parts of our annual business meeting is when we honor individuals who have earned the right to be honored for their great work and great heart! Please nominate the person you feel deserves to be honored. Click here for the nomination form.
On November 10th we'll celebrate individuals who are profiles of positive aging. These individuals have lived lives that are inspiring and remind us to live purpose-filled lives no matter our age! Please be a part of this incredible celebration and our signature event. If you haven't purchased tickets yet please do so today. Click here to purchase tickets.
We just wrapped up two great events – our annual golf tournament and Georgia Night in San Diego. I hope you enjoyed them! A big thank you to Scott Bassett who gave a lot of thought to how we could make these events special for our members! Also a heartfelt thanks to Harry Haisten for his great work and presence at the golf tournament. We all love Harry and having him be such a big part of the event makes it special to all of us!
In case you've been reading the articles on the quality of care in Georgia's assisted living homes, know that we'll work together to improve the care that has been brought to light in the articles. Katie Sloan, president of LeadingAge called in to our LeadingAge Georgia board meeting recently and encouraged us to keep working to have a quality improvement approach to addressing the shortcomings. See article Assisted Living Care in Georgia for more details.
We have some great training coming up and I hope you take advantage of it.
The Adult Day Symposium will be held on November 15th and we have a lot of great speakers and great topics. Click here to register.
Our HUD members have told us that they need help improving their rental rates to free up funding for renovations. Gates Dunaway has graciously agreed to provide training in Brunswick Georgia on November 14th. Our members who have gone through renovations swear by Gates so if you need help, please make time for the training. Click here to register.
Our team has been working hard to make sure that the 2020 conference is a great experience for you. This week I met Dan Reingold, the nationwide leader in bringing medical marijuana to long-term care. He and his medical director Zachary Palace will be speaking at our conference on March 23rd in Greenville and I am excited for you to hear about how their great work is improving the lives of older adults. Please mark your calendar now to attend the conference. The dates are March 23-25. Katie Sloan will be joining us too. Finally, thank you to all of our members for your wonderful work and your commitment to LeadingAge Georgia!
Purchase Tickets to Profiles of Positive Aging Fundraiser
As you know, as we go through life, we try to be our best selves and to be our best selves as we age requires a good mind-set and hopefully some good role models who remind us that we can have joy and happiness if we focus on the things that bring us purpose and meaning.
On November 10th we will honor 15 individuals who are role models and are profiles of positive aging! We encourage our entire LeadingAge community to take time and join in the celebration of these individuals who are thriving in LeadingAge communities!
Please support this event and help honor these inspiring individuals.
Click HERE for Tickets
Take a peek what makes these individuals deserving of recognition:
Christine Hood, who at 100 years of age inspires others with her strong faith and her message to instill positive values including "love begins at home." Christine now lives at A.G. Rhodes of Atlanta.
Andy Isakson (Senator Johnny Isakson's brother), whose commitment to family inspired him to develop a life plan community with a great person-centered care program. The program called "the Dementia Care Matters Butterfly Home" is a nationally recognized program that focuses on an environment that offers feelings focused; emotion based care that awakens the inner happiness of every individual in the household. Andy believes in the quality of life in the Isakson life plan communities so much that he has moved into the new Peachtree Hills community!
Elliott Wright, whose career as an author and editor of religious news and history continues even after moving into a retirement community. He says "the hopes and uncertainties that go along with aging are part of the endless search for life's meaning." Elliott lives fully at his home in Wesley Woods Towers.
Bernice Burton, who recognizes the importance of being a volunteer, having volunteered at the Cathedral of St. Philip's Thrift House for over 40 years and is still volunteering at Canterbury Court, the life plan community where she resides. Bernice says "I am thank for something to do that is worth doing."
Gil Thelen, had an incredibly distinguished career as a journalist and directing staff of newspapers where he adapted to external challenges and change. Now, living with Parkinson's, Gil is teaching others how to live their best and says "Parkinson's has helped me clear the junk out in my mental attic. I live more openly and transparently. I am 'there' for people in my daily life." Gil now lives his best at Carlyle Place life plan community.
Jeanette Davenport recognizes the importance of helping people and even after moving into retirement housing cooks and serves the homeless and those in shelters. Her home base is Asbury Epworth Towers.
Merle Houston, a retired teacher and librarian encourages others that life is worth living and to be positive. She says "You can love life or you can hate it, but it's mostly up to you." Merle calls A.G. Rhodes of Cobb home.
Lana Allibone is a great example of embracing the things that have always brought joy. Lana now resides in A.G. Rhodes at Wesley Woods, where you can find her dancing!
Margaret Geraldine Pizzolato's motto of Live. Love. Laugh. is alive as she looks after the retired priests where she lives at St. George Village and hosts cocktail parties and dinners in her apartment.
Joyce Stevens, who has a prestigious background in Georgia politics and has made significant contributions to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, is still a force in state politics while being a resident at Lenbrook. She remains active on issues she's passionate about and she serves as a mentor to give back and pay it forward.
Paul Cadenhead, a successful litigator who has been a role model for lawyers brings that same enthusiasm for life and serving others by serving on community councils where he lives at Presbyterian Village.
Rebecca Cline-Cole celebrated her 80th birthday by launching a non-profit organization serving those in her home country of Sierra Leone. Rebecca lives at Decatur Christian Towers.
Click HERE for Tickets
LeadingAge Georgia to Hold 2019 Annual Business Meeting
Representatives from provider member organizations will come together from all over the state for the 2019 Annual Business Meeting to be held on Thursday, December 5th at Lenbrook in Buckhead. Please mark your calendar and attend this important event.
The main contacts for each provider member organization will receive registration information via email.
The Board of Directors request that a representative from your organization attend this meeting to be a significant part of the following agenda for the day:
Caring Heart Awards
Volunteer of the Year Award
Innovative Programs/Services Award
Distinguished Service Award
Award of Honor
Highlights of accomplishments of LeadingAge Georgia and the Georgia Institute on Aging
Approve the 2020 budgets as well as support the installation of new officers and board members for the Association and the Institute
Understand the strategic priorities and how the Association plans to support your staff and organizations
Receive an update of the comprehensive public policy/advocacy issues for 2020
Honor the staff who completed the 2019 LeadingAge Georgia Leadership Academy
End the morning with a networking luncheon with colleagues
Nominate a Colleague for an Award
Please take time and nominate individuals who enhance our organizations and inspire us by their involvement, innovation, leadership, advocacy, as well as personal and organizational generosity.
Click HERE for the nomination form
2019 AWARD Categories
LeadingAge Georgia Award of Honor
The Award of Honor, the Association's highest award, is presented to a
distinguished individual who has provided outstanding leadership to the Georgia Association and whose exemplary service and commitment to quality have advanced both the association and the aging-services field.
- Individuals whose organizations are members of LeadingAge GA are eligible for this award.
- Nominee has provided imaginative leadership and exceptional service to the Association
- Nominee has accomplished significant goals over a period of time.
- Nominee's cumulative achievements are notable and worthy of State recognition.
Innovation in Care and Services Award
This award recognizes a LeadingAge Georgia member organization for programs and/or services that are models of innovation and excellence and that contribute significantly to the quality of life of the individuals served.
- The nominee has to be a LeadingAge Georgia member organization.
- The nominee has been intentional in the development of an innovation that is centered around and emphasizes quality of life for the individuals served or significantly improves the aging-services organization's operations.
- The innovation provides proven benefits to the residents, clients or the organization.
- The innovation has been in actual operation for at least one year.
LeadingAge Georgia Volunteer of the Year Award
This award is presented to a resident or non-resident, group, or individual, volunteer of an LeadingAge Georgia member facility that has performed significant volunteer service to clients/residents, and has demonstrated unusual commitment to preserve the dignity and well-being of the residents/clients.
- Nominee serves an LeadingAge Georgia member organization
- Nominee has served the organization for a significant period of time directly or indirectly.
- Nominee has made a difference in the life of the organization or an individual that is significant.
- Nominee has demonstrated significant commitment to service of residents/clients in the area of aging.
LeadingAge Georgia Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes the achievements of members, Trustees of governing member boards, non-members, or institutions in making outstanding contributions toward the welfare of older persons in areas such as research, education, communication, public policy, or excellence in leadership or governance accountability for member organizations. (It is not required that the nominee be a LeadingAge Georgia/National member.)
- Nominee does not have to be a LeadingAge Georgia or LeadingAge National member unless the nominee is a Trustee, then the Trustee must be a member of a LeadingAge organization.
- Nominee has spent a significant period of time meeting the needs of or serving the aging community or an organization that serves the aging.
- Nominee has made contributions toward education, communication, board governance, public policy, or innovations in working with and serving seniors.
Caring Heart Award
This award recognizes the achievements of frontline staff and direct care employees, whose caring spirit have made significant impact upon the lives of older adults, while working for an LeadingAge Georgia member organization.
- Individuals who are employees of organizations that are LeadingAge Georgia members are eligible.
- Nominee has made a significant and positive difference in the life of senior residents/clients.
- The attributes of the nominee has enhanced the organization's commitment to quality.
- Nominee has been an inspiration to their peers/co-workers regarding work ethics and has developed strong relationships with residents, clients and families.
Click HERE for the nomination form
Calling Leaders of Adult Day Centers Upcoming Symposium Highlights:
As you most likely know, LeadingAge Georgia houses the Georgia Adult Day Services Association (GADSA). The leaders of the association work closely with us to plan our symposiums to ensure that the topics and speakers meet your needs. The upcoming symposium has some incredible speakers on important topics. Jay Bulot, PhD, one of the greatest minds in aging will speak about working in the Medicare world. Ned Morgens, the president of GADSA will provide an update from the NADSA conference, Rebecca Duggar of the Georgia Department of Community Health will give an update on the HCBS State Transition plan and its impact on adult day centers. Shirley Rodrigues of DCH will give an update on regulations including the fingerprint background check program. Sylvia Boykin of Bright from the Start will share information on the USDA Partnership and Jennifer Pennington of the Jud C. Hickey Adult Day Center will share best practices with you for serving persons with early dementia.
Click HERE to register
A Win for Adult Day Centers Our members wisely recognize that if you give a person in need of adult day services a sneak peek they often choose to become an attendee of the center. In fact, our members told us that giving potential clients a free 4 hour visit was your number 1 way of getting new attendees! A Georgia Department of Community Health rule that required a TB test prior to having a free 4 hour visit was a barrier to getting individuals to take advantage of the free visit. So, we asked Elaine Wright director of the state licensure program if DCH could eliminate the regulation so that more individuals would take advantage of the free visit and become clients of adult day centers. Elaine checked into it and came back with a yes! She indicated that you will need to keep a separate visitors log and list any individual who is with you for the free visit. When you see Shirley Rodrigues at the symposium please thank her for this new ruling. You could also shoot a thank you email to Elaine at: email@example.com
HUD Preservation Training by Gates Dunaway Coming Up
Our members swear by Gates Dunaway for fortifying HUD communities, maximizing rent, refinancing and preparing for renovations. She has helped many members achieve the renovations that they had hoped for, and she's teaching a class to help other members achieve these same results.
Gates will be offering HUD Preservation for Affordable Senior Housing on November 14th at St. Mark's Towers in Brunswick from 9:00am until 4:00pm.
Click HERE to register
The training is for directors and owners of HUD 202, HUD 236, HUD PRAC and HUD Section 8 properties, with and without Flexible Subsidy Loans. The training will help directors and owners understand the ways in which they can maximize and protect their rental subsidy. Gates will also discuss how owners can address their current and emerging capital needs, through reserve planning and through refinancing.
The goals for the training include:
- Ensure that you are maximizing and getting the Section 8 rent increases that you are entitled to.
- Understand the world pre- and post-202 Loan pay-off
- How to plan for the future of your property:
- Rental subsidy protection and maximization
- When financing might be helpful
- Due diligence and next steps
- Board involvement - What role can and should your board be playing in this long-range planning?
Assisted Living in the News By Ginny Helms
The articles in the AJC covering state-wide problems with care in personal care homes and assisted living homes have brought to light problems with inadequate staffing, residents waiting a long time to get assistance with soiled undergarments, residents not receiving their medications, untreated injuries caused by falls, verbal abuse of residents and other reports of abuse and neglect.
The lead AJC reporter, Carrie Teegardin told me that she has been assigned to report on assisted living homes and nursing homes for a year and she has spent a year reviewing survey reports as well as police reports when surveys indicated there were cases of abuse.
The paper has created a website for consumers to review the survey complaints of personal care homes and licensed assisted living homes including those in life plan communities.
When I reviewed the survey complaints, I was aware that you, our members have fared well because of you are mission-driven and it shows in the care you provide.
So what is the role of LeadingAge Georgia and you, our members in improving the quality of care in assisted living homes in Georgia? I believe it is that of our 2020-2023 strategic plan overarching goal – creating and maintaining mission-driven cultures that reflect the well-being of older adults and those who serve them.
We recognize that adults are aging in place. This means that we must ensure that the needs of older adults are met in all settings. This past year, the media in Minnesota focused on neglect in independent living communities.
We encourage all members to adopt a quality improvement approach to ensure that the quality of care you provide meets the needs of your residents. Consider reviewing your policies to ensure you:
- Have adequate staff that reflects the acuity of your residents. Wellness nurses are a good practice because residents in assisted living homes have health concerns that need that level of expertise.
- Conduct routine team rounds to share information about the changing acuity of residents. For example, if you have a resident with dementia who likes to sit on the porch, develop a plan for ensuring he is checked on and is safe.
- Make sure staff treat residents with dignity and respect and move swiftly if neglect or abuse is witnessed. This includes setting a tone of zero tolerance for neglect or abuse and a tone of staff reporting when they've witnessed abuse or neglect. Elaine Wright said they are giving more F tags in nursing homes for the tone staff uses towards residents.
- Have an effective falls prevention program in place.
- Have effective protocols for ensuring a resident is properly evaluated when they fall. Again a nurse has expertise to examine a resident and recognize a potentially broken bone.
- Have an effective program for timely assistance to residents.
- Have fingerprint background checks on all staff and volunteers per the new regulations. This is one of the few areas our members were cited for in the survey review.
- Have a plan for preventing and responding to elopements. A team approach based on the interests of residents (and cause for elopements) can help prevent elopements.
- Have a plan for ensuring residents receive their medications. One of our members distribute medications using bubble packs provided at the bedside and recorded in a system on a laptop. Elaine Wright said medication citations most commonly occurred on the evening and weekend shifts.
- Complete care plans in the time required by the regulations.
- Have a plan in independent living for ensuring residents are ok. One of our members has a program where the residents indicate on their door that they are ok. Another member installed cameras in the hall-way and was able to show that a resident was alive when the date of the resident's death was questioned.
If you have best practices on any of the topics above and would like to share them with your fellow members please send them in and we'll post them.
Our public policy committee chaired by LeadingAge Georgia board member Terry Barcroft will be working on legislative initiatives that arise from the media coverage of personal care homes and assisted living homes. If you are interested in working on these issues, please contact me at ghelms@LeadingAgeGa.org.
Tom Rockenbach, LeadingAge Georgia board member and co-chair of our public policy committee accepted a position with Westminster Communities in Florida. Tom was with Carlyle Place for nine years and he provided great leadership there as well as for LeadingAge Georgia. He will be greatly missed and we wish him much happiness in his new position. Dawn Dunbar has been named interim director at Carlyle Place.
Center for Positive Aging Golf Tournament Fundraiser
On Monday, October 14, the 24th annual Harry Haisten golf tournament took place at River Pines Golf Club. We raised $19,000. With the best weather of the week, there were almost 70 golfers participating in this year's tournament that had the opportunity to enjoy sunny skies and a great course.
Congratulations to our 2019 winners, Dixon Hughes Goodman.
In addition, the 2019 tournament provided new goodies for all of our participants. A special thank you to Choate Interiors for golf towels, National Church Residences for hats, Presbyterian Homes of Georgia for bags, and ball markers from HJ Sims. We look forward to increasing the "SWAG" for our golf tournament and hope you will join us in 2020.
LeadingAge National planned and presented an outstanding conference worthy of the cost and time to attend!
Keynote speaker Marcus Buckingham, author of 9 Lies About Work told us "it is the strength and cohesiveness of your team, not your company's culture, that matter most; we should focus less on top-down planning and more on giving our people reliable, real-time intelligence; that rather than trying to align people's goals we should strive to align people's sense of purpose and meaning. People don't want constant feedback, they want helpful attention."
Click here to purchase the book.