Announcements from the White House Conference on Aging and the Healthy Aging Summit
In conjunction with the White House Conference on Aging and the Healthy Aging Summit in July 2015, the Administration for Community Living announced:
ACL Falls Prevention Grants: ACL awarded over $4 million in falls prevention grants, funded by the 2015 Prevention and Public Health Fund. These grants will increase the number of older adults and adults with disabilities at risk for falls who attend evidence-based falls prevention programs in their community, while concurrently increasing the sustainability of these programs through innovative funding arrangements. Grant applications are currently being reviewed.
Expansion of Falls Prevention Programs: ACL is assisting with the ongoing development of programs that show promise in the private sector. For example, WellMed, a physician-led healthcare delivery network serving people in Texas and Florida, is contracting with two networks of community-based organizations to scale their successful pilot that provided A Matter of Balance (an evidence-based falls prevention program) to WellMed members. WellMed estimates that 8,000 of their members are likely to enroll in the programs, out of 13,000 eligible members.
Similarly, Kaiser Permanente NW has a robust falls prevention strategy which includes an inpatient program called No One Walks Alone (NOWA), CDC’s STEADI, pre-screening of complex care patients, free physical therapy falls prevention classes, and a partnership with the Oregon Health Authority for referrals to community programs. Kaiser NW has been asked to share this innovative, interdisciplinary approach to falls prevention with other Kaiser regions through Kaiser’s Care Management Institute. This sharing of best practices on falls prevention health system-wide is new and very significant.
2015 Falls Prevention Awareness Day (September 23):ACL, the National Falls Resource Center, the Falls Free® Initiative, and the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life campaign are partnering to sponsor and cross-promote Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) on September 23, the first day of Fall. For the first time, FPAD will be celebrated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; FPAD activities are expected to reach over 12 million people through webinars, media toolkits, awareness day activities, press releases, awareness pamphlets, and other initiatives.
Falls Prevention Toolkit for Pharmacists: NCOA (working with ACL and the CDC) and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) are collaborating on a Falls Prevention Toolkit for Pharmacists that will complement CDC’s STEADI Toolkit. This new toolkit is intended to teach pharmacists how to develop a patient-centered falls prevention and reduction program and to partner with other health care providers and community based organizations.
2015 Falls Free National Falls Prevention Action Plan: The National Council on Aging (NCOA) released the 2015 Falls Free National Falls Prevention Action Plan—a blueprint describing what the nation can do to reduce the growing number of falls and falls-related injuries among older adults.
The 2015 updated plan builds on the original Falls Free National Action Plan, released in 2005. It was developed by the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center based on key recommendations and evidence-based strategies identified by experts during the Falls Prevention Summit, which was hosted by the White House Conference on Aging earlier this year. (The National Falls Prevention Resource Center is supported by a grant from ACL.)
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Community Healthcare Challenge Grants: ACL is assisting the FTA’s technical assistance center, the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), in working with sixteen communities who were each awarded a healthcare design challenge planning grant in early June 2015.
A total of $400K was awarded for these projects across four solution areas: transportation to post-hospitalization appointments to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions; more effective transportation to dialysis treatment; ways to ensure transportation to primary and preventive care as well as health education programs; and projects that enhance access to behavioral health appointments. Almost all of these projects link to solutions that will benefit healthy aging and aging in place, and nine of the projects specifically target people who are 60+ including those in rural and lower income communities.
The overarching goal of these pilot planning projects is to develop ideas at the local grassroots level which can inform the development of a larger grant program that helps communities expand mobility in support of healthy aging and greater access to preventive and primary care for everyone by ensuring everyone can get a ride.
These grants are part of the Rides to Wellness interagency initiative being driven by the FTA to help communities connect their residents to healthcare services through public transportation, as public transportation is key to making health care accessible. Grantees are working across community agencies in aging, transportation, health, hospitals, long-term care, disability services and other human services groups to build coalitions so people have transportation choices.
Awardees include Interfaith Senior Programs, Inc. from Waukesha, WI and others that will work directly with aging services organizations to promote healthy aging. During the six-month grant period, grantees will test assumptions about their proposed solutions with potential users and modify their solutions to adapt to real-world situations, then they will plan implementation strategies with an eye for scalability and replicability. Once successful solutions are identified, the NCMM will target specific networks like Area Agencies on Aging to implement the identified promising practices.
Research Briefs: Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Prevention Intervention Program: The Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions Program has provided funding to test interventions designed to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. These prevention projects aim to draw on existing research and promising practices and build a stronger evidence base about how to prevent elder abuse.
ACL awarded five grants to states in 2012 funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and projects are expected to be completed in 2016. Along with the grants, ACL partnered with HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Planning Evaluation to engage an evaluator to study the development and implementation of the state grantees’ elder abuse interventions and project outcomes. Research briefs drawn from the evaluator’s site visits and detail who was served by the projects and provide highlights about implementation and lessons learned.
National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System: Today, states vary widely in their definitions and reporting of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, making it difficult to understand the scope and magnitude of the problem nationwide. To address this gap in knowledge, HHS, in partnership with over 30 state representatives from 25 different states, as well as with pilot test states (Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Maine, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania), has been developing a data collection tool to capture common Agency, Case, and Key Indicator data elements so that elder abuse can be better understood and effective interventions implemented. The two-year project to develop the data collection tool will be completed in September 2015. Also in September, HHS plans to award $3 million in grants to up to 10 states to support the implementation of the tool.
National Voluntary APS System Guidelines Development Project: Developing evidence-based national standards for improving the APS system is of paramount importance for supporting the rights of older and disabled adults.
A set of national guidelines will provide a core set of principles to guide the policies and practices of APS across the country and support efforts to ensure that older Americans and people with disabilities are afforded the same protections and standards of service delivery, regardless of where they live. Through this project, ACL will serve as a facilitator and convener of stakeholders to generate field-developed and consensus-driven guidelines to assist states in developing the most efficient and effective APS systems.
On July 13, ACL provided an opening draft of guidelines for a 90-day public comment period, and in September and October will be conducting a series of listening sessions with states and other stakeholders to gather additional input. ACL expects to release the final guidelines in December 2015.
Education and Financial Literacy Regarding Rollover of Retirement Accounts: Moderate- and low-income workers, and women in particular, need to preserve income for their retirement. Cashing out retirement money is a serious and acknowledged problem. Nearly 45% of workers cash out their retirement accounts when they change jobs, and the largest number of cash outs are from those workers with less than $5,000 in their accounts.
ACL’s National Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning—operated by the Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement (WISER)—is partnering with the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) on a pilot to effectively reach and educate low- and moderate-income workers about the importance of rolling over their retirement savings in order to prevent adverse consequences common in today’s mobile workforce. RCH has the means and technology to automatically transfer small plan balances from a worker’s current plan into their next employer plan. Helping workers consolidate accounts means helping them protect their retirement savings in an employer-sponsored plan with fiduciary protection. If fully taken to scale, it is estimated to keep over $1 trillion in retirement accounts for American workers over the next ten years.
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