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Archive for May, 2009

National Press Club

National Press Club

Volunteers of America is about to embark on a new effort to transform the way in which healthcare and services are provided to seniors in our country. On June 8th from 9 -10:30am, we will be hosting a panel discussion at the National Press Club, titled “Boomer Bust: From Greatest Generation to Crisis Generation,” about the future of care for older Americans and we will be discussing our new Aging with Options initiative.

But before then, we’d like to hear from you. Please post questions in the comment section of this blog that you would like moderator Donna Brazile to ask our panelists, including healthcare reform advocates Tom Daschle and Newt Gingrich and writer and cultural anthropologist, Mary Catherine Bateson.

You can also learn more about Aging with Options by visiting: www.VolunteersofAmerica.org/AgingwithOptions.

We plan to post video from the panel online after the event on our web site. You can also follow us on Twitter during the panel discussion and throughout Volunteers of America’s national conference, June 5-8, at #voa-dc or http://twitter.com/Vol_of_America. We hope you can participate in this important conversation. We know we all will benefit from hearing your thoughts on this critical topic.

If you have additional questions about the panel event, please contact David Burch.

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Currently, our nation’s ability to care for the aged is at a tipping point… and the systems in place cannot adequately support the ever-increasing number of older Americans.

Volunteers of America recognizes that aging is a complex and fearful unknown for many. We want to help older Americans celebrate the joy of living by creating a sustained, trusted relationship with support systems that allow them to age at home ― wherever that may be.

We will change the aging experience through our most aggressive initiative to date ―Aging with Options™. As a trusted guide and service provider, we offer an integrated care and support system for older Americans and their communities.

Volunteers of America has spent more than a century anticipating and adapting to the needs of this country. We are confident that our national presence and elder care expertise will place us at the forefront of aging services.

We are introducing a pragmatic and sustainable response to a tremendous challenge that will not only support older Americans, but their caregivers as well.

Our vision is a nation in which everyone can choose to age how and wherever they most want to be.

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With today’s advancements in health care and special emphasis on preventive care, older Americans are experiencing a future of better health and longevity.   This is where our initiative, Aging with Options™, shines. No matter what stage of aging, no matter what state of health, Volunteers of America can offer the right support at the right time.

Simply put, we have the expertise to coordinate all the care and support necessary to meet each individual’s needs―one by one, helping people maintain independence and self-sufficiency.   Through our integrated network of committed and compassionate professionals, Volunteers of America provides choices and support through each phase of life’s journey.   Volunteers of America invites everyone into its circle of caring and supports every older adult’s right to age in place surrounded by family and friends. Whether you are the one being cared for, or the one giving care, we are there to support, empower and uplift you.

Aging with Options™ components:

Community Engagement Programs
Home and Community Based-Services
Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

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PACE is a Medicare program for older adults that provides community-based care and services to people who would otherwise need nursing home level of care.

You can join PACE if:

• You are 55 years old or older.

• You live in the service area of a PACE organization.

• You are certified by the state in which you live as meeting the need for the nursing home level of care.

• You are able to live safely in the community when you join with the help of PACE services.

Note: You can leave a PACE program at any time.

PACE services include, but are not limited to:

• Primary/Hospital Care

• Medical Specialty Services

• Prescription Drugs

• Nursing Home Care

• Home and Adult Day Care

• Social Services

• Physical and Occupational Therapy

• Meals and Nutritional Counseling

• Dentistry

• Laboratory/X-ray Services

• Transportation

• Emergency Services

Benefits of PACE:

• You can be cared for at home or at a PACE center.

• Transportation to and from PACE is provided.

• An individual plan is designed just for you.

• PACE supports family caregivers.

PACE Funding:

• PACE uses Medicare and Medicaid funds to cover all of your medically-necessary care and services.

You can have either Medicare or Medicaid or both to join PACE.

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Volunteers of America uses 88 cents of every dollar to support hundreds of diverse community services that change lives.

For more than 113 years, we may not have been on the front pages, But we’ve been on the front lines.

Change is on the horizon and we have come full circle. In 1896, the United States experienced a hectic political campaign for the presidency, strained international relations prevailed, and market forces and failures drove the stock market to new lows. Yet, through it all, Volunteers of America’s mission was strong; and remains as strong today, as we emerge from a similar historic climate as that of 113 years ago. Our organization continues to thrive within our nation’s cyclical political and financial environments—providing real change in the lives of those most in need every day, 365 days a year.

We believe in change for the better and change that lasts. No matter what the issue or problem, Volunteers of America’s 16,000 employees are ready and able to help. But we believe in long-term solutions—not quick fixes. This tenet was established more than a century ago and still holds true today. Whether the issue is homelessness or drug addiction, at-risk youth and families, the frail elderly and people with disabilities, or previously incarcerated individuals ready to reenter society, our solutions are designed to empower individuals, helping them build a better, brighter future. We know that each person is unique and we must tailor our services for the individual, touching their mind, body, heart and, ultimately, spirit.

Change is at the heart of everything we do. When crisis strikes, like it did with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, Volunteers of America is there to respond with care and compassion. During emergencies, Volunteers of America addresses immediate needs, offers long-term support when necessary and educates with prevention outreach programs. We made a commitment to help rebuild New Orleans and provide affordable housing, and we have not broken that promise. The Terraces of Tulane is scheduled to open in 2009, making it possible for hundreds of displaced elderly, low-income residents to return home. (more…)

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Kate Marro

Kate Marro with a photo of her grandfather.

Two years ago, Kate Marro was stunned to discover her 89-year-old grandfather, who was living with dementia in a care facility in Maine, had fell victim to elder abuse by a staff member. “My grandfather was pretty vague in most of hiss torytelling,” said Marro. “But not on this topic.”Marro’s grandfather claimed to have been abused repeatedly by “a burly man.”

The family saw that the grandfather’s fears were real, but believed his claims were most probably a side effect of his disability. Then, a female worker actually witnessed the abuse taking place and came forward to report it—a brave act that Marro deeply appreciated and never forgot.

This incident led Marro to the Elder Justice Training Partnership (EJTP), an innovative effort spearheaded by Volunteers of America Northern New England to marshal the resources of law enforcement—and the community—to aid in the effort to eliminate elder abuse. By telling her grandfather’s story, Marro has shed significant light on the need to improve system responses to elder abuse cases. (more…)

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Ginny Nichols

Ginny Nichols

She lights up the room with her smile.

After years of challenging times, 78-year-old Ginny Nichols has reason to smile. Thanks to Volunteers of America’s new affordable senior housing community in Loudon, New Hampshire, she has been able to put many issues behind her.

“After my husband Dale passed away it was getting very hard to live alone in our home of 36 years. I was not able to afford it by myself,” said Nichols. “I feel so lucky to be living here at the Richard Brown House. I chose Loudon because it is in the country, yet close to Concord and my children. I am a ‘country girl’ at heart and was born in Loudon. This is a beautiful facility and it feels like home. I love the big community room and kitchen. I enjoy meeting all of my other neighbors and making new friends,” Nichols added.

Today, Volunteers of America continues to lead the way in northern New England in confronting the crisis in availability of safe, affordable housing for seniors. The Richard Brown House in Loudon, New Hampshire, is New England’s newest affordable senior housing community. Like so many Americans across the nation, northern New Englanders are living longer than ever. In New Hampshire and Maine, more than 350,000 people are now 65 or older. Maine has the highest proportion of seniors than any other state, and they are more likely than other adults to have a low income—with many living on a small fixed income. (more…)

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