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GSWI

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Senate Aging Committee

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In This Issue:
Upcoming Deadlines
Announcements
Research & News
Funding Opportunities
Resources
Policy

December is the month in which the Special Committee on Aging celebrates its 50th Anniversary. In commemoration of the great milestone The National Academy on an Aging Society has focused its Fall edition of Public Policy and Aging Report on the triumphs and challenges of the Committee and will be holding a special reception and forum on the Committee’s behalf. Click here to read the report, and follow this link to learn more about the event.

Upcoming Deadlines

Hartford SW Scholars Program Application Due: February 1st, 2012

The Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 15, 2012

Announcements

Grandmother to Grandmother Wins the Audience Choice Award
Grandmother to Grandmother: NY to Tanzania is the 2011 recipient of the Gero-Ed Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award. The 30-minute documentary portrays the strength and resilience of grandmothers in New York and Tanzania who are stepping in to raise their grandchildren in the face of adversity. The 6th Annual Gero-Ed Film Festival featured 12 excellent aging-related films. Download the Film Festival schedule (PDF) and the How to Order document (PDF) to learn more.

Save the Date for 2012 Careers in Aging Week

Support your students’ entry into the gerontological social work job market. Participate in Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) from April 1–7, 2012. Organize a panel discussion, film screening, poster session, or career fair at your institution! A CIAW toolkit produced through the Geriatric Social Work Initiative can help you plan activities.

SSWR Annual Conference (January 11-15, Washington DC)
The SSWR Annual Conference offers a scientific program that reflects a broad range of research interests, from workshops on the latest quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to symposia featuring studies in child welfare, aging, mental health, welfare reform, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Over 500 symposia, workshop, roundtable, paper and poster presentations. Research methods workshops designed to enhance methods expertise and grant-writing skills and special sessions on research priorities and capacity building that target cutting-edge topics vital to contemporary social work research. Click here for more information about the conference and registration!

Health Action 2012 (January 19-21, Washington DC)
The coming year will be pivotal for the health care justice movement. Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain under attack and the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion will be brought before the Supreme Court. The 2012 legislative session will be critical for states as they implement the law in ways that work for consumers, and health advocates will also need to ensure that the consumer voice is being represented in federal regulatory and rulemaking processes. Hosted by Families USA, a health consumer advocacy organization, Health Action 2012 aims to bring together the local community to discuss these pressing issues. To learn more, or to register for the conference click here.

AGHE Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference (February 23-26, Arlington VA)
The AGHE Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference is the premier national forum for discussing ideas and issues in gerontological and geriatric education. Educators, clinicians, administrators, researchers, and students share their experiences, expertise, and innovations regarding teaching and learning about aging and older persons. Plan now to be part of this opportunity for professional growth and development. Click here for more information.

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Research & News

The Rich History of the Senate Aging Committee
The Senate Special Committee on Aging was first established in 1961 as a temporary committee. It was granted permanent status on February 1, 1977. While special committees have no legislative authority, they can study issues, conduct oversight of programs, and investigate reports of fraud and waste. Today the Committee has 50 years of bringing to light the issues and concerns of older Americans. Read this great excerpt describing some of the great accomplishments of the Committee.

The Older Americans Act Struggling to Help Older Adults Find Work
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based training program for older workers. Authorized by the Older Americans Act, the program provides subsidized, service-based training for low-income persons 55 or older who are unemployed and have poor employment prospects. However, in May the Obama administration and Congress recently agreed on a federal budget for 2011 that cut SCSEP funding by $375 million, a 45 percent reduction from the 2010 level: that means helping fewer people find jobs next year. Read this article to learn how SCSEP affects the lives of older Americans in Missouri.

Lewey Body Dementia Association Survey  
The Lewey Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is conducting a survey to assess if there are differences in how grief is experienced by caregivers for individuals with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease with and without dementia, and frontotemporal degeneration.  The survey will also assess the well-being and quality of life for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with the neurodegenerative diseases. Internet access is required to participate in the study, and LBDA needs 500 caregivers who are currently providing care for each different disease that is being studied.  For more information, or to participate, visit: Neurodegenerative Disease Caregiver Study

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Funding Opportunities

New Funding Opportunity for Mobility Management
The National Center for Senior Transportation (NCST) is requesting proposals for mobility management projects that demonstrate innovative and effective solutions to enhance transportation options for older adults through person-centered mobility management.  Non-profit or local/regional/Tribal governmental agencies that plan, administer or provide aging and/or transportation services may apply.  Four categories of projects will be funded:

·         Peer-mobility management and employment;
·         Mobility management in rural/frontier areas that have limited transportation options;
·         Holistic models that integrate mobility management within current practices.
·         Mobility management applied to the family of senior transportation options.

The NCST expects to award eight grants with a maximum award of $50,000 each.  Matching funds are not required.  Grantees will be expected to complete their work in 9-12 months.  The focus of all the grants is on older adults, although projects may also target adults with disabilities.  A focus on culturally and ethnically diverse older adults is strongly encouraged.

For more information, join the conference call regarding the application process and selection criteria on Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST (Call-in number: 1.866.846.3997 & Pass code: 139803).

Applications are due Friday December 23.

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Resources

First National Federally Funded Report on LGBT Aging Released
The landmark national report, The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults has been released. Caring and Aging with Pride, the first national federally-funded project to examine LGBT aging and health reveals significant health disparities impacting LGBT older adults as they age, including disability, physical and mental distress, victimization, and lack of access to supportive aging and health services. LGBT older adults are also resilient. Almost all engage in wellness activities and feel good about belonging to their communities.

This study of 2,560 LGBT older adults age 50 to 95, from eleven community-based aging agencies across the country, sheds new light on the diversity and cumulative risks facing the aging LGBT population. Key findings of this report were released last month at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC. The Executive Summary and the Full Report can also be found at CaringAndAging.org.

Health Reform Law Creates New Opportunities to Better Recognize and Support Family Caregivers
Family members, partners, and close friends – often known as “family caregivers” – are the most important source of support to older people and adults with chronic of disabling conditions. They provide the majority of care for loved ones who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, and instrumental activities such as going to medical appointments, taking medications, and paying bills. Family caregivers also increasingly carry out nursing tasks in the home. The new health care reform law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a number of provisions that provide meaningful opportunities to better recognize and address caregivers needs. This AARP Fact Sheet highlights selected ACA provisions that mention family caregivers in important ways.

NASUAD Online Course Focuses on Aging Information & Referral/Assistance
The National I&R Support Center at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities is offering a new online training course, "Basic Training for Aging I&R/A Professionals."  The course contains four modules designed to assist professionals in enhancing their knowledge and also helps prepare participants to obtain a certification in “Certified Information and Referral Specialist-Aging”.  The course is free, and the center is supported by the U.S. Administration on Aging.  For more information, visit NASUAD’s website.

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Policy

Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes is the subject of recent Senate Hearing
A November 30th hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging highlighted concerns about the inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotics to nursing home residents who suffer from dementia. The hearing titled “Overprescribed: The Human and Taxpayers’ Costs of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes” featured two panels of witnesses. The testimony featured Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports that documented the extend of concerns that one in five antipsychotic drug claims paid for through Medicare were dispensed in a way that violated government standards for their use (ie. dosage too high or medication administered for too long of a time frame). The OIG also found that atypical antipsychotics were frequently prescribed for off-label purposes. These findings suggest that the drugs are being used for staff convenience and in place of non-drug interventions.  Witness testimony as well as video feed from the hearing can be accessed on the Committee website. The May 2011 OIG report can be accessed here.

AARP PPI Caregiver Forum:  Presenter Asks: "Should We Occupy Elder Care?"
 AARP's Public Policy Institute hosted a forum earlier this month focused on public policy and caregiving and the majority of the guests had direct experience with caregiving, which kept the conversation grounded in the day-to-day realities of caregiving.  Carole Levine explained that the availability of family caregivers does not absolve policymakers of their own responsibility to make sure that their actions assist rather than destroy families.  Susan Denzter noted the context of the forum, with the US House of Representatives voting to repeal the CLASS program the day before and considering whether or not to stop funding the Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care.  Jonathan Rauch suggested that instead of multiple policy proposals, there needs to be an Occupy Elder Care to create the same social power and movement that pushed through changes in the past during the feminist, gay rights, and civil rights movements.  Gail Sheehy joked about the "bouncer" at hospitals (the discharge planner) while Dr. Peter Rabins said that the current discharge process is a "national disgrace."  The forum is now archived, for more information or to view it, visit:

PPI Solutions Forum: The Challenges of Family Caregiving- What Needs To Be Done?
Forbes: Howard Gleckman (Panelist at forum): "Occupy Elder Care: Why Caregivers are Bad Advocates"  

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Ripples, an e-newsletter, is designed to keep interested deans and directors, faculty members, students, practitioners and others informed about the work of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI). Please note that the information contained in Ripples comes from a variety of sources, including aging listservs, and social work and aging newsletters. In order to get this information to subscribers as quickly as possible, there is little to no additional verification of work or research of resources.

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