ACL Update 11-20-2018

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35th Anniversary of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month


November 2018 marks the 35th anniversary of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. In the 35 years since the original call to build awareness of the disease, we have learned a lot about people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and caregiving. The Administration for Community Living continues to advance the dementia capability of states and communities through its grant programs and the work of the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center (NADRC).  Each year the NADRC develops resources to support grantees and the general community in their work with individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their caregivers.

The fundamental principle ACL was created around is that all people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and fully participate in their communities. We are pleased to announce the following available resources:

Disaster Planning Toolkit for People Living with Dementia is written to help people living with dementia, their family members, and their caregivers understand what to expect in the event of a disaster and how to prepare for it. The toolkit is made up of seven tip sheets and checklists for persons living with dementia, their families, and others who interact with them, including friends and neighbors. 

Handbook for Helping People Living Alone with Dementia Who Have No Known Support provides practical guidance as well as tools for helping a person living alone who does not have informal supports, including people with dementia who have a caregiver that cannot provide support. The handbook includes practical strategies for identifying people who are living alone without support, assessing risk, building trust, identifying family and friends willing to help, determining decision-making capacity, options for helping the person maintain their independence, and the basics of guardianship or conservatorship.

Working Together: How Community Organizations and First Responders Can Better Serve People Living with Dementia helps community organizations collaborate with first responders to better serve people living with dementia, a need increasingly recognized by first responder agencies. This guide explains why this issue is gaining attention, provides strategies for building successful partnerships, and describes the types of programs that can benefit people living with dementia. Also included are resources such as training materials, sample policies, tip sheets, and more.


ACL Update 10-16-2018

News & Events

New Grants Address Involuntary Discharge, Opioids in Long-Term Care Facilities

ACL has awarded a supplemental grant for $70,000 to the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) to address two critical issues in long-term care facility settings, involuntary discharges and opioids.

First, this supplemental grant will provide technical assistance and training to a group of Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs on individual and systemic approaches to remedy one of the most commonly reported problem nursing facility residents bring to Ombudsman programs – involuntary, facility-initiated discharge. The participating Ombudsman programs will convene in a learning collaborative along with designated legal assistance programs serving the same geographic areas, to engage in peer-to-peer learning, and in-depth training and technical assistance to develop complaint advocacy and legal tools. The strategies and tools developed through this project will serve as a resource for all Ombudsman programs.

The second prong of this grant will fund a short-term project to better understand long-term care facility residents’ experiences with pain management. This will include an examination of the use of opioids, causes and results of opioid misuse, and how drug diversion, and other consequences of opioid misuse by others, can impact residents. Obtaining the perspective of people living in nursing homes and residential care communities will be an integral part of this project.

Ombudsman programs play a critical advocacy and complaint resolution role in support of people living in nursing homes and residential care facilities. The programs address residents’ rights, care, and services. The NORC has a long history of providing training, technical assistance, and program management expertise to state and local Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs.

Learn more about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. 

ACL Update 10-11-2018

News & Events

New Grants Help States Evaluate ROI, Business Case for No Wrong Door Systems

ACL has awarded grants to 10 states to quantify the “return on investment” associated with streamlining access to long-term services and supports that allow older adults and people with disabilities to live independently in the community. The nearly $1.2 million per grantee over two years will help demonstrate the impact of">state No Wrong Door systems and evidence-informed practices, including person-centered counseling. The methods and data generated through this grant will help sustain state and national momentum for system change that increases access to community living and reduces unnecessary healthcare utilization.

We know that most older adults and people with disabilities would rather receive long-term services and supports (LTSS) in their own homes than live in a nursing home or other institutions. We also know that community living is usually the less expensive option. Unfortunately, too many people miss out on this “win-win” because they do not know what services are available to them, face bureaucratic hurdles, or find the services too inflexible to meet their needs.

In No Wrong Door systems, multiple state and community agencies coordinate to ensure that regardless of which agency a person contacts for help, they can get connected to services and supports available in their community. All 56 states and territories are working to build No Wrong Door systems. States are at different stages of implementation, which includes training staff and restructuring access points around person-centered principals, streamlining programs and eligibility, and increasing coordination between agencies and partners. These systems emphasize a person-centered approach in which trained professionals listen to and work one-on-one with individuals to identify and access services and supports personalized around their unique strengths, goals, preferences, needs, and desired outcomes.

This streamlined approach has helped many people delay or avoid costly institutional care. However, hard data on the financial impact of these systems remains sparse.

The new No Wrong Door System Business Case Development Grants fill this gap by allowing states to quantify the benefits of No Wrong Door systems and many of the practices they use to increase access to LTSS. Practices that the grants will help evaluate include person-centered counseling and evidence-informed interventions such as care transitions, nursing home diversion programs, and the Veteran Directed Care program. States will identify core outcome measures that reflect both the impact on the lives of older adults and people with disabilities and the associated return on investment. States will then collect and share outcomes data, ultimately detailing what they learn in business case reports.

This work will begin to illustrate the national impact and opportunities of the No Wrong Door approach, as well as provide methodologies and lessons learned that can be shared with other states to help them evaluate the impact of their systems.  

The states receiving grants are Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Malnutrition Awareness Week™ September 24-28, 2018

MAW Web Plea 2

Malnutrition Awareness Week is a multi-organizational, multi-pronged campaign created by ASPEN to:

  • Educate healthcare professionals to identify and treat for malnutrition earlier
  • Educate consumers/patients to discuss their nutrition status with healthcare professionals 
  • Increase awareness of nutrition’s role on patient recovery

Please join us: It’s a week filled with valuable educational webinars, virtual chats with experts, and sharing of informational materials.


About ASPEN's Malnutrition Awareness Week

ASPEN started Malnutrition Awareness Week in 2012 with two webinars and a podcast. Each year, we expand our content and reach. In 2014, ASPEN received a Certificate of Special Recognition from US Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland for Malnutrition Awareness Week. In 2015, this award winning program became a part of the National Health Observances Calendar

Today it is supported by more than 43 organizations who share our educational opportunities and messages with over 1 million healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers.


Older Veteran Behavioral Health Resource Inventory: New VA Resource Aims to Address Unique Needs of Veterans


The Older Veteran Behavioral Health Resource Inventory provides an overview of resources for health and social service professionals interested in enhancing their outreach and support for older veterans who have or are at risk for behavioral health conditions.

The inventory, as well as other useful resources for professionals working with veterans, are available through the VA Community Provider Toolkit .

This resource was created as part of a partnership on meeting the mental health needs of aging veterans. This partnership included the:

  • Veteran Benefits Administration (VBA)
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • National Council on Aging (NCOA)
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