Category: In the News

powerful tools for caregivers class review

Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class Receives Great Reviews

powerful tools for caregivers class review

“Not in This Alone” – Caregiver Class Reviews

We wrapped up our latest Powerful Tools for Caregivers class at Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights last night. It was a great class filled with sharing and eagerness to learn. Here are a few of the reviews from the class participants:

“I wish it was longer so we could have more sessions. I will continue to read the book and get more information. I am glad I attended.”

“I learned new ways to handle caregiving concerns and how to relate to the care recipient better.”

“The classes were fun.  Easy to share and laugh.”

“Every week I came home more positive and more at peace.  My family even noticed the difference.”

“Most important lesson – I need to take better care of me to be a good caregiver.”

“Class is awesome!  Thank you for caring and helping us through our difficult time.”

We’ll have new classes for caregiving, balance, diabetes self-management, and more coming soon!

Older Americans Month poster 2019 Connect Create Contribute

Older Americans Month: Connect, Create, Contribute

May 1, 2019

Every day, all around us, older adults make a positive impact in our communities. As employees, volunteers, mentors, and advocates, they are an integral part of America’s social fabric. Their experience and insights enrich and strengthen our neighborhoods, workplaces, and families.

That’s why ACL takes time each May to honor their valuable contributions and celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). People of all ages can celebrate OAM and help older adults thrive. With the 2019 theme, Connect, Create, and Contribute, ACL invites you to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation
  • Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others

ACL offers information about resources to assist older adults, family members, care providers, organizations, and neighbors connect, create, and contribute. We have also put together a list of suggested activities to celebrate OAM.

We encourage you to Connect, Create, and Contribute for stronger communities this month and throughout the year. Visit acl.gov/oam for ways to get started and watch our blog for upcoming posts that explore ways to connect, create, and contribute in your communities.

Follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #OAM19 and #ConnectCreateContribute.

Older Americans Month logo

Older Americans Month proclamation presented to Holland, TX mayor

Older Americans Month Proclamation

Older Americans Month proclamation presented to Holland, TX mayor

Our Community Health & Wellness Programs Coordinator Susan Burchfield presented the Older Americans Month Proclamation to Stanley Koonsen, Mayor of Holland, TX on April 29, 2019.

Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, Older Americans Month (OAM) provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity. OAM has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.

This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
  • Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Communities that support and recognize older adults are stronger! Join us in strengthening our community – this May and throughout the year. Visit the official OAM website for ideas and inspiration, and follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more about our resources and free classes to support older Americans on the health, wellness, and prevention page.

Ombudsman Volunteers Group Photo

Ombudsman Volunteer Appreciation Event

Thank You to Our Ombudsman Volunteers!

Last week we held an appreciation event where we showered our volunteers with gifts and refreshments. Thank you to all of our “All Star” Ombudsmen! If you have a heart for residents of long-term care facilities and are interested in advocating for their rights, visit our Ombudsman page or contact Ombudsman coordinator Chrystal Griggs at 254-770-2368 to learn more.

Ombudsman Volunteers Group Photo
Ombudsman from left to right:  Roxanne Flores-Achmad, Karin Villasana, Lionel Villasana, Melinda Wenzl, Millie Ogilive, and Jeanne Whorton

Ombudsman Appreciation Table Display

Ombudsman Appreciation Event

Ombudsman Appreciation Wall

Senate Finance Committee Hearing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Senate Finance Committee Hearing Held on Nursing Homes Abuse and Neglect

Not Forgotten:  Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

By Chrystal Griggs, Regional Ombudsman for Central Texas Council of Governments

On March 6, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Grassley, held a hearing entitled, “Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes.” After opening statements from Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Senator Ron Wyden, the daughters of two nursing home residents gave heartbreaking and distressing testimony about each of their mother’s experiences – one with neglect, the other with abuse. Following their statements, five additional witnesses provided testimony:  Dr. David Gifford, American Health Care Association; Dr. David Grabowksi, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Kate Goodrich, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Antoinette Bacon, Department of Justice; and Keesha Mitchell, Office of the Ohio Attorney General.

Numerous issues were raised during the hearing, among them, Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Rating System, the closing of rural nursing homes, Medicaid reimbursement rates, regulations and enforcement, and staffing. Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Robyn Grant attended the hearing. She expressed concern that there was no consumer advocate on the panel who could have testified to the resident experience nationwide and provided the consumer perspective on care, abuse, and neglect. Grant also voiced disappointment that although the title of the hearing indicated the topic would be abuse and neglect, there was not a focused discussion and examination of ways to prevent and end nursing home abuse and neglect.

View a recording of the hearing on the Senate Finance Committee’s Facebook page.

TDT article Alzheimers Caregiver Workshop

Alzheimer’s Caregiving Workshop in the News

TDT article Alzheimers Caregiver Workshop
Read the complete article at http://www.tdtnews.com.

Caregiving Tips for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Thanks again to Delia Jervier from the Capital of Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for visiting AAACT at Central Texas Council of Governments this past week. Jervier shared great insight on caregiving for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. One point she discussed was that as loved ones digress, there is a tendency to revert to their native language, making communication with facility staff difficult. One example she gave was a Korean woman in Austin who had reverted to her native language and diet, making it impossible to find a care center for her.

Jervier also mentioned that although training is necessary for caregiving, it requires more hours of training to learn how to groom pets that it does to learn how to work with dementia patients.

“People who care for people with dementia don’t get an adequate amount of training for the type care needed by individuals with Alzheimer’s,” Jervier said.

Jervier also stressed that early diagnosis will help the individual with the disease to become more involved in the decision-making process. The 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s she shared include:

  1. Difficulty remembering things that just happened
  2. Inability to plan or solve problems
  3. Losing track of dates, seasons, and time
  4. Misplacing things
  5. Mood and personality changes
  6. Poor decision-making
  7. Struggling with conversations
  8. Trouble completing familiar tasks
  9. Vision problems
  10. Withdrawal from social or work activities

Thank you to Temple Daily Telegram for covering this workshop. To read the complete article, visit tdtnews.com.

Empower Care Act

Empower Care Act Introduced in Senate

Money Follows the Person Legislation Introduced

Shared from an article published by National Consumer Voice

Great news!  Two bills have been introduced to extend the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program for five years!   Called the Empower Care Act, a Senate bill (S. 548) by Senators Portman and Cantwell, and a House Bill (H.R. 1342) by Congresspersons Guthrie and Dingell, would continue and improve the program through 2023.  Improvements include reducing how long someone must be in a nursing home before becoming eligible to transition from 90 days to 60.

The five-year extension is critically important.  Congress passed $112 million in funding for the program in January 2019 (H.R. 259), but this money ends in September and could even run out sooner.

As we have previously noted, MFP benefits both long-term care consumers and states. MFP helps individuals with disabilities and seniors who want to move out of nursing homes or other institutions and back into their communities, where they can live independently and experience an improved quality of life. At the same time, it helps states improve access to home and community-based long-term services and supports and save money.

It’s exciting to see these bills so early in the session.  Stay tuned for more updates and information about advocacy action.

Walk With A Doc Donation Check

Walk With a Doc: Caregiving for Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Caregiving for Family Members with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Reported By Kerry Fillip, Director of the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas

Walk With a Doc Crowd

Dr. Alan Stevens from the Center for Applied Health Research at Baylor Scott & White joined community members on February 16 at the Walk With a Doc event, a free monthly event where health providers speak on their area of expertise. Dr. Stevens shared his thoughts on the trends for caregiving for family members who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia diseases.

Recent studies show that the burden of providing care for dementia patients is more intense than for patients with other diseases. This caregiving goes beyond the physical…and it is much more intense.

Walk With a Doc Back

Trends in Caregiving

Caregivers are having to learn a whole host of new skills in order to keep their loved ones with dementia at home. The traditional family dynamic has also changed. It used to be that daughters carried the burden for caregiving. Now, those daughters are in the workforce while siblings have moved across the country. Parents are living longer, and families are much more culturally diverse than ever before.

Add to this mix the fact that the number of patients needing care is about to vastly outnumber the pool of available caregivers. Baby Boomers will be aging at an exponential rate, and they have had far fewer children than in previous generations.

Day-to-Day Stress of Caregiving

Current studies of caregiving focus on the day-to-day burden of caregiving. These studies note that there is a higher rate of depression, a lower quality-of-life, and a lower rate of personal health among caregivers. And yet, the caregiver is the KEY factor in the ability to keep the loved one at home.

So, what do we do? If the caregiver is the KEY component to keeping the loved one at home and that caregiver is depressed with low quality of life and often ill themselves—while being unable or disbelieving that they have the right to take care of themselves—what will happen to both patient and caregiver? The idea is that healthcare and social agencies need to promote “family-centered” care—taking care of the entire family who has the dementia patient and the caregiver at the center.

Family-Centered CareWalk With a Doc Dogs

Why should healthcare be concerned about “family-centered” care? Because Americans are spending about $232 billion dollars annually on family health care. Yes, that’s BILLIONS…with a “B.”

While there is some good information, it is not readily available to the average person. Research groups are trying to produce much-needed materials, but funding is still an issue. The current expectation is that caregiving is “something that families just do.” We need to do a better job of coordinating across providers.

One such example of that is the upcoming Dementia Care Study that Baylor Scott & White is conducting in conjunction with UCLA and the Benjamin Rose Institute.  The Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas is also assisting in this study.

Dr. Alan StevensFor more information, or to participate in the dementia care study, please contact:

Dr. Alan Stevens,

Center for Applied Health Research

2401 S. 31st St.|MS-01-501| Temple, TX 76508

254-724-0989 Office