The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative held a first-ever training conference for leadership and program staff in Montana. Led by Lutheran Services in America, the Collaborative supports underserved rural communities, connecting vulnerable older adults to services and supports they need to enhance their quality of life and maintain their independence.
Lutheran Services in America rejects any legislative proposal to cut, cap, or block grant Medicaid. Such changes would reduce access, stymie innovation, and decrease Medicaid enrollment. CMS must rescind its guidance suggesting states apply for such “1115 waivers.”
Older Americans comprise an especially vulnerable group after hospitalization. The millions of older adults who transition from post-acute care to their homes annually are dependent on caregivers for three to six activities of daily living once they return home. Yet in their efforts to get and stay well, too many patients and their caregivers don’t fully understand the extent of the patient’s needs in the critical time following acute care. The good news is a clear opportunity exists to view the challenge of transitional care and recuperating seniors’ needs through a new lens.
On August 14, Tivity Health recognized our efforts to enhance the health and well-being of seniors living in rural America through our Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative, which has improved the lives of at least 1,550 vulnerable seniors in more than 70 communities across Minnesota and North Dakota, with communities in Montana recently added to our expanded efforts. Game-changing approaches will continue to be needed to help improve quality of life for rural seniors.
As a service provider, it can be easy to get lost in the everyday challenges of day-to-day operations, focusing on funding, staffing, reports and service delivery. Coming together with colleagues at events like LSA-DN gives us a chance to step back, to think about larger strategic issues, to focus on the need for public policy and advocacy, and to learn innovative new models and approaches.
Lutheran Services in America has long focused on supporting the healthy, independent aging of America’s elderly, particularly those struggling with limited resources in rural, isolated settings. The organization – in tandem with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota – in 2015 launched the three-year Phase I of its ongoing Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative. The Collaborative provides a sound example of what can be achieved when effectively using a collaborative learning model.
In recognition of National Disability Voter Registration Week, Lutheran Services in America joins with our national partners to promote the REV UP Campaign, a nonpartisan initiative started in 2016 by the American Association for People with Disabilities to increase voter turnout among people with disabilities.
In America, millions of children struggle with completing high school, and are left with their physical and mental health needs unmet. Lutheran Services in America’s Results Innovation Lab empowers providers to lead collaborative efforts to dramatically improve the trajectory of 20,000 vulnerable children in America by 2024. When it comes to Results Innovation Lab progress, the proof is in the pudding.
Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota has developed a deep understanding of the needs of senior citizens. LSSND created as part of Lutheran Services in America’s “Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative” a Volunteer Companions program, established to serve isolated and lonely seniors, and building in flexibility for younger adults to volunteer.
This past weekend marked the 20th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. in which the Court found that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities from “unjustified segregation.” Despite our progress over the last 20 years, much work remains to realize the true promises of Olmstead.