LSA Blog

Lutherans Serving Seniors – a Long History of Care & Innovation

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
by Charlotte Haberaecker, President & CEO of LSA  

Were you aware that Lutherans are the largest faith- based group serving seniors? More than 20% of the senior residential living units in the top 100 nonprofit providers is a member of the LSA network. Of our network of 300 Lutheran social ministry organizations, about 200 of them provide services to seniors. These services help seniors live a fuller, more abundant life through a continuum of services that range from in-home services to senior housing, rehabilitation, respite care and senior centers.

All of this adds up to one thing: the Lutheran Services in America network, which touches the lives of 1 in 50 people in our country each year, has a significant impact on the level of care that seniors in the U.S. receive on a daily basis.

We are honored to represent our Lutheran social ministry members, which contribute in so many ways to helping seniors live fulfilling lives of dignity. I will be in Boston for the LeadingAge conference next week with our VP of Member Engagement, Alesia Frerichs, to host a special reception for the LSA community to celebrate these contributions and enjoy fellowship with our Lutheran social ministry family. If you (or any member of your staff and family) will be at the conference, please join us at our special reception, on Sunday, November 1, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Westin Boston Waterfront, Faneuil Room on the Mezzanine Level, adjacent to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

The sizable footprint that Lutheran social ministry has in senior services will be well reflected at the LeadingAge event. Take a look at the 16 LSA members that will be speaking and presenting at the conference –

The incoming chair of the LeadingAge Board is an LSA member, Kathryn Roberts of Ecumen, and she fills the seat vacated by LSA member David Gehm of Wellspring Lutheran Services. Other LSA members active on their board are Roberta Jacobsen of Front Porch and Christie Hinrichs from Tabitha Health Services (Christie also serves on the LSA Board of Directors). Close to 30 of the organizations on the 2015 LeadingAge Ziegler 150, an annual listing of the nation's 150 largest not-for-profit senior living providers, are a part of the dynamic LSA network.

I'm inspired by our Lutheran social ministry organizations, which have long been innovators in senior care, and how our network is working together to continue innovating and improving the quality and access to care available to seniors across the country. Our Post-Acute Care working group has come together to navigate the many changes facing senior residential providers such as post-acute care reimbursement, the regulatory climate and how business partnerships are changing as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

LSA is also embarking on an exciting project that brings together members to pilot new ways of caring for seniors aging in rural areas, and addressing the unique challenges presented by limited access to services. We'll be sharing more on these initiatives soon, and look forward to sharing the results and learnings throughout our nationwide network. Lutherans have a long legacy of service and innovation. While there are many challenges underway— from changes in funding and the movement to in-home care to the enormous changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act, and more, together, our network is tackling some of the biggest issues facing our sector.

At the LSA Annual Conference in April, we'll continue this work as a network and delve deeper into these important topics. Save the date for this gathering in Minneapolis, April 25-28, 2016. To learn more about the work of our Senior Services community of practice visit:

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