Lutheran Services in America has an extensive footprint in caring for older adults with over 200 member organizations providing a broad range of services to older adults in over 1,400 communities across 46 states. Our network is one of the largest non-profit residential care providers in the U.S., offering affordable housing, independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. In addition, our network is a trusted provider of community-based services including care coordination, home health care, transportation, behavioral health, respite care and hospice care.
The Lutheran Services in America network shares a rich history and mission-driven tradition of improving opportunities for vulnerable low-income people in the U.S. This shared mission and established trust creates a unique environment where the network comes together to collaborate and accelerate scaling and replication of successful programs to improve people’s lives. Today, building on a strong foundation of supporting older adults, Lutheran Services in America is driving investment in innovative models of service that address key gaps in care for low-income older adults to age with dignity and respect in the home and community of their choice.
As the national office we engage a broad set of partners from across the country around a shared objective to support healthy aging. Lutheran Services in America’s national office in Washington, D.C. creates strategic opportunities for the network to collaborate, innovate and replicate successful models of service that improve the lives of the one in 50 Americans the network serves each year. Lutheran Services in America’s successful approach combines collaborative learning with outside expertise and guidance and draws upon the knowledge and experience of the network. Leveraging a deep nationwide footprint in services, Lutheran Services in America leads collaborative projects with its members and partners to test and evaluate models of service that support low-income older adults to live independently in their homes and communities with dignity and respect. The goals of this work are to understand what works and does not work and to scale and replicate effective solutions.
Through a grant of $2.5 million grant from a national foundation, we established the collaborative to expand community-based services and supports to improve the health and quality of life for low-income seniors in rural North Dakota and Minnesota in 2015. This three-year grant was completed in December 2018 and successfully improved the health and quality of life of over 1,550 low-income vulnerable seniors in over 70 communities throughout rural Minnesota and North Dakota. Asecond three-year grant of $3.4 million was awardedfocusing on scaling these successful care coordination and social engagement programs in rural Minnesota and North Dakota and expanding services to low-income older adults in rural Montana.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative was awarded additional relief funding from this national foundation to help meet the increased need of rural communities during this unprecedented time. These funds have been critical in helping our partners deliver their services virtually to more remote communities and provide technology devices to low-income rural seniors and their family caregivers for access to these programs. One of these services, Remote Caregiver, was recently awarded a grant from the Consumer Technology Association Foundation for additional devices and equipment.
Thank you to our broad array of partners & investors including Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, St. John’s United Lutheran Ministries (MT), North Dakota State University (evaluation partner), Wilder Research Foundation (evaluation partner), and Consumer Technology Association Foundation.
Through a generous grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation,Lutheran Services in America partnered with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) to scale Connect-Home, a proven model of care for older adults in rehabilitation to successfully transition home. This 18-month grant was completed in May 2019 and a second 12-month grant was awarded to expand delivery of this effective model. Lutheran Services in America and University of North Carolina’s Dr. Mark Toles and his team have implemented Connect-Home at seven member organizations across the country. Connect-Home is an evidence-based transitional care model created by Dr. Toles that empowers older adults and their caregivers to manage older adults’ serious illnesses at home, improve function and prevent avoidable re-hospitalizations.
Lutheran Services in America leads the Connect-Home Collaborative with the goal of accelerating adoption of this proven model of transitional care. This work includes building on shared learnings with the seven organizations who have implemented Connect-Home, adjusting the implementation where needed and identifying strategies to replicate and expand adoption. Through these two grants, Lutheran Services in America provided the Connect-Home intervention at no cost to over 875 low-income older adults and their family caregivers.
Through a $500,000 seed investment from 11 member organizations and a grant from The Lutheran Services Elderly Endowment, we are implementing a community-based solution for high-need seniors focusing on addressing unmet social determinants. Our pilot model is enabling us to successfully engage older adults in chronic disease management, and reduce unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits.
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