Formerly IGSW News | VOLUME 21 | WINTER 2014 |

From the Director

Good Partnerships Still Make Good Training

By Scott Miyake Geron

As I think about this issue's featured course, which was developed as part of a fruitful collaboration with Boston College's National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Care, I'm reminded once again that good partnerships make good training. Over the past ten years of providing training to more than 50,000 social service and healthcare practitioners, we have learned the value of working with a range of partner institutions and organizations. Good partnerships allow us to create the multifaceted learning experiences required to address the complexities of service provision for older adults and people with disabilities.... Read more, about the County Welfare Directors Association of California, the Long Term Living Training Institute of Pennsylvania, and other CADER partners in learning.

Boston University photo of Scott Miyake Geron

Issues and Views

From agnostic to believer

Kevin Mahoney: Everyone Wins with Participant-
Directed Long-Terms Supports and Services

By Mary Johnson

When his young son underwent brain surgery, Kevin J. Mahoney (photo at right) learned firsthand the value of participant-directed care: "I knew the feeling of wanting to guide his ongoing care," Mahoney said. In the year that followed, Mahoney became national program director of the Cash & Counseling Program, a path-breaking model of participant-directed Medicaid-funded personal assistance services, and his commitment to the issue was cemented by what he saw at work. "I'd been an agnostic about participant direction," he says. "But as the results of a rigorous experimental evaluation of the program unfolded, it became absolutely clear that participants were more satisfied and did better when they could choose their own mix of services and helpers." Mahoney has since been at the forefront of adoption of participant direction in long-term supports and services in the United States. Read more from his recent interview with The LearningEdge.

Photo of Kevin J. Mahoney courtesy NRCPDS

New course for aging and disability agencies

Develop the Business Skills to Help Managed-Care
Organizations Provide Participant-Directed Services

Aging and disability agencies, which have years of experience in participant-directed long-term supports and services, are in a unique position to help managed-care organizations introduce and sustain participant direction, which is increasingly demanded by recipients of supports and services and often required by Medicare, Medicaid, and other payers. In this course you'll learn how your agency can engage in business relationships with MCOs to provide consultation, training, and management for participant-directed services. Building the Aging and Disability Network's Business Capacity: Participant Direction in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports will be available March 31. Sign up now, before April 1, to receive a 10 percent discount (enter code ENews 2014). For more information

In my opinion

Advocates for Older Adults and People with
Disabilities Should Step Up for Immigration Reform

By Edgar E. Rivas

With House Republican leaders having come forth with some "principles" for changing immigration laws, and the Senate having already passed its own proposal, it seemed as if much-needed immigration reform could actually be on the horizon this year. Though not likely now, we in the long-term-care field need to continue to pay close attention: Immigration reform and the welfare of people needing long-term supports and services are inextricably linked. Read more

Photo courtesy Edgar E. Rivas

News to Note

Here's all you need to know

Trying to Help People with Disabilities
Navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Selecting and enrolling in the right health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces can be a particular challenge for people with disabilities as they shop for coverage. Fortunately, help has arrived in the form of the authoritative and understandable Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators just published by the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative. It's a godsend for anyone trying to provide enrollment assistance...or for consumers themselves. Read more

From American Geriatrics Society

Updated Guidelines for Care of Older Adults
With Diabetes: No More 'One Size Fits All'

Newly revised guidelines to improve diabetes care for older adults reflect a clearer picture of elders living with the condition—giving more weight to the varying coexisting conditions, regimens of multiple medications, functional status, and other factors that make care of older diabetics particularly complex. The result is an individualized, more "person centered" approach that those who provide social services and supports to this population will appreciate.... Read more