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    AgeWise June/July 2019 Print

    Florida Conference on Aging

    The annual Florida Conference on Aging is only weeks away and we look forward to you joining us in Orlando!

    The workshops this year are outstanding with several focusing on how technology will be supporting people as they age in place.  New transportation models?  Yes!  Best practices?  Yes! Caregiving tools?  Yes! Senior Center of the Future? Yes!  There are so many wonderful sessions to choose from.  We have asked presenters to provide their powerpoint presentations and we will post them after the conference so you can take a look at those sessions you may have missed.

    Have you ever thought about participating in an Ironman Triathlon?  This event is a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon (26.22-mile) in that order and without a break. It is considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world and it takes 16-17 hours to complete the course.

    We won’t be putting on an Ironman competition at FCOA this year, but we will have Sister Madonna Buder (pictured below) as our speaker at the Quality Senior Living Awards luncheon on Tuesday, August 20th.  Sister Buder has completed 45 Ironman races and over 400 triathlons all over the world.  She started running at age 48 and now at age 89, she continues to participate in races.  Sister Buder may not lead us through a triathlon, but she will inspire us with her message. 

    Learn more about the ‘Iron Nun’ Sister Buder here:

    Early registration for the 2019 Florida Conference on Aging closes on July 12th. 


    The Florida Council on Aging is proud to present the following Pre-Conference Intensives offered by our partners on Monday, August 19th.  Separate registration fee applies.  Registration for the Intensive(s) allows you to only attend the Intensive—Conference registration is required to attend workshops, exhibit hall and plenary sessions.

    Identify Your Personality and the Dynamics with Others 8:00 am – 11:30 am — $75 FCOA/FASP Members $85 Non-Members

    Using Myers-Briggs Personality Profiling, each one of us has a unique personality profile based on our natural preferences for how we get our  energy, take in information, make decisions and prefer to live our lives. This interactive session will identify your Myers-Briggs personality and how you interact with others accordingly. This session requires completion of an online assessment prior to class.   PRESENTER: Mindy Price, Chief PACE Setter, Direct Effect Solutions, Inc., Pickerington, OH

    Executive Think Tank to Increase Agency Effectiveness 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm — $75 FCOA/FASP Members $85 Non-Members

    Strategic think tank of executives to discuss alignment of strategy to performance expectations of staff. Identify ways your agency can be working smarter and more effectively with performance accountability and use of effective meetings. At the conclusion of the session attendees will be able to define performance expectations aligned to strategy; create accountability through performance management; and conduct effective meetings.  PRESENTER: Mindy Price, Chief PACE Setter, Direct Effect Solutions, Inc., Pickerington, OH

    Standards of Excellence for Your Senior Center 8:00 am – 12:15 pm — $50 FCOA/FASP/FASC Members $60 Non-Members

    Renaissance Senior Center staff will take attendees on a behind-the-scenes tour of this Orange County center and share their secrets of success. Standards of excellence in Senior Center planning, program development, and partnership opportunities will be discussed in a hands-on workshop and roundtable setting. Directors and program staff from across the state are encouraged to share best practices from their centers. FASC officers will update participants on state and national issues relative to senior centers before returning to the hotel for the opening session of the Conference.

    PRESENTERS: Sheryl Fleming, Director and Site Supervisor, Renaissance Senior Center, Orlando; Sheila Salyer, Senior Services Manager, Tallahassee Senior Services, Tallahassee; and Kristy Carter, CTRS, Assistant Program Supervisor, Tallahassee Senior Center, Tallahassee

    Music & Memory® — Transforming Outreach & Quality of Care Through Evidence-Based Personalized Music 9:00 am – 12:00 pm — $25 FCOA/FASP/FASC Members $35 Non-Members

    What if a miracle pill existed that transformed life for individuals with cognitive, mental and physical challenges? What if it reduced agitation, falls, delirium and pain; resistance to care and reliance on a host of medications? What if it enabled individuals to age in place, communicate and experience joy; improved post-surgical and rehab outcomes; and enhanced nutrition? What if it provided respite and tools for at-home family caregivers? What if it wasn’t a pill at all, but the intervention of evidence-based, personalized music? Session attendees will discover benefits, research, how to use personalized music strategically, conduct two case studies, and enjoy a sandbox moment of creating a musical journey.

    PRESENTER: Deborah Ferris, CDP, Music & Memory©, New York, NY

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    What is EVV?

    EVV stands for Electronic Visit Verification. EVV is a technology that verifies where and when a caregiver begins services for a client and when the service concludes. This provides documentation for billing.

    The need arose for EVV due to abuse from some providers inflating the amount of services given to clients. Unethical agencies could document false service times and then bill Medicaid / Medicare for the services. The result was that billions of dollars were being fraudulently or inappropriately collected by agencies.

    With EVV technology, there is no disputing that a caregiver is in the location they say because they check-in via GPS, cell phone or registered land lines. This technology has the potential to save millions of dollars and reduce fraud.

    In the last couple months of President Obama’s term, he signed the 21st Century Cures Act.  The Cures Act will require that all home health agencies and personal care services that accept government reimbursements will have to have an EVV solution in place by the end of 2019 (now 2020 due to the delay signed by Congress) for personal care and 2023 for home health agencies.

    EVV may be viewed as a burden to some.  However, it can make your business more profitable and efficient.  EVV allows a provider to eliminate paper time sheets, record visits, and create billing / payroll data at the push of a button. Additionally, audit/monitoring can be done by downloading data and not digging up and copying paper files.

    EVV in Florida

    Section 409.9132, Florida Statutes (F.S.), directs the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) to competitively procure a Vendor to operate an Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Program of home health services provided through the fee-for-service delivery system. The EVV Program must verify the utilization and delivery of home health services (home health visits, private duty nursing, and personal care services) using technology that is effective for identifying delivery of the service and deterring fraudulent or abusive billing for the service. Also, the EVV Program must provide an electronic billing interface and require the electronic submission of claims for home health services.

    The Agency has contracted with Centric Consulting, LLC (Vendor) to provide EVV of home health services using the AHCA EVV System (Smart Phone Mobile Application, Dashboard and Claims Portal).

    Home health agency providers who render services through the fee-for-service delivery system must register and create an EVV Dashboard profile for their home health agency in the AHCA EVV system to be able to schedule services or submit claims for reimbursement. Providers may create one initial EVV System Administrator account by going to the EVV Registration page.

    Fee-for-service home health providers and caregivers are encouraged to visit the AHCA EVV website for training materials: Providers may also request one-on-one technical assistance and training by contacting the AHCA EVV Customer Support Line toll-free at 1-833-AHCA-EVV (1-833-2422-388) or via email: [email protected]. The training materials will cover functionalities of the AHCA EVV system including:

    • How to schedule services using the AHCA EVV Dashboard
    • Checking in and out using the AHCA EVV Smart Phone Mobile Application
    • Billing for services rendered using AHCA EVV Claims Portal


    The AHCA EVV System may allow the use of EVV third-party integration for approved integratable systems. Third-party integration means that home health providers who have an EVV system may continue to use it to capture and send EVV data to the EVV Claims system for billing. Providers who are interested in EVV third-party integration should contact the AHCA EVV Customer Support Line toll-free at 1-833-AHCA-EVV (1-833-2422-388) or via email: [email protected].

    FAQs - AHCA Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) System


    Learn about the benefits and advantages of EVV to help the health care community better provide patient care and close gaps between payers and providers.  There will be a workshop presentation at the 2019 Florida Council on Aging Conference, Monday, August 19th at 2:45PM.


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    Culturally Competent Care

    In 2018 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that for the first time non-Hispanic whites make up less than half (49.9%) of the nation’s under age 15 population.

    The new data highlights the increasing racial diversity of the nation’s overall population, for which non-Hispanic whites now comprise only slightly more than 60.4% of all residents. But the fact that white children under 15 have already become a minority in their age group highlights the fact that the nation’s diversity is changing from the “bottom up” as the white population ages. This phenomenon, which is projected to continue, emphasizes the need for agencies to proactively accommodate the interests of more racially diverse populations, as they will be key players in the country’s demographic and economic future.

    The following resources are available to help you, your colleagues, your staff and your volunteers provide culturally competent care.

    Culturally Competent LTSS in Action: Keiro Northwest—This spotlight describes culturally competent long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs at Keiro Northwest, including assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, and home care and adult day programs. It highlights how they incorporate architecture, décor, food, activities, and community connections to meet participants’ needs and preferences.

    Culturally Competent LTSS—This resource compendium is intended for providers and health plans interested in enhancing capacity to provide and coordinate culturally competent LTSS. Resources include reports, guides, tools, and trainings applicable to a range of settings.

    Adopt a Culturally Competent Approach: Home Care Workers are Increasingly Diverse—describes culturally competent approaches towards hiring and training direct care workers to meet the needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds receiving LTSS.

    Culturally Competent LTSS for LGBT Individuals—More than one million older adults self-identify as LGBT. This compendium offers resources to providers interested in enhancing their capacity to provide culturally competent LTSS for LGBT individuals.

    Providing Culturally Competent Care: Meeting the LTSS Needs of Dually Eligible Beneficiaries—This webinar describes strategies plans and providers can use to identify LTSS preferences, values, and needs of members from diverse cultural backgrounds. It addresses effective approaches for providing LTSS and training the LTSS workforce.

    A webinar on culturally competent LTSS is also available as a set of podcasts and a supplemental resource guide , resources page and Q&A document are also available.

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    Brain Fitness Club – a therapeutic curriculum, designed for persons living with early memory loss/dementia, provides cognitive exercises, light physical activity, mental stimulation and group socialization in an organized, welcoming environment. Designed for delivery in two, 4-hour sessions weekly over three 14-week semesters annually, this award-winning program has been carefully developed and delivered since 2007.

    When Tom Gerrity was diagnosed with early dementia and was no longer able to work as an engineer, he yearned for meaningful activity that would support his abilities and strengthen his social connections. Brain Fitness Club (BFC) found a warm welcome at First United Methodist Church in Winter Park; University Carillon United Methodist Church began in Oviedo in 2017 . Additional BFC Program Sites are in the planning stages in Central Florida.  

    A visitor to a BFC Program Site would encounter a group of 12 to 16 adults engaged in a lively exchange – maybe a word game, a history puzzle, a number activity – everyone participating, engaged with each other, smiling – encouraged by a capable facilitator in a pleasant, comfortable setting.  The curriculum is serious and carefully chosen; it is also fun and flexible, moving along, providing exercises that address important cognitive domains: attention, executive function, memory, visual/spatial, and language.

    Tom Gerrity made a request that continues to drive BFC development; the need for curriculum-based programming that supports and enhances cognition in spite of the presence of brain disease. In this spirit, BFC has developed partnerships with higher education (UCF, Rollins College) bringing graduate student clinicians as well as undergraduates together with BFC members in many ways, from individualized therapeutic sessions in speech and language to basic informational sessions. In addition to clinical outcomes, these partnerships promote intergenerational learning and relationships.

    Referrals to BFC are primarily made by area neurologists, geriatricians and memory disorder clinics; word-of-mouth is also a key driver of inquiries. A diagnosis of early memory loss is required; members themselves must be motivated to participate. Membership at each BFC Program Site is limited to 16 and members re-enroll each semester.

    Curriculum elements are evaluated and adjusted as needed. BFC partners include local organizations like Central Florida Community Arts, which provides participatory arts experiences like poetry and drumming. BFC is continually evaluating the observed and shared effects of program participation. Family care partners have observed increased attention span, better verbal participation at home, and an increase in positive emotional expression in BFC participants. 

    In 2016, Brain Fitness Club, Inc. was formed as a 501c3 non-profit with the primary mission to facilitate the development of new BFC Program Sites in Central Florida. After more than a decade of experience, basic readiness elements have been identified and a recommended process for Program Site development is available.


    A presentation at the 2019 Florida Council on Aging Conference, Monday, August 19th at 4:00PM, will address these elements of readiness and planning for the implementation of a BFC Program Site in your local community.  


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    Tips and Bits

    Nonfatal Assaults and Homicides Among Adults Aged ≥60 Years — United States, 2002–2016 J. E. Logan, PhD; Tadesse Haileyesus, MS; Allison Ertl, PhD; et al.

    The older adult U.S. population is growing faster than are younger populations, yet violence against older adults has received little attention.  Violence against older adults is a growing problem, particularly among men. Emergency departments might be positioned to help prevent violence among this group.   Since interpersonal violence was recognized as a public health problem in the 1970s, much attention has focused on preventing violence among young persons and intimate partners. Violence directed against older adults (≥60 years) has received less attention, despite the faster growth of this population than that of younger groups. 

    The Opioid Crisis and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

    In the wake of the opioid epidemic that was declared a public health crisis in 2017, there has been increasing concern about what happens to the children of parents with substance abuse disorders who may be unable to care for their children.  Census Bureau research shows that grandparents may sometimes step in to care for these children. 

    The percentage of the population age 30 and over who are raising grandchildren is higher in states that have higher opioid prescribing rates, according to a new working paper, entitled “The Opioid Prescribing Rate and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: State and County Level Analysis.”  Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama are among the highest for both the percent of adults raising grandchildren and the opioid prescribing rate .

    This research uses both survey estimates from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year data and administrative 2016 Opioid Prescribing Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

    While conversations about sexual harassment are challenging, reporting the facts, exploring solutions, and creating safe spaces to do your work is vitally important.

    This guidebook, developed by The Association of Fundraising Professionals Women’s Impact Initiative is designed to equip nonprofit organizations and development professionals with data, best practices, and policy templates that can help them: understand the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in fundraising; support a culture that advocates for safety, respect, and open dialogue;  and create and publish a sexual harassment policy that fully protects their staff.  This guide was created with the knowledge that there are many different ways to address sexual harassment. Not all of its recommendations will suit every organization or every situation.

    Florida Individual Giving Survey

    The Florida Nonprofit Alliance (FNA) in partnership with Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has commissioned a statewide survey of Florida’s full-time and part-time residents about their giving habits.  “Florida is now the third most populous state in the nation but we are ranked 44th for charitable giving and 50th for volunteerism. With this survey, we hope to identify how Floridians choose to donate their time, talent and treasure. Imagine what our nonprofits could do if we retained more of Florida’s philanthropic wealth in the state and directed it toward Florida’s nonprofits. By doubling the rate of Floridians who volunteer, we can move from the bottom to the top quartile,” said Sabeen Perwaiz, executive director of FNA.  The survey can be accessed here.  

    The survey has the following objectives: to learn more about residents who contribute money and volunteer their time to nonprofit organizations; to gauge if giving has decreased because of tax reform; to measure the difference in giving between their home state and Florida; to measure public interest toward nonprofit organizations; to measure their familiarity with efforts to prevent charity fraud; and to measure consumer trust in nonprofits. 

    Survey questionnaires will be reviewed by University of Florida’s Nonprofit Management and Leadership office. A research report will be produced and results will be shared at FNA’s fall conference, Nonprofit Counts! On November 1, 2019.  The survey will close on August 15, 2019.  The FNA study was funded primarily by Jessie Ball duPont Fund and The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. 

    Is Florida Prepared for a Health Emergency?

    It seems like every day there is a new emergency or crisis happening somewhere in the United States.  According to the latest National Health Security Preparedness Index, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's day-to-day readiness to manage health emergencies is at its highest level since 2013.

    The Index combines measures from multiple sources and perspectives to offer a broad view of the health protections in place for the nation as a whole and for each U.S. state. The Index identifies strengths as well as gaps in the protections needed to keep people safe and healthy in the face of large-scale public health threats, and it tracks how these protections vary across the United States and change over time.

    Drawing data from 64 sources, the 2019 report includes six years of data from 2013 to 2018. The Index is the most comprehensive look at states' preparedness to date. It is also the first national index that looks at the nation’s health security by collectively measuring the preparedness of the states. States face varying threats, apply preparedness principles in locally relevant ways, and have unique interdependencies. The display of results on the Index website takes into account both preparedness and model complexities.

    Of the six domains measured, Florida exceeds the national average in three of the domains: health security surveillance; incident information and management and environmental & occupational health.  The areas Florida falls short of the national average are: community planning and engagement coordination; countermeasure management and healthcare delivery.  The overall score for Florida is the national average of 6.7.   Read more here  and here.

    20th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

    On June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The ADA was the result of decades of efforts by disability rights advocates to raise awareness of the injustices and prejudice the disability community so often experienced, change public perceptions of disability, and demand the full rights of citizenship.  Since 1990, the law has improved access to businesses, public spaces, transportation, communication, and employment and protected people with disabilities from discrimination.

    The Olmstead decision required states to ensure that people with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, thereby opening the doors to community inclusion and integration for even more people with disabilities.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) plays a pivotal role in supporting the Olmstead decision and promoting community living through our vigorous enforcement of the ADA and other key civil rights laws. OCR's investigation have led to: individuals who had been institutionalized for decades are now receiving services in their community; individuals who lost their housing and/or community-based supportive services when they were forced to enter institutions due to an acute health care problem have had the needed services provided or restored; individuals with disabilities are able to access home and community-based services through Medicaid "Waiver" programs; increased hours of personal care and assistance are being provided to individuals who require additional services to remain in the community; individuals with disabilities now have greater control over their community-based care and services; and individuals’ needs are met by providing reasonable accommodations in their communities, and not by moving to a more restrictive setting.

    To learn more, visit:



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    Grant and Funding Opportunities

    Addressing Caregiver Symptoms through Technological Tools (R01 Clinical Trial Optional),” (PA-19-023, National Institute of Nursing Research, application deadlines Feb. 5, June 5, and Oct. 5). The key to this announcement is the focus on the caregiver, regardless of patient symptoms or conditions. Research is needed to enhance symptom recognition and assessment in caregivers, and to promote technological strategies to alleviate distress in caregiver symptoms. These studies are needed to advance the science related to caregiver experience of symptoms, caregiving contexts that promote these symptoms, and viable tools to address the symptoms experienced by caregivers.

    The Awesome Foundation is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time.  Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter's "trustees" and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.  Deadline: Open

    Retirement Research Foundation Accepting Applications for Projects to Improve Lives of Aging Americans - Grants will be awarded to projects that provide direct services, advocacy, education, and/or training programs for professionals working with elders, as well as for research that investigates causes and solutions to significant problems of older adults.  Advocacy, training, and research projects of national relevance will be considered.  The foundation considers proposals on February 1, May 1, and August 1

    Environmental Influences on Aging: Effects of Extreme Weather and Disaster Events on Aging Processes (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed), (PAR-19-249, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, application deadlines November 4, 2019; March 9, 2020; July 7, 2020; November 9, 2020; and March 8, 2021).  Together with the companion FOA (PAR-19-250) that focuses on how extreme weather and disaster events impact older adults, these complementary FOAs will help to explicate the behavioral, biological, epigenetic, genetic, neurological and socioecological processes that affect the aging process. Through integration of this and the companion population studies FOA, the ultimate goal is to improve the health and well-being of older adults via increased knowledge about extreme weather and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

    Anthem Foundation Program Grants support ongoing community health programs with proven and measurable outcomes. We favor initiatives that prioritize obtaining strategic, measurable results over isolated grant activities. Rather than try to cover many broad health-related needs in the community, the Foundation funds targeted grants that align with our signature Healthy Generations program.  The Anthem Foundation evaluates the projected ability of grant requests to yield meaningful results by asking three simple questions of each proposal:

    1. What results will be achieved?
    2. Will this organization deliver on its proposed commitments?
    3. Is this grant the best possible use of the Foundation’s resources?

    Applications submitted by 5 p.m. ET on August 9, 2019, will be considered by December 31, 2019.


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    President's Message

    As my time as your president comes to an end, this will be my last message for the newsletter.

    First, I cannot thank the staff enough at Margaret Lynn Duggar and Associates for their continuous support and leadership and dedication to providing everything our seniors deserve in the way of support, opportunity, and the ability to live our best lives possible.

    Every year, Margaret Lynn Duggar sends out our advocacy effort for the year to each member of the Florida Legislature. In the note she attaches, she lets each member of the Florida Legislature know the percentage of their constituents who are over 60 years old.

    In spite of percentages that run often into the upper 60s, seniors’ needs and opportunities are not seen as a constituent part of the political process. We have to find a way to make politicians believe that seniors are watching their performance by deed and act for senior needs.

    There is great work underway to make every city and county in Florida age friendly communities. The term "age friendly" does not refer to seniors alone. It refers to our need for an integrated society that is focused on the needs of all age groups in our great state. Part of the age friendly initiative is to help all ages, the healthy and those stricken with illness or disability alike to facilitate wellness as well as treat disease and disability.  We have an incredible opportunity to enhance the quality of life of Florida’s well seniors, as well as, taking care of the needs and unmet needs of seniors with health issues.

    I hope FCOA will continue its role as an advocacy group for seniors and to strongly move toward every community and every county in Florida becoming age friendly. 

    We have a diverse, committed, and highly capable Board of Trustees and I will do everything in my power to help our incredible President-Elect Christine Cauffield to truly make FCOA the big tent where we can serve all aspects of seniors’ lives

    It has been my high honor and privilege to serve as your president for the last two years and I can't wait to see the incredible progress we make in the years to come. Your nominating committee has done a phenomenal job in securing the future of this great organization.

    - Charlie Robinson


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