Industry News

INALA BOARD MEMBER OPPORTUNITIES

INALA

Board Member Opportunities

 

INALA is in the process of selecting several new members to our Board of Directors.

We are looking for board members who believe in the INALA mission and are willing to be active in their governance roles. We believe our work has never been more important than it is today. If you have a passion for senior care and are committed to a thriving assisted living industry in Indiana, please complete the INALA Board of Directors Application and submit it along with a short bio to Dan Kenyon dkenyon@leadingageindiana.org  so we can add your name on the ballot.

Responsibility:

To participate in the development of policy and engage in major decision-making regarding the operation of INALA.

To promote INALA with non-members and encourage non-member communities to become part of INALA.

Time commitment:

Board members serve a three-year term.   The board meets every two months.  The meetings last at a maximum about 2 ½ hours. Currently, due to COVID-19, we are holding our meetings via conference call or Zoom.  Under normal circumstances Board members are welcome to host meetings. If no one hosts the meeting, we meet at the LeadingAge office in Northwest Indianapolis.  If unexpected circumstances prevent in-person attendance, telephone participation is possible.

Board members may serve, from time to time, on ad hoc committees depending on their interests.

Additional Resource for Provider Liability From Argentum

As discussed during the past two State Partner calls, Argentum is continuing efforts to protect senior living staff and communities from liability as a result of COVID-19.

 

In addition to the template executive order and background memo we’ve provided, we are now also offering all state partners access to legal experts in provider liability through Willis Towers Watson and Wyatt Tarrant & Combs. Over the next several weeks, we will be reaching out to state partners to discuss the current status of actions in the state and to help with strategy and identifying executive and legislative actions that can be taken to provide protections. We appreciate your flexibility in scheduling these calls.

 

Please contact your state policymakers.  This background memo and current executive order text can be adapted as part of your outreach.  Tara Clayton and Doug McSwain are assisting in our efforts. Please see their bios below:

 

  • Tara Clayton, Senior Claim Consultant, Willis Towers Watson
    Tara has extensive experience dealing with senior living general liability, professional liability, and medical malpractice claims. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Tara served as Vice President of Operations Legal Counsel for a multi-state senior living provider. In that role, she managed long-term care litigation for over one hundred senior living campuses located in multiple states, as well as pharmacy and therapy litigation in more than a dozen states. In addition, she managed employment matters and assisted with all legal matters across the company including corporate transactions, contract review, regulatory compliance, privacy and security compliance, employee relations and risk management. She also provided senior management with strategic and operational assistance. Before moving into the role of operations counsel in 2013, Tara was a health care and commercial litigation attorney, where she represented several senior living providers, hospitals, physicians and other health care providers and health care companies by defending medical malpractice and long-term care claims. Tara also advised on regulatory matters, including health care privacy, licensure and long-term care discharge proceedings.
  • Doug McSwain, Partner, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP
    Douglas McSwain is a member of the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team. He has been a litigator, legal advisor, speaker, and writer for more than 30 years. He concentrates his practice in constitutional law, business, professional, employment, civil rights, data privacy & security, and trade law. Mr. McSwain also has experience in health care, administrative and equine law. Mr. McSwain has handled numerous multi-party wage and hour cases both administratively and in litigation. He has conducted auditing and investigative cases involving the U.S. Department of Labor and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, as well as multi-Plaintiff cases individually suing or class and collective actions. 

 

 

 

Dan Samson

Director of Government Relations

ARGENTUM | Expanding Senior Living

Coronavirus Resource Page

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

INALA has compiled the following resource directory to provide information from CMS, ISDH, CDC and the EPA in one location. This is not, and should not, be considered an all-inclusive resource. Please check ISDH, CMS and CDC websites frequently, as information and/or directives are being released almost daily.

From Argentum

Resources, links, and suggested best practices for a thoughtful approach to coronavirus (COVID-19) preparation and response in senior living communities.

Access the coronavirus toolkit here

 

 Prepare Now

  1. Argentum’s What You Can Do Now – checklist
  2. Review infection prevention and control policies and procedures from the CDC
  3. Review emergency preparedness plan with staff and expect ISDH survey’s to be more narrowly focused on infection preparedness.  Read more from CMS.
  4. Have a Communication Plan for all stakeholders.  Download The World Health Organization Communications Package

Resource Directory

EPA Releases List of Disinfectants to Use Against COVID-19

EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance was developed and finalized in 2016 to allow for a rapid response in the event of an emerging viral pathogen outbreak. It was triggered for the first time ever for SARS-CoV-2 on January 29, 2020. The guidance outlines a voluntary, pre-approval process for making emerging viral pathogens claims. In the event of an outbreak, companies with pre-approved products can make off-label claims (for example in technical literature, non-label-related websites, and social media) for use against the outbreak virus.

VIEW THE LIST HERE

CMS Guidance for Nursing Homes  VIEW HERE

ISDH Long Term Care Newsletter / Special Issue:  COVID-19 / Coronavirus

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Long Term Care is providing facilities with information related to COVID-19.  It is recommended that facilities review this information and use it to educate staff and visitors.

Additional questions please contact LTC Deputy Director Tammy Alley at talley@isdh.in.gov or 317.233.7441, or LTC Director Brenda Buroker at bburoker@isdh.in.gov or 317.234.7340.

CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronovirus

CMS calls on all health care providers to activate infection control practices and issues guidance to inspectors as they inspect facilities affected by Coronavirus.    READ MORE

Additional Resources

Strategies to Prevent Spread in LTC Facilities

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

Good time to review infection control policies

Video Chatting with Grandma

Study finds video chatting is the best technology to prevent loneliness in seniors reports US News and World Report.

Study says Tai Chi most effect exercise to combat dementia.

A meta-analysis of 20 studies on tai chi and cognition determined tai chi appears to improve executive function without any cognitive decline, reports Newsmax.

2018 INALA Award Winners

Check out this year’s winners!

INALA Conversations: Dementia and Guns – Part Two

If an individual’s dementia has progressed to the point that conversation is not possible due to the disease or lack of judgment, than it is important that family members take action to safeguard the individual and others in the home.

In this situation, here are some tips for dealing with firearms in the home:

The best option is removal of firearms before there is a major safety concern. But if that cannot happen then consider:

  • Store all guns separately from ammunition in a secured and locked case or firearm vault.
  • Remove ammunition from the house.
  • Do not allow the person with disease to have unsupervised access.
  • If guns are in the home, other adults in the home should make it a priority to learn proper and safe handling of the guns.
  • Consider having an adult child, neighbor or friend “borrow” or “store” the guns permanently. Make sure you follow the laws on how to legally transfer gun ownership.
  • Have the guns leave the house for “professional cleaning.”
  • Have a professional disable the guns. This could still present risk if law enforcement ever becomes involved. They must act with the belief a gun is operational.
  • Go through a licensed firearms dealer if the guns are to be sold.
  • If you want law enforcement to destroy the guns and ammunition, call first and find out what is required. Do not simply walk into the station carrying the guns you want destroyed. They may want to see a statement of diagnosis from a physician and they can give you instructions on how to bring in the guns or whether they will send someone to collect the guns.
  • Indiana has a “red flag” law which allows immediate and temporary seizure of weapons from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others. Contact law enforcement anytime you think there is an imminent threat.

With appreciation to the California Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for most of these tips!

Resources:

https://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-health-information-26/alzheimer-s-news-20/when-do-you-take-guns-from-someone-with-dementia-733653.html

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/should-seniors-be-allowed-to-keep-guns-169994.htm

https://www.seniorhomes.com/w/guns-in-senior-living-communities/

Aging and Thinning Skin

Is your skin becoming thinner as you age? Thin skin is a natural part of getting older, alongside wrinkles, less skin elasticity, and skin that is dry or easily damaged. While thinning skin is not reversible, there is help for thinning skin!
  • Moisturize your skin! It can make skin more flexible and less likely to break.
  • Drinking enough water helps keep the skin hydrated. Dry skin can be irritated or damaged more easily and is often less flexible.
  • Avoid anything that makes your skin red or sore. Protect yourself from the sun! You will burn more easily as your skin ages. Also, take care to avoid harsh chemicals that could damage your skin.
  • Wear long sleeves, gloves, and long skirts or trousers to help avoid bruises or tears.
  • Eat a balanced diet to help support overall health. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Vitamin E, found in foods such as almonds and avocados, can also support skin health. The fats in these foods may help to keep the skin supple.
  • Using creams that contain vitamin A, also known as retinol or retinoids, may help to prevent skin from thinning further. Your doctor can prescribe this medication or there are some over the counter products you can use. As with any medication, make sure you follow the instructions and talk to your doctor if you experience problems.
There is usually no need to see a doctor for thin skin that is caused by aging and is not presenting any health problems. If you find you are bruising or damaging your skin often, you may wish to seek medical advice.
Since specific treatment is not available for thin skin, prevention is the best option. Protecting your skin from sunlight and keeping your skin hydrated may help prevent further thinning of the skin.

INALA Conversations: Dementia and Guns

The best time to have a conversation about firearms in the house is BEFORE there is a major safety concern!

For an individual living with dementia, gun ownership may represent security, pride in a skill gained and honed over time, treasured memories of a lifetime of gun ownership and a mark of responsible adulthood.

As dementia progresses the individual affected will experience a decline in judgment skills, memory, perception and reasoning. The individual’s ability to act safely may be impaired in a variety of situations like driving, using power tools or cooking. Just as difficult conversations may have to occur around these activities, similar conversations should happen around guns.

These can be highly emotional discussions and decisions. To get you started, you should know:

  • As dementia progresses, information and training in safe gun handling skills may fade.
  • Some people with dementia experience changes in personality and emotions.
  • Dementia affects the ability to control emotion and emotional outbursts can occur.
  • People with dementia may mistake someone they know for someone else, like an intruder.
  • Depression is common in those with dementia and can increase the risk of suicide if there is access to a means, like a firearm.
  • In later stages of dementia, people may suffer from delusions and hallucinations, some of which can be paranoid, persecutory or hostile.

You and the person experiencing dementia can come up with a plan as to how guns should be handled as the disease progresses. You might discuss a “firearms retirement or early inheritance date.” Or the person experiencing dementia might designate someone they trust to have the authority to take away their guns when the time comes.

Whatever you and your loved one chooses to do, as the disease progresses, continual reassessment of safety issues will be needed. If dementia is creating risk, neglecting to address gun safety could result in tragedy.

Resource:

https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20140721/guns-dementia#1

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine

Licensed and non-licensed assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine. The requirement can be met with a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information statement (VIS). Click here for the CDC VIS page.

Get your flu shot before the end of October

The CDC is recommending people get flu shots by the end of October. Learn more.

Previous and current approaches to dementia care

A New Yorker article entitled “The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care” discusses previous and current approaches to dementia care. (Print edition of the article published October 8th is headlined “The Memory House.”)

FDA has approved sale of first self-fitting hearing aid

The FDA has approved the sale of the first self-fitting hearing aid, reports WebMD. The Bose Hearing Aid is a wireless amplifier placed in the ear canal that can be adjusted by the user through a smartphone app.

An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan

An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan. Read the NIH Director’s blog post.

New rules for VA Aid and Attendance

New rules for VA Aid and Attendance go into effect October 18th, 2018. The VA added a look back period for asset transfers, established net worth limits and added new medical expense deduction limitations.

Indiana no longer ranked among the nation’s fattest states

Indiana is no longer ranked among the nation’s 10 fattest states! According to a new report, 33.6% of Indiana adults are obese, giving us the 12th highest obesity rate.

Indiana hospitals racking up millions of dollars in penalties

Indiana hospitals are racking up millions of dollars in penalties for having too many patients return for care within a month of discharge. Sixty-six Hoosier hospitals will see their Medicare payments docked next year by a total of about $12 million as a result of having patients readmitted within 30 days. That’s up from $9 million in penalties three years ago. IBJ article lists the top 20 penalized hospitals.

Learn more about the INALA endorsed LifeStyle Health Plan!

Learn more about the INALA endorsed LifeStyle Health Plan! Members using the plan have been pleased.

Karen Ayersman elected to the INALA Board

Congratulations to Karen Ayersman, Residences at Deer Creek, for being elected to the INALA Board.

Sherri Berghoff, Silver Birch Senior Living, was re-elected to the Board.