Special Focus Facility program

CMS ‘Retooled’ Special Focus Facility Program Pushes for Faster Upgrades to Troubled Nursing Homes

CMS is going to put troubled nursing homes on a fast-track to improve with a ‘retooled’ Special Focus Facility program as reported by Bloomberg Law. Those who don’t make it will have their certifications revoked. This effort is designed to bring problem providers into compliance more quickly. But according to David Grabowski, Nexus Fellow and Harvard Medical School professor, there could be a downside to consider.

This new approach could be “taking dollars and access away from beneficiaries who don’t have anywhere else to turn,” says Grabowski, adding that “there’s not always operators lining up to enter into those markets.”

There are approximately 15,500 Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes in the United States. Approximately 2,500 of them have one star ratings.

Read more at Bloomberg Law.

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Cohousing for Seniors

Cohousing for Seniors – An Instructional Model for the Senior Living Industry?

Cohousing for seniors. It’s an intriguing alternative to aging-in-place, especially for those willing to make a housing change before they are forced to and who want a setting that reinforces the values and activities that are important (or meaningful) to them. Cohousing could also be a key model for the senior living industry as it seeks to attract the boomer generation.

“Professionals in the senior living industry are dragging their feet about making the changes necessary to attract boomers.” While they are remodeling old units with new kitchens, adding fresh paint, hiring top chefs, and even involving residents in policy decisions, “it doesn’t address the devotion many boomers have to their work, their communities, their causes and projects, and their families – the exact kind of interests of people in cohousing,” said Nexus Fellow Sara Zeff Geber in her recent post in Forbes.

Most people don’t know about cohousing communities, but there are over 200 of them in the US right now with more in the works. They are intentional communities built around a set of shared values. They are also places where people can live independently and can request services as they need them. This could be a better alternative to staying at home for too long and realizing too late that some changes should have been made years ago.

Read the full story at Forbes.


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Cost of Ageism in the United States

The Cost of Ageism in the United States

Ageism is not only painful for those it disadvantages, it’s also costly – an estimated $63 billion per year. Furthermore, it contributes to mental health issues and is the leading cause of suicide in older adults. At a time when people are living longer, healthier and more productive lives, the rest of society persists in seeing older people as obsolete. This is according to an article published in Seniors Matter.

Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician and a Nexus Fellow, points out ageism in the United States in the documentary film The Roots and Consequences of Ageism in America. “Society holds up very young and inexperienced people as being the paragons of virtue and strength and idealizes them while setting aside real elders with real lived experience making them virtually invisible.”

“Ageism is common, but it doesn’t need to be inevitable,” says Erica Harrison, the author of the article, and expands on what can be done by individuals to change the narrative.

  • Be inclusive
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Avoid ageist language
  • Call out ageism

Read the whole piece: Seniors Matter.


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Wage Increase for Long-Term Care Workers

Leading Industry Experts Support Wage Increase for Long-Term Care Workers

LeadingAge, the country’s second-largest long-term care association, has called upon President Biden to boost worker pay by $5 an hour, according to a report in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. They are also asking for one-time relief payments of $2,000. These requests are part of a six-point relief proposal to address widespread long-term care worker shortages. The proposal was sent to President Biden in a letter from Katie Smith Sloan, CEO of LeadingAge.

David Grabowski, health policy expert at Harvard Medical School and Nexus Insights fellow, fully supports the plan. He is quoted in the article saying that we “would be in much better shape today if policymakers had put this in place at [an earlier] time” but adds that “it’s not too late to do this now.”

Grabowski says that supporting workers in long-term care will help alleviate the staff shortages that lead to overwork and burnout. “Policymakers must also increase benefits and ensure better working conditions. All too often, staff are overworked due to staffing shortages.”

Read the full article in McKnight’s Long-Term News


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Skills in the Aging Services Industry

A Guide for Cultivating CEO Skills in the Aging Services Industry

In December, Jacquelyn Kung, Bob Kramer, and Ed Frauenheim published a column in McKnight’s Senior Living discussing the 5 critical CEO skills needed for the future of aging services. These included personal depth, operational savvy, industry awareness, government smarts and megatrend acumen. In response to the column, many readers asked for advice on how to develop these skills. Here are three things to keep in mind if you want to develop the CEO skills needed for the future of aging services.

Know thyself. Know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. And not just “hard” skills like finance or technology. You must know your emotional self. This emotional intelligence helps to create caring communities that people want to be a part of. It also helps you relate to and inspire all the people in your organization, top to bottom. 

Know others. Create a large, diverse network of friends and colleagues, especially those outside of aging services. It’s very handy to know thinkers and experts in other fields who you can call on for instant wisdom.

Know thy world. Keep up with developments in areas outside of elder services. There’s good reason to think big changes in culture, technology and economics will also have big impacts on senior living in the years ahead. The article provides three concrete takeaways in regard to the above three tenets. Read the full article here at McKnight’s Long-Term Care

Right Place, Right Time

‘Right Place, Right Time’ Named Great Money Book By Next Avenue

Right Place Right Time by Ryan Frederick has been named one of Next Avenue’s 13 Great Money Books Worth Reading. The list was selected by Richard Eisenberg and “Friends Talk Money” podcast co-hosts Pam Krueger and Terry Savage.

Right Place Right Time discusses the significance that place plays in an individual’s health and happiness. Being in the right place can help promote purpose, facilitate human connection, catalyze physical activity, support financial health, and inspire community engagement. Conversely, the wrong place can be detrimental to health, as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted. In Right Place, Right Time, Ryan Frederick argues that where you live matters enormously―especially during the second half of your life.

In praising Right Place Right Time: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home For The Second Half of Life, the authors wrote “Frederick’s book can be hugely helpful if you’re thinking about where to live, whether to downsize or how to age in place.” Eisenberg, Krueger and Savage are all personal finance authors. Their book list includes some newly published titles, like Right Place Right Time, as well as classics of the genre such as the quarter-century old title The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Explore the entire list at Next Avenue.

Ryan Frederick is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator, developer and strategy consultant in the field of aging and longevity. He is a Nexus Fellow and the CEO of SmartLiving360.

See full list of recommendations at Next Avenue.

covid cases and nursing homes

Covid Cases in Nursing Homes Are Clogging Up Hospitals

Dr. David Grabowski, Nexus Fellow and professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, stated last month in The Guardian that staff shortages in nursing homes and post-acute settings–mostly from Covid cases–are causing a problem for hospitals. Typically, hospitals will discharge patients to a stepped-down care setting when they are well enough.

“Things are condition critical today. [Hospitals] can’t find an empty or staffed bed out there,” said Grabowski. Hospitals can’t discharge patients who are healthy enough to move to a lower level of care because they can’t find any place to put them, according to Grabowski.

This in turn means that hospitals can’t admit new patients. “That’s a huge problem,” said Grabowski, “because they’re occupying a bed that would otherwise go to a new patient.”

Read the full article in The Guardian.

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Engagement Disruption eBook

Engagement Disruption – A New eBook from Bob Kramer and Sara Kyle, Ph.D.

Many senior living communities are preparing to get back to business as usual after the pandemic. This, however, is a mistake and a missed opportunity. Engagement Disruption: Start Engaging The Resident Journey is a new eBook co-authored by Bob Kramer, founder and fellow of Nexus Insights and co-founder and strategic advisor to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, and Sara Kyle, Ph.D., founder of LE3 Solutions. In it they outline the opportunities for senior communities as they prepare for a post-pandemic reopening.

They describe a new aspirational model of engagement based on individual resident goals and passions rather than just a busy activities calendar. Find out why the standard answers to questions like “how will mom stay in touch with the outside world” and “how will you keep dad engaged?” aren’t good enough anymore.

Instead, ask your residents: What’s next for you? What are your goals and aspirations? What would you like to learn and do? And, more importantly, how can you contribute to the wider community? The answers to these questions will help you form an aspirational model of engagement for each community member. The authors indicate that reopening in a post-covid world is a unique opportunity that should not be missed.

Read more by Downloading the eBook here.

The Increase of Solo Agers in America and What that Means for the Caregiving Industry

In a Forbes.com article written by solo aging expert and Nexus Fellow Sara Zeff Geber, we learn that childlessness has nearly doubled since the silent generation–and it’s compounding some existing problems. Geber discusses the various reasons why many more people of childbearing age in the 1970s decided against having children. In addition, she points out that many baby boomers approaching retirement age will lack the family caregiving options that previous generations had. 

Read the full article at Forbes

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Five Skills New CEOs will Need to Know

Nearly three-fourths of senior living communities CEOs will retire in just a few years according to a study by Ziegler. What qualities will the next CEOs need to have to successfully navigate the changes coming in the next decade and beyond? In a McKnight’s op-ed, Jacquelyn Kung, Bob Kramer, and Ed Frauenheim share the five key skills these CEOs will need in the very near future.

These key skills include personal depth, operational savvy, industry awareness, government smarts, and megatrend acumen. 

Read the full piece at McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care.

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