Help in your backyard

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:


Help in your backyard

Amy Gotwals, the Chief of Public Policy and External Affairs at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, kicked off the 28th Annual Aging Conference in New York City last week, held at the New York Academy of Medicine and filled with attendees providing community-based care for elders. Her rousing keynote outlined the vast care demands of the growing wave of elders and the importance of building healthcare partnerships.

Some of Gotwals’ statistics were startling despite knowledge of the impending “silver tsunami.” Some areas of the country are projected to see an increase in Alzheimer’s diagnoses of 50% to 80% by 2025. Family caregivers between 65 and 74 years old provide more than 30 hours of care per week; for those 75 and older, it’s more than 34 hours each week.

Statistics such as these point to ways in which long-term care organizations can position themselves to be relevant far into the future by offering, for instance, memory or respite care.

Gotwals reported that local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), of which there are 622 across the country, are increasingly contracting with healthcare organizations to provide services such as care transitions, nutritional services, home evaluations and evidence-based self-management for chronic diseases.

In one example, San Francisco’s Institute on Aging (IOA) partnered with a nonprofit, community-based housing agency and contracted with the Health Plan of San Mateo County to provide care management services that reduced monthly spending per member by nearly 50%.

While local organizations may not be as seasoned in business promotion, they’re experts in the needs of the local community and their established presence in the neighborhood can be a boon to long-term care organizations seeking to create new partnerships.


After hearing Gotwals’ opening remarks, I chose a breakout session on technology and design presented by Tom Kamber, Ph.D., founder and director of Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). His is a national organization that provides technology-based senior centers and collaborates with a wide range of institutions to address the tech needs of elders.

For the entire article, visit: Help in your backyard

Leave a Comment