Interview with the Commissioner of the NYC Dept of Aging (Silo-Busting)

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



Ideas from an interview with Dr. Donna Corrado, Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging

Within long-term care, overcoming the problems caused by silos can lead to better care coordination, increased interdepartmental cooperation and reduced work redundancy.

My 1-on-1 interview with Donna Corrado, PhD, Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging, suggests there are also benefits to breaking down silos between public and private aging services.

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

There are 622 area groups in the National Association Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). According to its website, “the primary mission [of n4a] is to build the capacity of our members so they can help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.”

While n4a’s mission might seem diametrically opposed to the business interests of long-term care, this isn’t the case in a capitated model. When an organization offers a continuum of care with the goal of maintaining people outside of the hospital and at the least expensive level of care, then private and government (and personal) interests align.

My conversation with Dr. Corrado revealed ways of making the most of this alignment of interests, as well as ways to boost the census in long-term care.

AAA offerings

While NYC is the largest Area Agency on Aging in the country, each AAA has it’s own assortment of programs directed toward the needs of their community. There are core issues common everywhere.

Food insecurity is addressed through congregate meals in senior centers and through organizations like Citymeals on Wheels, which provides 8 million meals to New Yorkers Monday through Friday. At the National Readmission Prevention conference I wrote about last month, the speaker from Abbott Nutrition reported that proper nutrition resulted in a 28% decline in hospital readmissions over a six-month period.

Every community has a case management program that assesses individuals and offers home care services.

Senior centers (NYC has 270 of them!) can reduce the epidemic of loneliness and help identify health problems before they become medical emergencies. Funding for senior centers varies greatly, creating opportunities for collaboration.

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