Asa Names Seven 2004 Healthcare and Aging Awards

Article excerpt

A service in Idaho that educates elders living at home about nutrition, food safety and money management; a project to support caregivers in isolated regions of Alaska; and a nationally emulated program in Massachusetts to get older adults physically active through Keep Moving walking clubs are among the seven recipients of this year's Healthcare and Aging Awards, presented by the American Society on Aging (ASA) in collaboration with Pfizer Inc. Winners were honored during the recent 2004 Joint Conference of ASA and the National Council on the Aging in San Francisco, and the awards were presented in association with ASA's Healthcare and Aging Network. Following are this year's winners:

LEAP

LEAP, an acronym for learn, empower, achieve, produce, is a comprehensive long-term care (LTC) workforce initiative that aims to educate, empower and retain nurses and certified nurse assistants. The program, part of Mather LifeWays, Evanston, Ill., is built around a resident-centered approach to developing qualified, effective nursing staff; teaching methods based on adult-learning concepts; and an assessment of an LTC organization's approach to learning. LEAP also uses research-based evaluation mechanisms targeting key staff and resident outcomes and a train-the-trainer course, which prepares staff to effect and sustain change in their LTC settings. During the past year, LEAP has been successfully implemented in 13 LTC organizations, reaching more than 1,000 nursing staff providing care to over 2,500 residents in nursing homes in Illinois, Wisconsin, California and Georgia. Outcome measures include significant reductions in staff turnover, increased staff job satisfaction and empowerment, and improved resident quality indicators. More information on LEAP is available from Linda Hollinger-Smith at (847) 492-6810 or lhollingersmith@mather lifeways.com.

SENP

The Senior Extension Nutrition Program (SENP) provides education on nutrition, money management and food safety to elders living in their homes in Kootenai County, Idaho. LEAP is operated by the Aging and Adult Services (AAS) of North Idaho, in cooperation with the University of Idaho Extension. LEAP'S nutrition advisers, trained by the extension service, travel to AAS clients' homes to provide lessons in the importance of a diet calibrated for long-term health. The program shows people how to prepare quick, low-cost and nutritious meals; discusses the health benefits of eating fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods; explains medications and health conditions that affect appetite; describes the implications of sudden weight gain or loss; demonstrates how to make eating alone a more pleasant experience; emphasizes the importance of washing hands, kitchen surfaces and kitchen utensils; and explains how to manage money so it lasts throughout the month. For more information, contact Pearl Bouchard at (208) 667-3179 or pbouchard@ agingadultsvcs.org.

CAP

The Caregiver Access Project (CAP) was developed by the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Agency of Alaska to identify and support potentially isolated individuals who are providing care for an elder. CAP staff conduct extensive outreach to identify caregivers with poor access to information and services in the South Central region of Alaska. Caregivers receive a range of services from CAP staff, including home visits, individualized needs assessments, referral services, telephone or online support, and educational workshops regarding Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Project staff refer families to other services available in their community, such as respite, support groups or personal care attendant services. CAP provides educational presentations for family and professional caregivers and distributes Alzheimer's Resource Kits to provider organizations both for employee education and for distribution to families. More details are available from Amanda Biggs at (907) 561-3313 or abiggs@ahalaska . …