Volume 3 | December 2019
LeadingAge Ohio is excited to share with you our legislative newsletter - The Aging Advocate . This monthly publication is designed to share what's going on in the world of aging and give you a peek at LeadingAge Ohio's 400+ members around the state. 
What's Inside?

  • ‘OK, Boomer’
  • Aging 101
  • Aging Education - Medicaid Eligibility
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia Task Force
  • 2019 Annual Report
  • LeadingAge Ohio 2019 Public Service Awards
Aging Happenings
Column: 'OK Boomer' Offers a Chance to Bridge Generational Gap
'Ok, Boomer' has become an international phenomenon, used by younger generations to poke fun or criticize older adults for views and behavior they deem antiquated. While many have cried "ageism", this is a critique that can go both ways.

Meanwhile, Ohioans are aging fast and care needs are increasing. Questions of how America will pay for the care of its elders loom large.

LeadingAge Ohio's Patrick Schwartz recently penned a column for the Columbus Dispatch titled 'OK, Boomer' provides a chance to brid ge generatio nal gap - check it out!
Aging 101: A Tool for Ohio Providers & Public Officials
Ohio is home to the sixth largest population of older adults in the country. As services and supports adapt to these rising population numbers, LeadingAge Ohio has provided our members with an easily customized tool that they can use when discussing aging within their communities.

'Aging 101' was designed to be used when educating community groups, public officials, students, and more on what aging looks like in Ohio and across the country. The brochure and presentation provide: statistics on the current and future state of aging in Ohio; information regarding long-term care, post-acute care and additional supports and payment models; and an overview of varying careers and workforce solutions within the field.

LeadingAge Ohio is sharing this free resource with members of the Ohio General Assembly and the Administration as a tool for all to use when learning about aging and health policy and developing legislation that deals with older adults, aging services, or post-acute care.

Medicaid Eligibility
Ohio’s curre nt standards for establishing Medicaid eligibility are frustrating for families and financially unsustainable for providers of long-term care. Based on real experiences shared by long-term services and supports providers, LeadingAge Ohio developed a handout which illustrates the challenges inherent in the Medicaid application process.
Medicaid is the largest portion of Ohio’s operating budget and the payor for over one-third of Ohioan's long-term care needs . The program’s importance to Ohio's older adults and the provider community can't be overstated.

Challenges in the eligibility process can cause the typical LeadingAge Ohio provider to write off thousands (smaller or single-site provider) to millions (large or multi-site provider) of dollars each year. Losses that nursing facilities incur due to the current application process compounds the shortfalls they experience in caring for this vulnerable population. Meanwhile, Ohio families are suspended in the middle, unsure if they will be hit with a large nursing facility bill if their loved one is deemed ineligible.  
As the Administration works to clear the backlog in Medicaid applications and brainstorm solutions, LeadingAge Ohio encourages continued attention to streamlining the eligibility process. Questions on Ohio's medicaid application process can be sent to Susan Wallace, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, at swallace@leadingageohio.org. 

LeadingAge Ohio to Join Alzheimer's and Dementia Task Force
Last month, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 24 into law, which created the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Task Force . LeadingAge Ohio is looking forward to joining other provider associations, representatives from long-term care, persons living with dementia, caregivers, healthcare professionals, public officials, and more to take on this important work.

The 28-member group will examine both the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias and their caregivers, the services available in Ohio for them, and the ability of healthcare providers and facilities to meet current and future needs. Assisted living will be examined closely, as well as quality care measures for assisted living; memory care units and provider options; and home- and community-based services for people with dementia diagnoses.

Within 18 months of the bill’s effective date, the group must submit to Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly a report detailing its findings and recommendations for the next five to 10 years. Afterward, the task force will disband.

More information is available on this task force from a November McKnight's article.
2019 Annual Report Highlights Year of State Budget Advocacy, Workforce Initiatives, and Aging Education
Each year, LeadingAge Ohio releases an Annual Report that provides an overview of our activities, accomplishments, and initiatives for the year.

2019 was a busy year for LeadingAge Ohio, as our members and staff focused on:

  • Legislative advocacy work related to the state budget and other critical programs for providers of long-term and post-acute care,
  • Workforce initiatives such as registered apprenticeships, awareness campaigns for careers in aging, new certifications, and more, and
  • Providing quality education to the aging and post-acute workforce.

To see our year in review, check out our 2019 Annual Report.
2019 LeadingAge Ohio Public Service Awards:
Senator Steve Wilson
The LeadingAge Ohio Public Service Award is bestowed to those legislators who emerge as leaders in the aging sector and show a commitment to taking on the issues most important to older adults and aging services providers in Ohio. This year, LeadingAge Ohio presented Public Service Awards to Senator Steve Wilson and Representative Bill Reineke. 

From Wilson's Ohio Senate press release :

"Since joining the Ohio Senate, Wilson has been a champion for Ohio's aging population, including sponsoring Senate Bill 158 in the 132nd General Assembly, which took important steps to combat fraud and financial exploitation of seniors. Prior to the bill's passage, it was estimated that senior citizens lost approximately $2.9 billion each year to these types of crimes."

Additionally, Wilson is working to establish an Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Task Force* to develop and official, comprehensive state action plan."

The senator has shown himself to be a clear leader among his peers in his understanding of and interest in the lives of older Ohioans, and we commend him as a 2019 LeadingAge Ohio Public Service Award honoree for his continued efforts to support Ohio's populations of older adults and caregivers.

*Senate Bill 24 was signed by Governor DeWine on November 6, 2019.

About LeadingAge Ohio
Founded in 1937, LeadingAge Ohio is a nonprofit trade association that represents over 400 long-term care organizations and hospices, as well as those providing ancillary health care and housing services, in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities. The continuum of care reflected by the member organizations serve an estimated 400,000 elderly Ohioans daily and employ more than 35,000 persons statewide.

Want to meet with LeadingAge Ohio? Share a story? Visit a provider in your community?

Reach out to Director of Strategic Communications Patrick Schwartz at pschwartz@leadingageohio.org.