Volume 14 | December 2020
LeadingAge Ohio is pleased to share with you our legislative newsletter - The Aging Advocate. This monthly publication is designed to communicate what's going on in the world of aging and give you a peek at LeadingAge Ohio's 400+ members around the state. 

Please continue to support frontline healthcare workers during this time as they work to keep everyone safe.
What's Inside?
  • First COVID-19 vaccines are given in Ohio nursing homes 
  • 'Aging 101' updated to reflect challenges of 2020
  • Annual report showcases a year of challenges and accomplishment
  • Newsroom
Aging Happenings
First COVID-19 vaccines are given in Ohio nursing homes 
This week, COVID-19 vaccination began in earnest in Ohio’s nursing homes. 

Older Ohioans and their professional caregivers were identified by the Department of Health & Human Services as priority “1A,” but ultimately allowed each state to develop and implement their own vaccination plan. While drug manufacturers work to ramp up production, only a minority of this high-priority group will be initially vaccinated, beginning with hospitals and nursing homes.

Hospitals will rely on their in-house pharmacies to deliver vaccinations, while Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been assigned to one of four pharmacies statewide: Absolute Pharmacy, CVS, Pharmscript, and Walgreens. Pharmacy partners are critically important, since very few long-term care facilities have the ability to store the vaccination in accordance with the manufacturer’s stringent refrigeration requirements. Local health departments are recipients of the vaccine as well and will work to ensure vaccination of priority populations within the community.
Each nursing home and assisted living facility will be scheduled for three clinic dates at least three weeks apart, allowing the maximum number of individuals to receive the complete, two-dose series of the vaccine. Three clinic dates allow for some individuals who may miss a second dose, or who may not be initially willing to receive the vaccine but later change their mind. 

As providers wait for their first clinic date, there is a clear sense of urgency and anticipation. As cases climb and infiltrate even the most meticulous facilities, each day that passes carries the risk of more spread and harm. LeadingAge Ohio is grateful for all of the people within Ohio’s government agencies, pharmacies and provider community that are working day and night to protect the lives of others.

'Aging 101' updated to reflect challenges of 2020
Originally released in December of 2019, Aging 101 was created to educate community groups, public officials, students, and the public 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.

2020 has been a year filled with challenges and new developments, and Aging 101 has been updated to reflect this "new normal" of pandemic life. New sections on the impact of community spread in long-term care facilities and the crucial steps forward required to support caregivers and conquer the virus have been included.

Aging 101 can be viewed here, and a hard copy will be distributed to all legislative offices at the start of the 134th General Assembly. 
Annual report showcases a year of challenges and accomplishment for LeadingAge Ohio
While the aging services sector has been put under enormous pressure in 2020, it has also adapted to better serve Ohio elders. LeadingAge Ohio's diverse membership across the health care continuum has mobilized to develop new infection control policies, adopt remote technologies to facilitate healthcare and socialization, and worked within a constantly-changing regulatory environment. 

LeadingAge Ohio's achievements in 2020 include constant communication and efforts with state leaders on needed coronavirus response mechanisms; educating long-term care providers, as well as families and the public on these discussions; over 150 media stories featuring LeadingAge Ohio; and the beginning of a digital media campaign designed to better inform policymakers, the public, and the media on aging services.

The LeadingAge Ohio 2020 Annual Report can be viewed here.
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?