Older Americans comprise an especially vulnerable group after hospitalization. The millions of older adults who transition from post-acute care to their homes annually are dependent on caregivers for three to six activities of daily living once they return home. Yet in their efforts to get and stay well, too many patients and their caregivers don’t fully understand the extent of the patient’s needs in the critical time following acute care. The good news is a clear opportunity exists to view the challenge of transitional care and recuperating seniors’ needs through a new lens.
On August 14, Tivity Health recognized our efforts to enhance the health and well-being of seniors living in rural America through our Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative, which has improved the lives of at least 1,550 vulnerable seniors in more than 70 communities across Minnesota and North Dakota, with communities in Montana recently added to our expanded efforts. Game-changing approaches will continue to be needed to help improve quality of life for rural seniors.
As a service provider, it can be easy to get lost in the everyday challenges of day-to-day operations, focusing on funding, staffing, reports and service delivery. Coming together with colleagues at events like LSA-DN gives us a chance to step back, to think about larger strategic issues, to focus on the need for public policy and advocacy, and to learn innovative new models and approaches.
Lutheran Services in America has long focused on supporting the healthy, independent aging of America’s elderly, particularly those struggling with limited resources in rural, isolated settings. The organization – in tandem with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota – in 2015 launched the three-year Phase I of its ongoing Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative. The Collaborative provides a sound example of what can be achieved when effectively using a collaborative learning model.
In recognition of National Disability Voter Registration Week, Lutheran Services in America joins with our national partners to promote the REV UP Campaign, a nonpartisan initiative started in 2016 by the American Association for People with Disabilities to increase voter turnout among people with disabilities.
In America, millions of children struggle with completing high school, and are left with their physical and mental health needs unmet. Lutheran Services in America’s Results Innovation Lab empowers providers to lead collaborative efforts to dramatically improve the trajectory of 20,000 vulnerable children in America by 2024. When it comes to Results Innovation Lab progress, the proof is in the pudding.
Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota has developed a deep understanding of the needs of senior citizens. LSSND created as part of Lutheran Services in America’s “Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative” a Volunteer Companions program, established to serve isolated and lonely seniors, and building in flexibility for younger adults to volunteer.
This past weekend marked the 20th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. in which the Court found that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities from “unjustified segregation.” Despite our progress over the last 20 years, much work remains to realize the true promises of Olmstead.
Since August 2018, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) has applied the practice of results-based leadership provided by Lutheran Services in America's Results Innovation Lab to demonstrate improvement in the lives of thousands of people. In Wisconsin, 78 percent of students overall meet the level of “proficient” for reading and comprehension in the third grade. However, a different story emerges when data is disaggregated. It is undeniable the system works for some students, but not for all.
Foster care and adoption is a major area of focus for Lutheran Services in America’s member organizations. National Foster Care Month presents us with the opportunity to offer sincere gratitude to the dedicated parents who touch so many lives — particularly given our continuing shortage of available foster parents and children in need — as well as the children who courageously embrace life-altering change. We invite you to view a collection of illuminating videos from foster care and adoption organizations within the Lutheran Services in America national network.