If you work in the non-profit sector of the long-term care industry you know the biggest conference of the year kicked-off today in Washington, D.C. at theLeadingAge 2011 “Celebrate Age” annual meeting.
The conference attracts nearly 9,000 attendees ranging from aging services professionals to industry vendors and public sector officials.
The first day of the conference was overshadowed by Friday’s announcement from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius that the CLASS Act long term care insurance program could not be moved forward. This drew a stern rebuke from LeadingAge CEO Larry Minnix and other advocates during a policy briefing on CLASS Monday morning.
CLASS was supposed to trim up to $86 billion from health care over the next decade but HHS hasn’t been able to come up with a model to implement. Minnix argued that politics are getting in the way of policy and that the nation can’t address rising health care costs without taking into consideration long term care insurance.
During the general opening session Minnix focused on the importance of driving innovation in delivering aging services to help providers weather the tough economic times.
This includes engaging consumers better, cultivating talent, taking advantage of non-profit status and pioneering technologies that can help drive quality improvement, such as monitoring systems to prevent falls, emergency response systems, telehealth, individual electronic health records.
Technology was very much on showcase in the exhibition hall and in LeadingAge’s state-of-the-art Idea House installation, featuring the latest gadgets and high-tech services. I shot some video that will be posted to the blog later this week showcasing Eden Alternative’s new partnership “Mind, Body and Spirit” with Jack York’s It’s Never 2 Late interactive software company and WellAWARE Systems health monitoring technology.
I also taped an education session by The Green House Project featuring Shahbazim and Guides talking about working in the Leonard Florence Center for Living Green House Project in Chelsea, Mass. Running the risk of offending our friends in other Green House Projects I will say the Leonard Florence Center has got to be the most advanced and high-tech model of residential care in the U.S. It features the first Green House Project designed exclusively for adults with ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) and MS.
I’ll have videos posted soon but until then enjoy the amazing video featuring the Leonard Florence ALS House below.