LeadingAge national and the CDC have provided information that is specifically aimed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in long-term care settings.
LeadingAge recommends that you:
•Develop an internal message to proactively acknowledge the current situation, share accurate and relevant information about the coronavirus, and assure community members that you are taking all necessary steps to promote their health and safety.
•Refresh emergency contact lists for staff and residents, including contacts for family, caregivers, and health care providers.
•Ask your residents and responsible parties to ensure you have their most up-to-date POA and Advance Directive information
•Review your community’s protocol for protected health information of residents.
The panelists, Lisa Legeer of GlynnDevins, Lynn Daly of BB&T Capital Markets and David Ratchford of WellPointe Advisors, LLC reminded attendees that if we don’t build the middle market, the for-profit organizations will build them. The panel said we should not be afraid of the financial risks associated with the middle market. They reminded attendees that when building middle market housing there is typically a 5% development fee, a 5% management fee and the building value. Tax credit funding is being used for the development of the middle market communities.
The key to feasibility for the middle market according to the panel, is to buy the land cheap (sometimes churches have excess land), building no less than 120 units, smaller residences like 500 to 700 square feet for a one-bedroom unit, limited dining, shared services and shared spaces. Ideas for shared spaces include use of a swimming pool on a college campus or a nearby YMCA.
So far there are a limited number of mission-based organizations building middle market housing for older adults. National Church Residences is one of the early pioneers for this market. The panel suggested viewing a video about Givens Gerber Park to get more knowledgeable about the middle market. Check out this virtual tour to learn more about Givens Gerber Park: https://www.givensgerberpark.org/spacious-residences.
Experts in housing and financing like Dixon Hughes Goodman, Ziegler, BB&T and HJ Sims are important partners for ensuring successful ventures into the middle market.
The report shows that compared to community-at-large adults, life plan community participants have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness but lower spiritual wellness.
The report references the Lawton & Nahemow finding that “aging posits that it is the unique combination of competence and environment that determines an individual’s optimal function.” They point out that life plan communities offer opportunities for volunteering or joining a club and that these opportunities help replace the fulfillment a person experienced through professional roles. They also point out that these opportunities are more challenging to identify in the larger community.
According to the Mather study, regulation of one’s emotions is an important ability in maintaining wellness. The study showed that life plan community residents had better scores on six emotional wellness outcomes than older adults residing in the community at large and a less favorable score on one outcome. As compared to older residents in the community, residents of life plan communities scored higher for satisfaction with life and resilience, lower levels of depression but more depressive symptoms, more positive mood, moderately low levels of hopelessness, moderately positive attitudes toward aging, high levels of optimism, lower levels of pessimism, fairly low levels of stress, similar levels of perceived control and similar perceptions of subjective age.
The Age Well Study says that social connections and support have important implications for an individual’s physical and mental health. It also states that greater feelings of neighborhood cohesion are associated with enhanced mental well-being. The surveys showed that 69% of residents reported that moving to a life plan community somewhat or greatly improved their social wellness. Life plan community participants feel a strong sense of belonging to their communities, lower levels of loneliness compared to older adults from the community and more frequent social contact with friends.
The Age Well Study defines physical wellness as, engaging in physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, appropriate utilization of health care as well as engaging in healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep and maintaining personal safety. Their report indicates that residents of life plan communities engage in vigorous, moderate, and mild levels of physical activity more than adults in the community at large. They also have better self-reported health and fewer chronic health conditions than older adults in the community as large.
According to the report, spiritual wellness includes seeking meaning and purpose, demonstrating values through behaviors such as meditation, prayer, contemplation of life/death, as well as appreciating beauty, nature and life. The report indicates that as a whole, life plan community participants have moderate levels of spirituality, lower than older adults in the community; however, life plan community participants in the Midwest and South are more spiritual than those in the West.
Intellectual wellness, according to The Age Well Study involves expanding knowledge and skills through a variety of resources as well as through stimulating and creative activities. They point out that intellectual programs were often related to improved cognitive health outcomes. The study reported that self-reported memory is higher for life plan community participants than older adults in the community at large. It also showed that life plan community participants engage more often in intellectual activities more than older adults in the community at large. They engage more in reading, doing word games, playing cards or games, writing letters or stories and significantly more in attending education or training.
According to The Age Well Study, vocational wellness refers to finding and pursing one’s calling in life. That can include personal and occupational interests through meaningful activities, volunteering and developing new interests or hobbies. According to the report, participants from life plan communities have greater sense of purpose in life than older adults in the community at large. They both report being moderately to very satisfied with their retirement satisfaction. Life plan community participants conduct volunteer work more often than older adults in the community according to the report but the two groups do not differ significantly in volunteer or charity work with children or young people.
The Age Well Study reported that respondents indicated that their social, intellectual, physical and, to a lesser extent emotional wellness have improved since moving to a life plan community. The study reported that spiritual wellness scores were higher for older adults in the community at large and recommended that life plan community staff may wish to reexamine opportunities in their community for spiritual wellness to ensure resident needs are met. Click HERE to access the Mather Institute website to read the entire report.
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
Click HERE to register.
As you may know, HUD has been working on an overhaul of their Real Estate Assessment Center’s physical housing inspection process. According to HUD, the new National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) model aims to prioritize health and safety over appearance.
HUD indicated that NSPIRE will focus on the areas that impact residents directly and aim to have more objective standards with scoring elements that are more defensible and less complex.
HUD is seeking participation in the demonstration of their new inspection model. Feedback from participants will help shape the new inspection model.
If you choose to participate in the demonstration project, you will have the opportunity to participate in focus groups, listening sessions, conference calls and training sessions on policies and procedures. You will also have a direct line to HUD.
To learn more about the opportunity to participate in the demonstration, click HERE.
To read the Get NSPIREd newsletter click HERE.