Social Work in Action (May 2015)

NASW is urging support of National Healthcare Decisions Day, on April 16.

NASW, which has supported NHDD since its inception, joins hundreds of organizations, health care providers and other key stakeholders in promoting advance care planning.

The NHDD website features tools and resources to get involved in the campaign as well as advance directive information, links to state forms, and suggestions for initiating advance care planning discussions with loved ones.

Download a related NASW practice perspective, Reexamining Advance Care Planning (PDF).

NASW is promoting NHDD through its chapters, MemberLink, SectionLink, blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and relevant coalitions.

Social workers Nancy Kropf and Denise Gammonley were among the participants at a White House Conference on Aging Regional Forum in Tampa, Fla., in February. Nominated by NASW, Kropf and Gammonley were among 200 stakeholders who offered input on the 2015 WHCoA themes: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice.

The White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) has taken place each decade since the 1960s to identify and advance actions that improve the quality of life of older Americans. Tampa is the first of five invitational forums leading up to a summer 2015 WHCoA national meeting in Washington, D.C.

Remaining regional forums are planned for Phoenix, March 31; Seattle, April 2; Cleveland, April 27; and Boston, May 28.

NASW has also nominated social workers to participate in these four forums. At press time, invitations to the remaining forums had not been sent. Each forum will be webcast to maximize participation. The White House encourages group viewing sessions and welcomes input following each forum.

In the coming months, the White House will also release a series of issue briefs addressing the themes of this year’s conference. The White House is seeking comments on these briefs. NASW plans to participate and encourages members to do the same. Social workers and other members of the public may also submit their input and experiences related to aging on the WHCoA website at any time.

Registering for the WHCoA mailing list is the best way to learn more about the upcoming regional forums, issue briefs, and other developments related to WHCoA 2015.

Social workers Robert Applebaum, professor at Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; and Barbara McCann, chief industry officer at Interim Health Care in Alexandria, Va., were selected to serve on the National Quality Forum Home and Community-Based Services Quality Steering Committee.

The NQF launched the project in an effort to address performance measure gaps in home and community-based services thereby enhancing the quality of community living.

The project will last until Sept. 2016 and social workers will have multiple opportunities to offer input.

Learn more at the Natonal Quality Forum's Measuring HCBS Quality.

The Hospice Foundation of America, in cooperation with NASW, is presenting “The Longest Loss: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.”

The program launches in both online and DVD formats on April 22 and remains available through April 21, 2016. “The Longest Loss,” which is part of HFA’s 2015 Living with Grief® series, addresses coping with loss from the time of diagnosis through the end of life. NASW members Nancy Pearce and Kathie Supiano are among the panelists featured in the program.

Organizations can register as a host site and individuals can find a program site in their area at any time during the year that the program is available by visiting Hospice Foundation fo America.

Program participants may earn up to three NASW-approved CE credits. To learn about HFA’s CE approvals and the state boards that accept NASW-approved CE credits, visit: List of Board Approvals (PDF) and Continuing Education. HFA’s 2014 program, “Living with Grief: Helping Adolescents Cope with Loss,” features NASW member Stacy Orloff and remains available until April 9.

On Feb. 10, the White House hosted a National LGBT Elder Housing Summit in partnership with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, or NCLR.

The summit was only the second of its kind in the U.S., preceded by a 2011 summit organized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services and NCLR.

Social workers had a strong presence at the event, both as participants and as presenters.

Presenters included NASW members Lisa Krinsky, director of the LGBT Aging Project in Boston; and Catherine Thurston, senior director of programs at SAGE; along with social workers Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, professor of social work and director of Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence at the University of Washington, Seattle; Melissa Rothstein, deputy director of the Equal Rights Center; and Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Panelists addressed:

  • Housing challenges, such as affordability and discrimination, faced by LGBT older adults
  • The importance of cultural competence training for housing providers
  • Various LGBT older adult community housing models
  • Consumer education and legal advocacy related to LGBT-friendly housing for older adults
  • The connections between housing security, financial security, and the social safety net.

The summit included a White House Conference on Aging listening session with leaders from the Administration for Community Living and the White House Conference on Aging.

To learn more visit National LGBT Elder Housing Summit.