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2022 AHCA/NCAL Silver National Quality Award Recipients Announced<p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;200px;" />The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is pleased to announce the&#160;names of the 46 recipients of the&#160;2022&#160;Silver – Achievement in Quality Award. <br></p><p>This year, 40 skilled nursing care centers, 3 assisted living communities, and 3 skilled nursing/ assisted living providers in 24 states and the&#160;District of Columbia achieved the Silver Award.</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/QualityAwardRecipients.aspx" target="_blank">complete list</a> of the 2022 Silver recipients is available on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award website.</p><p><span>The Silver award is the second of three distinctions possible through the&#160;<a data-linkto="https&#58;//" href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" title="https&#58;//cl.exct.net/?qs=cea46ab20949a040ea4dce2625daab2b71c6b230c22849008ac82148cb68c3f978d14eec3fa9f8cd963301684ae2055c491dd5a5eee9c73b" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program</a>,&#160;which recognizes providers across the nation that have demonstrated improved quality outcomes for staff, residents and individuals with disabilities in long term and post-acute care.&#160;Each application is reviewed and judged against a set of nationally recognized standards for achieving excellence.</span></p><p>On August 5, 2022, Gold Quality Award recipients will be announced.</p><p>The awards will be presented during <a href="https&#58;//www.eventscribe.net/2022/AHCA/" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL’s 73rd&#160;Convention &amp; Expo</a> in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 9-12, 2022.<br></p>2022-06-27T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAHCA/NCAL StaffThis year, 40 skilled nursing care centers, 3 assisted living communities, and 3 skilled nursing/ assisted living providers in 24 states and the District of Columbia achieved the Silver Award.
AHCA Documentary Wins Capital Emmy Award<p style="text-align&#58;center;"><img src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/2022/emmy2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;500px;height&#58;240px;" /><br></p><p><br></p><p>The American Health Care Association (AHCA) documentary, <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtK_RIIyMpA" target="_blank">“Closed Doors, Open Hearts&#58; Nursing Homes and COVID-19,”</a> received a National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter (Capital) Emmy Award Saturday evening in the <a href="https&#58;//www.capitalemmys.tv/post/capital-emmys-documentary-cultural-topical?fbclid=IwAR2tbw_erLDKnE4G89snUKO14vJ0ho9vtPjrh82J0MCvAFOpilT4A0EfVJo" target="_blank">Documentary – Cultural/Topical</a> category.&#160;&#160;</p><p>The documentary, which was up against three other nominees, features two nursing homes on opposite sides of the country and their struggles and perseverance at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights the heroic caregivers who continued to serve through the most challenging times. It also provides a glimpse into what has really happened inside nursing homes since early 2020 and why it is so important to continue supporting these vital providers’ ongoing efforts to keep residents safe and healthy.&#160;</p><p>The <a href="https&#58;//www.capitalemmys.tv/" target="_blank">Capital Emmy Chapter</a> is one of 19 regional chapters that make up The National Academy of Television Arts &amp; Sciences. It is a non-profit, professional organization serving the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC television and media community. The organization’s foundation is The Emmy® Award, the TV industry’s gold-standard for the recognition of television excellence.&#160;</p><p>“It is an honor merely to be nominated, but to win is truly special,” said AHCA President &amp; CEO Mark Parkinson. “Nursing homes have been at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic since the very beginning, and these providers have gone above and beyond to protect this highly vulnerable population. Thank you for allowing us to share their important story and for recognizing the hard work and passion that went into making this film. It is dedicated to everyone in long term care – staff, residents, families, and those who support them.”&#160;</p><p>The Capital Emmy is the next in a number of awards AHCA’s 26-minute film has received this year. It recently received Telly Awards in three categories&#58; <a href="https&#58;//www.tellyawards.com/winners/2022/social-video/general-documentary/closed-doors-open-hearts-nursing-homes-and-covid-19/273696" target="_blank">Gold recognition</a> in Social Video/General Documentary, Silver <a href="https&#58;//www.tellyawards.com/winners/2022/peoples-telly/general-social-video/closed-doors-open-hearts-nursing-homes-and-covid-19/263922/" target="_blank">recognition</a> in the People’s Telly Award/General-Social Video, and Silver <a href="https&#58;//www.tellyawards.com/winners/2022/non-broadcast/general-documentary-individual/closed-doors-open-hearts-nursing-homes-and-covid-19/270584/" target="_blank">recognition</a> in General Documentary – Individual. The Telly Awards are premier awards honoring video and television across all screens. The documentary was also recognized with a Silver <a href="https&#58;//www.healthawards.com/dha/winnerss2022/dha_s2022_winners.pdf" target="_blank" title="https&#58;//www.healthawards.com/dha/winnerss2022/dha_s2022_winners.pdf">Digital Health Award</a> earlier this month.&#160;&#160;</p>2022-06-27T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/emmy.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Caregiving;QualityAHCA StaffAccolades continue for the Association’s short film focused on nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detecting and Treating Dementia Early<p><img src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/senior_woman_daughter_2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;256px;height&#58;179px;" />​​Dementia is staggeringly common, with an <a href="https&#58;//www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf" target="_blank">overall prevalence of 11 percent&#160;in people ag​ed 65 and over​</a>. This prevalence increases markedly with age, such that it affects over half of octogenarians and one in three will ultimately die in this condition. These statistics do not include mild cognitive impairment (MCI), mental changes that are measurable but not severe enough to affect daily function and are often but not always a precursor to dementia, or <a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/aging/data/subjective-cognitive-decline-brief.html" target="_blank">subjective cognitive decline</a>, self-reported mental fogginess or memory depreciation that aren't able to be measured by a test.</p><h3>Detecting and Diagnosing Dementia</h3><p>Despite being widespread, official diagnosis lags behind the true prevalence, with only 3-4 percent​&#160;of patients having “dementia&quot; (let alone Alzheimer's disease or a specific type of dementia) written anywhere in their chart. This amounts to more than 3 million Americans lacking a diagnosis, a number which will double in the next decades if diagnosing doesn't catch up.</p><p>The early stages of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease, which most commonly manifests with short-term memory loss and difficulty navigating an environment, is not always obvious from a short interaction. Verbal abilities can be intact, and a patient can regale you with stories from their youth, masking the fact that when they are sent home from the doctor's office with instructions to take a medication once a day, they may not fully understand, remember, or have the capacity to follow instructions. Caring family members such as adu​​lt children living out of state may also take a long time to go from a subtle feeling or suspicion that something seems off or odd to the conclusion that there may be a real problem. This can obviously have catastrophic consequences—preventable adverse events and hospitalizations; missing the opportunity to reverse, slow, and mitigate disease; and treatment for symptoms that can improve quality of life and functional independence.</p><p>Improving detection and arriving at diagnosis before the onset of catastrophic events, more severe disease, and unmanageable symptoms begins with equipping clinicians on the front lines with validated tools to assess function rapidly, reliably, and comprehensively across <a href="https&#58;//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772157/" target="_blank">cognitive domains</a>. Tools must be simple enough for the non-specialist to gain comfort with and fit reasonably within their established workflows. For example, a recent peer-reviewed study in the <a href="https&#58;//aging.jmir.org/2022/2/e36825/" target="_blank"><em>Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Aging</em></a> validates the efficacy of a computerized cognitive test. Conducted in-person or remotely, this type of assessment improves accessibility to testing while providing physicians with the tools necessary to diagnose and treat patients.</p><p>To better detect and diagnose dementia, physicians must go beyond patient interviews (i.e. do you feel like you are losing your memory?) and use formal assessment tools, looping in a specialist for complex cases when needed. If MCI is identified, the physician must further assess for functional impairment to arrive at a diagnosis of dementia and perform serial assessments for changes in cognitive status (improvement or decline) that could change diagnosis and management approach.</p><h3>Preventing Adverse Events and Hospitalizations</h3><p>People with dementia have much higher hospitalization rates than older adults without. According to a recent study, 40 percent&#160;of <a href="https&#58;//agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgs.16636" target="_blank">hospitalizations in the dementia cohort could have been preventable</a> with proper identification, education, and outpatient care. When care teams are on the same page about a person's cognitive status, the individual can be given additional supervision or support to prevent adverse events. Consistency between caregivers is essential toward preventing trips to the hospital as well as reducing uncertainty and conflict around patient care and well-being.</p><h3>Ruling Out and Addressing Reversible Causes</h3><p>Cognitive impairment does not always spell dementia. Many cases of MCI are due to reversible causes, with the most common offenders being medication adverse events, depression, sleep apnea, infection, and thyroid disease. Long COVID is another major driver, with more than 70 percent​&#160;of sufferers calling out brain fog as a chief complaint.</p><p>It is for this reason that the <a href="https&#58;//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772157/" target="_blank">American Academy of Neurology</a> cites ruling out and addressing reversible causes as a primary reason for performing cognitive assessment. Clinicians should perform a medical evaluation of common reversible causes.</p><h3>Addressing Risk Factors to Slow Progression</h3><p>The landmark FINGER study and subsequent <a href="https&#58;//pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32627328/" target="_blank">World-Wide FINGERS network</a> found that 40 percent&#160;of dementia is preventable by addressing certain modifiable risk factors. These include&#58;<br></p><ol><li>high blood pressure,</li><li>smoking,</li><li>diabetes,</li><li>obesity,</li><li>physical inactivity,</li><li>poor diet,</li><li>high alcohol consumption,</li><li>low cognitive engagement,</li><li>depression,</li><li>traumatic brain injury,</li><li>hearing loss,</li><li>social isolation, and</li><li>air pollution.</li></ol><p></p><p>The physician is charged with the task of working with the patient and caregivers to put together a comprehensive cognitive care plan that addresses these modifiable factors in a holistic manner. By giving them the knowledge, resources, and motivation to see the patient through the long journey of cognitive change, they can slow dementia's progression and give the patient a better prognosis.</p><p>There are now few pharmaceutical options to treat dementia, with cholinesterase inhibitors showing efficacy in dementia's early stages. There are multiple medications at different stages of the drug development pipeline, and all of them depend on patients being identified as early as possible to have the best chance of success.</p><p>Behavioral and psychiatric symptoms are common in dementia, and an early and specific diagnosis enables clinicians to treat these with the best approaches available.</p><p><em>Yael Katz, Ph.D.,​​ is co-founder and CEO of BrainCheck. Katz&#160;received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University and conducted her postdoctoral work at Princeton University.​</em><br><br></p>2022-06-23T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Topics/Guest-Columns/PublishingImages/2022/YaelKatz.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Dementia;ClinicalYael Katz, Ph.D.The early stages of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, which most commonly manifests with short-term memory loss and difficulty navigating an environment, is not always obvious from a short interaction
Survey: More Than Half of Assisted Living Providers Say Their Overall Workforce Situation Has Worsened<p>​Today, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), representing more than 4,000 assisted living communities across the country, released a survey of assisted living providers highlighting how the industry is still facing a serious staffing and economic crisis.&#160;&#160;</p><p>Key findings include&#58;</p><ul><li><p>More than half (52 percent) of assisted living providers say their overall workforce situation has worsened since January 2022.&#160;</p></li><li><p>63 percent are experiencing staffing shortages. A quarter of those assisted living providers say they have a high level of staffing shortages.&#160;</p></li><li><p>93 percent have increased wages to help attract and retain caregivers.</p></li><li><p>98 percent have asked staff to work overtime or extra shifts due to the staffing shortages. Half have hired temporary agency staff due to shortages.&#160;</p></li><li><p>87 percent say they have difficulty hiring new staff.&#160;</p></li><li><p>The biggest obstacle for assisted living providers in hiring new staff is a lack of interested or qualified candidates, with two-thirds of providers saying it was an “extremely big” challenge.&#160;</p></li><li><p>Nearly half (48 percent) are concerned they may have to close their assisted living communities if workforce challenges persist.&#160;</p></li><li><p>On average, assisted living providers say their operational costs have increased since this time last year by 40 percent.&#160;</p></li><li><p>More than one-third are currently operating at a loss (37 percent) and can’t sustain current operating pace for more than one year (35 percent).&#160;</p></li></ul><p>Assisted living professionals will share these findings as well as their own unique, local perspectives with members of Congress during the association’s Congressional Briefing event, taking place Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7. More than 500 long term and post-acute professionals are expected to visit the Hill, advocating for legislation and policies that will help address these workforce and economic crises.&#160;</p><p>“The survey shows that the workforce crisis in assisted living has not improved, and we are deeply concerned that more assisted living communities will have to close their doors,” said&#160;NCAL Executive Director LaShuan Bethea. “Assisted living has been largely forgotten by public health officials during this pandemic—it’s time they received the resources and the support they desperately need.”</p><p>View the assisted living provider survey results&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/AL-Survey-June2022.pdf" target="_blank">HERE</a>. The survey also included other long term care providers, and the nursing home results may be found&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/SNF-Survey-June2022.pdf" title="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/FactSheets/SNF-Survey-June2022.pdf" target="_blank">HERE</a>.<br></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/ncal_large_color.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;250px;height&#58;167px;" /><br></p>2022-06-07T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/survey.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />WorkforceAHCA/NCAL StaffSurvey of assisted living providers highlights how the industry is still facing a serious staffing and economic crisis.