LeadingAge New York Annual Conference 2017 June 2017 - Page 6

Great Ideas in Assisted Living Reverse Session Moderated by Diane Darbyshire, LeadingAge New York senior policy analyst specializing in Assisted Living and Adult Care, attendees shared new ideas and projects. Diane mentioned that she conducted some research at the national level on new and innovative ideas but didn’t find anything ground breaking. She did share that the sentiment seemed to continue to indicate that people don’t want to go into nursing homes and would rather stay at home or go to assisted living. Some discussion emphasized projects and ideas for residents or staff at both participants’ organizations or, in other cases, they simply shared good ideas from other organizations. One participant shared that an organization has a great volunteer program where a resident is teaching English to front line staff and in turn the staff are teaching Spanish to supervisors. Additionally, this organization has a group of volunteers working with residents weekly for a music and arts program. These are both great examples of residents helping other residents. Another participant shared about a program c alled the Funny Money Store implemented to promote activities. Residents attend activities and they receive funny money for attending that they can use to purchase items from the Funny Money Store. Funny money is paper money that includes pictures of staff. Yet another organization had a great program that brings in students from a local high school to paint portraits of the residents. Afterward, an art show was held and featured in the local paper. Many residents and students became fast friends through this project and still stay in touch. So many creative ideas were brought up during this session that will helpful spur others to think about how to implement some of these ideas within their own organizations. Senior Housing Development By Earl Gifford John Broderick moderated a session on the current environment of Senior Housing in New York. The session started with a chronology of the 202 program, the primary vehicle for financing of affordable senior housing for over 40 years, and the effect of the freeze of new projects in 2011. By 2035, one in three households will be headed by someone 65 years of age or older. This represents a 66 percent increase from 2015, and the number of renters aged 65 plus is expected to climb to 11 million by 2035. The good news is that New York State has $125 M to spend over the next five years on Senior Housing for development and preservation. There is also a big push for Supportive Housing or Senior Housing with Services. This will provide services for seniors that are unable to afford Assisted Living and push off higher levels of care. Over the past couple of years, LeadingAge New York reached out to is members and worked with state Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz to develop a bill for how this $125 million should be spent. The bill, which would create an Affordable Senior Housing and Services Program with its own rules and scoring criteria and provide for optional basic healthy aging services for senior housing residents, passed the Senate in June and remains in committee in the Assembly. 6 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Summer 2017