Let's Elevate Eldercare Together

Nursing homes rarely garner positive attention, particularly from the media, and especially since the onset of COVID-19. Our podcast, Elevate Eldercare, was created in an effort to bring together thought leaders, activists, and advocates in the field of aging services to foster thoughtul discourse and diverse Do you find value in the podcast_ then leave us a review here and share it with a friend. That's how we grow the show! (5).pngperspectives aimed at elevating eldercare.

Join Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project (GHP), each Wednesday for enlightening, provocative, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Together, Ryan and her guests explore the opportunities and challenges to actualizing a vision for dignified eldercare through the lens of the Green House model. 

Each Friday, an additional episode of Elevate Eldercare takes a brief but deep dive into the weekly episodes with two GHP colleagues, Education Project Manager Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Director of Resource Development Marla DeVries. They offer bite-sized recap episodes we call “Let Me Say This About That," with their own take on themes, literature, and concepts relevant to that week's guest. 

02/26/2021 : RECAP: A Call to Action: Observations on Long-Term Care Financing and Quality
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

This week’s recap highlights the return trip to microphone for David Grabowski., PhD. In late summer, Susan Ryan first sat down with Dr. Grabowski to discuss his insights into the pandemic and his role and experience on the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. In Episode 61, he offers a retrospective look at the results and recommendations. Marla and Mary take a close look at the ten themes and recommendations in the commission’s report, and Mary takes a deeper dive into the Dutch care model for long-term care, a system Dr. Grabowski visited prior to the pandemic and left him very impressed. Marla looks at the Dutch funding system and a recent article authored by Dr. Grabowski that discusses a false dichotomy.

Find out more about the future of LTC here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-020-00018-y?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nataging%2Frss%2Fcurrent+%

Review the Dutch care model here: http://www.teresahappycare.cn/en/dutch-care-model-introduction/

02/24/2021 : A Call to Action: LTC Financing & Quality
David Grabowski, PhD, is professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School.

David Grabowski, PhD, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, sits down with Susan Ryan for his second episode of this podcast. This week, they examine recommendations made by the Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, whether they went far enough in achieving the goals for improving quality and safety and what has happened since those recommendations were released in early fall 2020.

In addition, Dr. Grabowski talks about his concept of aging in the “right” place and what that means for home- and community-based services, reimagining nursing homes, and why it’s not an either/or solution.

He shares his observations from a global perspective and the comparative healthcare spending patterns for long-term care among different countries. Dr. Grabowski recounts a visit he made to the Netherlands (pre-pandemic) where he was able to see a traditional nursing home and shares that experience, from the moment he walked in the door to the insights gained on the workforce and the built environment.

Finally, Dr. Grabowski challenges us all to use our collective voice to be a part of generating the big changes that are sorely needed in eldercare.

Review the Coronavirus Commission report here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-final-nh-commission-report.pdf 

02/19/2021 : Recap: A Profile in Leadership: Katie Smith Sloan & LeadingAge
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

This week’s episode of “Let Me Say This About That” covers two major topics all thanks to Katie Smith Sloan, president, and CEO of LeadingAge.  Susan Ryan talked with her on Episode 59.

Get your seat belt fastened for this episode – it’s packed with information and insights!  Not only do we highlight the work and leadership of Sloan and LeadingAge, but we also take a deep dive into two areas she discussed with Susan.

We explore Level 5 Leadership – what it is, what it includes, and how it connects to Sloan, who describes herself as a quiet leader.

When Sloan was asked about the new administration in the White House, she mentioned that her biggest fear is our hyper partisan world. What does that mean in our country? We explore the polarization of America and that sparked research and discussion on a number of articles and some very tangible resources for you to use. 

More about Level 5 Leadership here: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/level-5-leadership.htm 

More about the cost of polarization in our country here:https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_is_the_true_cost_of_polarization_in_america 

More about Braver Angels here: https://braverangels.org/talking-across-the-political-divide/ 

More about Social Media here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-social-media-makes-us-more-polarized-and-how-to-fix-it/ 

02/17/2021 : A Profile in Leadership: Katie Smith Sloan & LeadingAge

Katie Smith Sloan is president & CEO of LeadingAge

Susan Ryan sits down with Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an organization thatrepresents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations.

Sloan talks about LeadingAge, what it does, why it exists, and how the organization has used its voice to lead during the pandemic by interpreting changing guidance to produce tangible tools and resources for its members. She examines the power of a story to positively impact the national narrative about nursing homes and talks about leading during the most horrific time in our history.

In addition, Sloan talks about ageism, the associated devaluation of older adults, and how that has led to the nursing home crisis amid the pandemic.

More about LeadingAge here: www.leadingage.org 

02/12/2021 : Recap: The Rise of Home Care Amid the Pandemic & Leading with Lov‪e‬
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

What better way to kick off your Valentine’s Day weekend than learning about a leader who truly believes in a culture of love to operate a home care agency in the Baltimore, Md., area.

In Episode 57, Susan Ryan sat down with Danny O’Brien, founding CEO of Avila Home Care. At a time when the senior living field is re-evaluating the challenges of congregate care during a pandemic, home care is often the option that emerges as the solution for many people.

In this recap, Marla and Mary explore what it takes to fully embrace a culture of love and the qualities needed by the leader of the organization. They discuss the ten important characteristics of Servant Leadership and how O’Brien exemplifies each one.

Find out more about Servant Leadership here: https://www.greenleaf.org/what-is-servant-leadership/ 

02/10/2021 : The Rise of Home Care Amid the Pandemic & Leading with Love
Danny O'Brien is founder & CEO of Avila Home Care

Susan Ryan sits down with Danny O’Brien, founding CEO of Avila Home Care, a growing home care agency serving the Baltimore, Md., area. Prior to founding Avila, O’Brien served as senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, Md., with a congregation of over 2,500 families.

At a time when the senior living field is re-evaluating the challenges of congregate care during a pandemic, home care is often the option that emerges as the solution. O’Brien offers incredible insight into the factors that make home care work. His background as a pastor and as a frequent public speaker on topics that span senior living, leadership, and matters relating to faith is reflected in his conversation with Ryan.

This motivating and inspiring conversation is laced with snippets of O’Brien’s path to ministry and ultimately how, in 2016, he made the decision to start a home care agency.

Lastly, he describes how word-of-mouth referrals helped to expand his caregiver workforce to more than 400 caregivers—all done without running a single ad! To this end, O’Brien explores the power of relationships in growing his business, and the role of leadership to shape a culture that prioritizes people, including the compensation philosophy and strategies he utilized during COVID-19 to keep caregivers safe.

Find out more about Avila Home Care here: https://avilahomecare.com/

02/03/2021 : Psychological First Aid & Its Relevance to the Pandemic
George Everly, PhD, is an author and professor at the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Susan Ryan sits down with George Everly, PhD, professor at the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Since 2016, he has been ranked the leading author in the world in the field of crisis intervention, having authored 20 books and 100 published papers. 

Given Dr. Everly’s achievements, Ryan taps into his wisdom and insights to tackle the growing workforce fatigue and stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He shares his observations gained through his experiences in responding to major disasters around the globe and talks about a model that helps to predict the psychological toxicity of any given disaster. 

In addition, Dr. Everly examines how COVID-19 ranks by way of toxicity and further describes psychological first aid, what it is and is not, and why it is critically important to acquire at such a time as this.

Finally, Dr. Everly addresses the unintended consequences of social isolation, and gives some thought-provoking insights, questions, and a call to action.

Find Dr. Everly’s research work here: https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/209/george-s-everly  

01/01/2021 : Recap: A Woman of Action Amid an Eldercare Crisis
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

s week’s recap with Marla and Mary explores a purposeful healthcare strategy for older adults. It’s all part of the John A. Hartford Foundation and the “big idea” from its president and CEO, Terry Fulmer. She is definitely a woman on a mission!

In Episode 53, Susan Ryan had an inspiring conversation with Terry. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston College, and her Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate from NYU. She serves as the chief strategist for the Foundation, and is fueled by her passion for older adults, exceptional visionary skills, and preponderance for action.

Marla and Mary take a close look at the Age-Friendly Health approach and what it means for clinicians and what the “4M’s” provide YOU in seeking better healthcare. Find out why Joyce Clifford was one of Terry’s nursing idols. And Marla shares an interesting project to empower adults to prepare for their future and take the initiative to talk to their doctors, family and friends about what matters most to them at life’s end.  

Find out more about the 4M’s here: 

https://www.johnahartford.org/images/uploads/resources/Better-Care-for-You-Guide-to-the-4Ms.pdf

Find out more about the Stanford Letter Project here: 

http://med.stanford.edu/letter/about.html

http://med.stanford.edu/content/dam/sm/letter/documents/Letter-English.pdf

01/27/2021 : A Woman of Action Amid an Eldercare Crisis
Terry Fulmer is president of the John A. Hartford Foundation

Susan Ryan sits down with Terry Fulmer, president and CEO of the John A. Hartford Foundation. Terry holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston College, and her Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate from NYU. She serves as the chief strategist for the Foundation, and is fueled by her passion for older adults, exceptional visionary skills, and preponderance for action.

Terry and Susan explore that history of the foundation and their priority areas, including a look at Age-Friendly Health Systems, why they are important, and where to find valuable and practical resources for consumers.

Terry talks about the COVID-19 crisis, the foundation’s response to it, and her experience serving on the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. She also offers some provocative ideas for elevating eldercare—asking “why not,” and “what if.” As a woman of action, Terry believes it’s time speak up and speak out in order to find solutions.

Find out more about the John A. Hartford Foundation here: https://www.johnahartford.org/

01/22/2021 : Recap: Leadership & Eldercare Amid the Pandemic
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap Marla and Mary highlight key concepts revealed in Episode 50 where Susan Ryan sat down with Deke Cateau, CEO of A.G. Rhodes, a non-profit long-term care organization with three communities in Georgia. Deke discusses the challenges of the COVID crisis, the personal grief he has experienced as his community endured the pandemic, and the resolve of leadership to curtail the spread of the infection.

In this recap it’s a “Back to Basics” look at leadership, relationships and what COVID has taught us. Deke spoke passionately about each of those topics. Marla gives us some insight into his quotes from military leaders and his belief that COVID is a war. We discuss his unique reference to a “double pandemic” – the COVID crisis and racism. We discuss how Deke lead his team and the introspection the organization ultimately needed to undergo.

Find out more about leadership and management in a crisis here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/07/17/management-in-crisis-the-best-leadership-style-to-adopt-in-times-of-crisis/?sh=4e8545317cb4  

01/20/2021 : Leadership & Eldercare Amid the Pandemic
Deke Cateau is CEO of A.G. Rhodes, a non-profit long-term care organization with three communities in Georgia.

Susan Ryan sits down with Deke Cateau, CEO of A.G. Rhodes, a non-profit long-term care organization with three communities in Georgia. Deke discusses the challenges of the COVID crisis, the personal grief he has experienced as his community endured the pandemic, and the resolve of leadership to curtail the spread of the infection.

Deke shares why he believes truth and transparency in communication are key to gaining public trust, and how that strategy played out during the crisis. 

Deke, a native of Trinidad, calls himself a double minority, and he offers unique perspectives on what he describes as a “double pandemic” – the COVID crisis and racism

Finally, he envisions a better future and issues a call to action to a wide stakeholder group that addresses our biggest challenges and systemic flaws.

Find out more about A.G. Rhodes here: https://www.agrhodes.org/

01/15/2021 : Recap: Challenging the Status Quo: Strategy and Innovation in Eldercare
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap episode, Marla and Mary discuss the insights offered by Susan Ryan’s conversation with Scott Townsley, a senior living professional with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Scott has worked with hundreds of organizations across the country as they have grappled with how to successfully navigate and drive change. He serves as a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Erickson School of Aging Studies, where he teaches strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation. 

In this recap, we discuss Scott’s comment about the “spit shine of status quo,” why long-term care needs a new mindset, and why we need to look at the world the way horses do! Marla also discusses confirmation bias, and asks whether you will be someone who disrupts or is disrupted? She explores a book by Josh Linkner entitled, “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation."

01/13/2021 : Challenging the Status Quo: Strategy and Innovation in Eldercare
Scott Townsley is foudner of Trilogy Consulting and professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Erickson School of Aging Studies. 

Susan Ryan sits down with Scott Townsley, who has more than 30 years of experience in the senior living field and has worked with hundreds of organizations across the country as they have grappled with how to successfully navigate and drive change. He serves as a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Erickson School of Aging Studies, where he teaches strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation.  

In 2016, Scott co-founded the Center for Innovation, a nonprofit entity that happens to be the sponsor for The Green House Project. 

As a teacher of entrepreneurship in the field of eldercare, Scott has a propensity for asking provocative questions and probing prevailing traditional thinking. This episode is no exception as he tackles an industry responding to a pandemic and envisioning a post-COVID world. 

Scott challenges us to leverage the critical opportunity for radical change afforded by the crisis and talks about the role that leadership and the right mindset can play in effecting lasting and meaningful transformation.

Find out more about Scott’s company Trilogy Connect, here: www.trilogyconnect.com

01/08/2021 : Rapid Fire Recap of Past Elevate Eldercare Episodes
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

To kickoff 2021, Mary and Marla offer their takeaways from each episode of Elevate Eldercare. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to all of the podcasts, this recap will give you insight into each podcast hosted by Susan Ryan in 2020.

We hope you enjoy our reminiscing and look forward to our continued recaps in 2021 in “Let Me Say This About That”.

 

Click here for to find the Elevate Eldercare podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/elevate-eldercare/id1524700411?ign-itscg=30200&ign-itsct=podcast_box 

01/06/2021 : The COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths and Facts Uncovered
Jonathan Evans, MD, MPH, is a certified medical director, geriatrician, and epidemiologist.

Susan Ryan sits down with Jonathan Evans, MD, a physician, geriatrician, and epidemiologist, to address questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Evans’ career has focused on the care of people in nursing homes and other residential care settings, as well as the care and support of people living with dementia and their caregivers. For most of 2020, his time has been spent protecting residents of senior living from COVID-19 and supporting the long-term care workforce.

Dr. Evans describes the two vaccines that are currently available and authorized for use in the U.S. He talks about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, their side effects, and who should and who should not get it.

Dr. Evans addresses the myths that are circulating about the vaccine and why he is looking forward to receiving it this month. He provides reputable and credible sources to find accurate information.

 

See Dr. Evans testify in front of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in 2011 on the use of antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes: https://www.c-span.org/video/?302927-1/antipsychotic-drug-prescriptions-nursing-homes# 

01/01/2021 : Recap: Ashton Applewhite: Ageism, COVID-19, and Grassroots Opportunities
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In the final episode of 2020, Susan Ryan sits down with activist and writer, Ashton Applewhite. Her passion and focus are tackling ageism and its insidious penetration into the fabric of society. Ashton is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a TED mainstage speaker. Her manifesto was listed as one of the “100 Best Books to Read at Every Age” by the Washington Post, and named one of “10 Books to Help You Foster a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace” by Forbes.

Mary and Marla take a closer look at how Ashton connects ageism and ableism and how there is much to learn from the disability culture.  Marla explores the happiness curve and how poignancy is connected to this insight as we age. 

Finally, we review some tangible takeaways provided by Ashton that will be good first steps in combatting ageism.

 

Click here for information on the Happiness Curve: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/scientists-just-discovered-mid-life-crisis-peaks-at-age-47-heres-how-to-minimize-effect-of-happiness-curve.html 

Click here for information on Poignancy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2807633/ 

Click here for information on Old School: https://oldschool.info/ 

12/30/2020 : Ashton Applewhite: Ageism, COVID-19, and Grassroots Opportunities
Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, which was listed as one of the “100 Best Books to Read at Every Age” by the Washington Post.

In the final episode of 2020, Susan Ryan sits down with activist and writer, Ashton Applewhite. Her passion and focus are tackling ageism and its insidious penetration into the fabric of society. Ashton is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a TED mainstage speaker. Her manifesto was listed as one of the “100 Best Books to Read at Every Age” by the Washington Post, and named one of “10 Books to Help You Foster a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace” by Forbes.

Susan and Ashton dive deeply into the topic of ageism and how it cuts (and divides) both ways and across generations. They examine the ‘U curve of happiness’ and how to dismantle the existing cultural myths associated with growing older.

Finally, Ashton looks at ageism and ableism through the lens of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has glaringly exposed the attitudes, behaviors, and systemic flaws that have been around us all the time.

 

Watch Ashton’s 2017 TED Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/ashton_applewhite_let_s_end_ageism

Follow her on Twitter here: @thischairrocks

12/25/2020 : Recap: Daniella Greenwood: Fighting for Better Eldercare in Australia
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

Susan Ryan sits down with Daniella Greenwood, an international speaker, consultant, and author specializing in human rights policy and practices within aged care. Daniella, who is based in Victoria, Australia, is a staunch advocate for relational and social approaches that maximize freedom, self-determination, and choice for elders.

In this recap Mary and Marla take a deeper dive into some of Daniella’s thought-provoking new mandates for the care of older adults. Marla takes a closer look at how Daniella defines a human rights practical model in residential care by sharing her takeaways from reviewing a presentation Daniella did for Dementia Alliance International. We discuss what is included in this human rights framework and what the barriers are moving forward. Daniella is extremely open and honest about her work in the aged care system in Australia and we think you will be enlightened too.

 

Click here for more information on “A Human Rights Perspective on Aged Care”: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/system/files/2020-06/AWF.500.00267.0002.pdf 

12/23/2020 : Daniella Greenwood: Fighting for Better Eldercare in Australia
Daniela Greenwood is an international speaker, consultant, and author specializing in human rights policy and practices within aged care. 

Susan Ryan sits down with Daniella Greenwood, an international speaker, consultant, and author specializing in human rights policy and practices within aged care. Daniella, who is based in Victoria, Australia, is a staunch advocate for relational and social approaches that maximize freedom, self-determination, and choice for elders.

Daniella shares incredibly provocative insights that should give us reason to embrace our shared humanity and the opportunities that await us. She has developed relationship-focused approaches to providing care and support, including a dedicated staffing model that enables staff to work with the same small group of residents every time they come to work.

In addition, Daniella explains why she believes the eldercare “culture change” movement hasn’t gone far enough, in addition to describing the system failures that often produce meaningless care plans that few read.

 

Watch Daniella’s recent webinar with Dementia Alliance International titled Human Rights as a Practice Model in Residential Aged Care”: https://youtu.be/kHkCOUNyRIM 

12/18/2020 : Recap: The Vital Role of Advocacy in Supporting People Living with Dementia
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this week’s episode, Susan talked with good friend, fellow nurse Anne Ellett. Anne is a certified nurse practitioner and founder of Memory Care Support, where she provides private consultation to individual families seeking the best in care for their loved ones living with dementia.

In this recap Marla and Mary take a closer look at Anne’s work through the lens of the four core principles of Best Life, the Green House approach to people living with dementia, authored by Anne. Both of us have taught with Anne, so we enjoyed the opportunity to share our perspective on her dedication to elders.

The Power of Normal is one of the principles of Best Life, and Marla takes a deeper dive into normalization. She cites Wolf Wolfensberger and his work in the field. You will enjoy her insight on the topic.

 

For more information on the Green House Best Life program: https://www.thegreenhouseproject.org/solutions/Best_Life_Memory_Care 

Learn more about Wolf Wolfensberger on Normalization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdQAFPAktR0

12/16/2020 : The Vital Role of Advocacy in Supporting People Living with Dementia
Anne Ellett, MSN, NP, is a certified nurse practitioner and founder of Memory Care Support.

In this episode, Susan Ryan sits down with her good friend and fellow nurse, Anne Ellett, a certified nurse practitioner and founder of Memory Care Support, a company that provides private consultation to individual families seeking the best in care for their loved ones living with dementia.

Prior to founding Memory Care Support, Anne held the position of senior vice president of health services for Silverado Senior Living for more than ten years. It was in this role that Susan met Anne and readily resonated with her philosophy for supporting people living with dementia (PLWD) and her quest for normalcy and dignity, which led to Anne’s development of a memory care approach for The Green House Project. Known as Best Life, the approach has now been integrated into the fabric of Green House education to equip care teams with everything necessary to engender quality of life experiences for people living with dementia.

Anne and Susan discuss the significant role of advocacy in challenging stigmas and stereotypes that prevail and devalue older adults, especially those living with dementia. She talks about the need to confront and shift beliefs and perspectives in order to fully see and understand PLWD and deliver individualized approaches that integrate and engage the person with real life.

 

Connect with Anne Ellett on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-ellett-12b41213 

Learn about her work with Memory Care Support here: https://memorycaresupport.com 

12/11/2020 : Recap: COVID-19, Dementia, and the Importance of Social Connections
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this week’s episode, Al Power sits down again with Susan Ryan. Al is an internationally recognized dementia expert whose books, Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease, are must reads for anyone supporting people living with dementia. His astute insights and expertise provide a voice of clarity that provokes us to think differently and apply approaches that value the unique needs of each person.

In this recap Marla and Mary take a closer look at Al’s work at St. John’s in Rochester and why he says it “became my lab for doing culture change”. He is most proud of the work that continues at St. John’s and why he was so pleased that he could move his mom into the Penfield Green House homes.

You might be surprised to learn that instead of becoming a geriatrician Al almost dedicated his career to music.  Marla explores his latest music venture with singer/co-writer Anne Hills. The new album is called “Accidental August”, and you’ll enjoy hearing a bit of the music and what the lyrics include.

We also explore Al’s passionate comments about society and COVID-19 and how “we have totally medicalized and pathologized the lives of people with dementia”.   

 

For more information on Al’s recent music with Anne Hills: www.annehills.com 

Read more about St. John’s and the Penfield Green House homes: https://pressfrom.info/us/lifestyle/health-fitness/-567274-keeping-the-pandemic-at-bay-in-small-group-nursing-homes.html 

12/09/2020 : COVID-19, Dementia, and the Importance of Social Connections
Al Power, MD, is an author, a geriatrician, and Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel—U. Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada. 

In this week’s episode, Al Power sits down again with Susan Ryan. Al is an internationally recognized dementia expert whose books, Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease, are must reads for anyone supporting people living with dementia. His astute insights and expertise provide a voice of clarity that provokes us to think differently and apply approaches that value the unique needs of each person.

While this week’s episode was recorded at the end of September 2020 and the discussion included some sobering statistics for COVID-related deaths among residents and staff in long-term care for the months of July and August. Al shares his thoughts on the especially harsh impact the coronavirus has had on people living with dementia and the associated ageism, ableism, stereotypes, and inequities in the system that exacerbate these challenges.

He also examines the devastating social isolation and loneliness that have occurred in nursing homes and offers candid perspectives and parameters for making decisions and negotiating risk for resuming visitation and fostering social connections.

 

Follow Dr. Power on Twitter: @AlPower12

12/04/2020 : Recap: Ibasho & Elder-Led Design
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

The essential theme of this recap episode is “Rethinking our Approaches and our Mindset.” Marla and Mary review the 37th episode of Elevate Eldercare with Susan Ryan and her good friend, Dr. Emi Kiyota. Emi is an environmental gerontologist and organizational culture change specialist.

She is also the founder and director of Ibasho, an approach that seeks to make communities more inclusive and resilient by empowering elders.

Both of us were fascinated by Emi’s insight and unique perspective on the role of elders through co-designing socially integrated and resilient communities with elders both in developed countries and in developing parts of the world.

Marla calls Emi a “real thinker” and explores why each of us should be taking time to think! Find out more about the Ibasho café and what is included in the eight Ibasho principles.

 

Learn more about Emi here: https://www.gbhi.org/profiles/emi-kiyota 

Read more about taking time to reflect: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/the-two-hour-rule-taking-time-to-think 

12/02/2020 : Ibasho & Elder-Led Design
Emi Kiyota is an environmental gerontologist and found of Ibasho.

In today’s episode, Susan Ryan engages her good friend, Dr. Emi Kiyota, an internationally recognized thought leader on issues relating to healthy aging, in a conversation about the importance of multi-generational design, the value of reciprocity, and creating opportunities for elders to give back to their communities.

Emi is the founder of Ibasho, an approach that seeks to make communities more inclusive and resilient by empowering elders. Emi describes the Ibasho concept, how it came to be, the critical elements for success, both in design and philosophy, its global reach, and her work in bringing the concept to the United States.

Finally, Emi and Susan talk about COVID-19 and its profound global challenges, not the least of which is the tension that exists between mitigating the spread of the virus with good infection control measures, and the critical need for elders to be socially connected.

 

For more information on Ibasho: https://ibasho.org/ 

Connect with Emi here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emi-kiyota-47a02410/ 

11/27/2020 : Recap: Living with Early-Onset Dementia: A Story of Courage and Hope
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Marla and Mary discuss the 35th episode of Elevate Eldercare where Susan Ryan sits down with her good friend and colleague, Mike Belleville. After a career in telecommunications and as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard for over a decade, Mike was diagnosed with early onset dementia.

While devastating, Mike has not let the diagnosis define him. He currently serves on the board of directors for Dementia Action Alliance and the Council on Aging. 

Mike is adamant about using his voice to encourage and advocate for others and challenge beliefs and stigmas about people living with dementia.

Marla and Mary take a deeper dive into Mike’s “Four Myths of Dementia.” He initially delivered that message at a Green House Annual Meeting in 2018 and recently updated it for a special presentation to Green House partners. Find out why a line from one of Mike’s favorite movies is his motto these days. And Mary talks about why a driving simulator created such a memorial moment for Mike and why you should never assume you know what might be meaningful to someone.

 

Mike’s “Four Myths of Dementia” presentation: https://youtu.be/YS8KKGPrh-o 

11/25/2020 : Living with Early-Onset Dementia: A Story of Courage and Hope
Micheal Belleville, board member of the Dementia Action Alliance, is an advocate for people living with dementia.

Susan Ryan sits down with her good friend and colleague, Mike Belleville. After a career in telecommunications and as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard for over a decade, Mike was diagnosed with early onset dementia.

While devastating, Mike has not let the diagnosis define him. He currently serves on the board of directors for Dementia Action Alliance and the Council on Aging. He recently participated in a year-long dementia initiative hosted by The Green House Project, known as Best Life Impact, where he offered counsel and guidance to nursing home providers and care teams across the country to better equip them to support people living with dementia.

Mike is adamant about using his voice to encourage and advocate for others and challenge beliefs and stigmas about people living with dementia.

Mike, who is joined by his wife, Cheryl, in this episode, talks about the power of family and relationships in providing support, understanding, and acceptance. The couple describe the path they took to find hope and tangible solutions in their journey and the need for caregiver support and respite, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on routines, normalcy and vital human connections.

 

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-r-belleville-584b1b40 

Find out more about the work of the Dementia Action Alliance here: https://daanow.org/

11/20/2020 : Recap: The Importance of Design & Architecture in Senior Living Environments
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

Marla and Mary recap this week’s episode where Susan Ryan sat down with two architects from Perkins Eastman (PE), David Hoglund and Martin Siefering. David is a principal and executive director of PE, providing leadership for the firm’s global senior living practice. Martin, also a principal and co-leader of PE’s senior living practice, joined the firm in 1990, and leads many of the firm’s most challenging and complex senior living projects.

Marla and Mary discuss how these two architects first got interested in designing for the senior community. Anyone remember Lawrence Welk? Find out why his name came up!

Both architects have a fierce determination to build homes that serve elders and staff members yet foster social connections and deep relationships.

Marla takes a look at why bringing in ideas from analogous fields turns out to be a potential source of radical innovation – and both David and Martin are forward thinking leaders. 

Both architects have built Green House homes and Mary takes you on a short history of what types of GH homes have been developed over the years and why that innovation needed to happen.

Find out more about collaborating with different fields here: https://hbr.org/2014/11/sometimes-the-best-ideas-come-from-outside-your-industry 

Find out more about the design of GH homes: https://www.thegreenhouseproject.org/solutions/build-a-green-house-home 

11/18/2020 : The Importance of Design & Architecture in Senior Living Environments
David Hoglund and Martin Siefering are co-leaders of the senior living practice of Perkins Eastman, a global architecture firm.

Susan Ryan sits down with two architects, David Hoglund and Martin Siefering, from global architecture firm Perkins Eastman. David and Martin are co-leaders of the firm’s senior living practice. Both are passionate about planning and designing compassionate and forward-thinking care for our elders.

With this in mind, Susan, David, and Martin discuss the physical environment in creating spaces that are conducive to building social connections and relationships for those that live and work in them, and how important it is to incorporate all stakeholders in the design process.

David and Martin examine the architecture and design through the lens of COVID-19 and infection control. In addition, they share why they believe the Green House/small house model is here to stay and how design elements of the model can help us rethink and reimagine the industry to spur further growth and innovation.

Finally, they talk about their Clean Slate Project and how that has informed their thoughts on the future and evolution of senior living.

Connect with David Hoglund here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/j-david-hoglund-faia-leed-ap-414bb3b 

Connect with Martin Siefering here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-siefering-95582621 

11/13/2020 : Recap: Opportunities & Disruptive Moments
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

Robert Kramer, president & founder of Nexus Insights, is the focus of this recap with Mary and Marla.  He spoke with Susan Ryan about something he knows very well: the seniors housing industry. Kramer, who founded the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and now serves as its strategic advisor, has lots to say about the pandemic’s impact on the industry as well as the opportunities it presents.

Marla takes a deeper dive into the Jobs to be Done theory that Kramer mentioned. Find out what a milkshake has to do with it! Mary takes a closer look at why he thinks we need an engagement or contributor model of long-term care and how future congregate settings should look and feel more like your college days! 

Mary and Marla also discuss his thoughts on design for the future of long-term care and how recent research on leadership and COVID-19 result in some interesting insights.   

Find out more about Jobs to Be Done here: https://www.christenseninstitute.org/jobs-to-be-done/ 

Article with Dr. Jacquelyn Kung and Robert Kramer: https://www.mcknights.com/blogs/guest-columns/great-workplace-culture-can-save-lives-amid-pandemic/ 

11/11/2020 : Opportunities & Disruptive Moments
Robert Kramer
Founder
Nexus Insights & National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care

Robert Kramer, president & founder of Nexus Insights, speaks with Susan Ryan about something Kramer knows very well: the seniors housing industry. Kramer, who founded the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and now serves as its strategic advisor, has lots to say about the pandemic’s impact on the industry as well as the opportunities it presents.

Kramer, who draws from his experience as a state legislator, explains why he thinks the pandemic is a “huge opportunity” that would be shameful to waste. He also notes that those who work in the field should be proud of the great work they are doing.

Finally, find out why he believes that boosting community-based services will be good for nursing homes and how we shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of preventing social isolation and loneliness among elders during a crisis.

Find out more about Kramer’s company, Nexus Insights here: https://www.nexusinsights.net/. 

11/06/2020 : Recap: Palliative Care and the Pandemic
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Marla and Mary discuss the 30th episode of Elevate Eldercare with Diane Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality health care in the US for people living with serious illness.

While every podcast is a learning experience, both Marla and Mary were quick to admit that they both learned quite a bit about the difference between hospice and palliative care.

According to Dr. Meier, it is a common issue and concern for her and the national organization. Find out more about Robert Butler, who established the field of geriatric medicine and how he coined the term “ageism” back in the late 1960s.

Mary and Marla also discuss Dr. Meier’s comments about the fragmented healthcare system and why palliative care has not been widely adopted by long-term care, yet 76% of the hospitals in this country offer it.

 

Learn more about Robert Butler here: https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/champions-of-aging-photos/robert-butler-gerontologist-longevity/. 

Find out where palliative care is located near you: https://getpalliativecare.org/. 

​​​​

11/04/2020 : Palliative Care and the Pandemic: A Conversation with Dr. Diane Meier
Diane Meier, MD
Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care

In today’s episode, Susan Ryan talks with Diane Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality health care in the U.S. for people living with serious illnesses. Under her leadership the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has tripled in the last 20 years.

The two discuss what Dr. Meier calls a “hyper-fragmented sub-specialization system” that often loses sight of the person in treatment, and how this observation became a catalyst for her in developing a palliative care program at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and how palliative care programs have since scaled across the country.

Dr. Meier provides a wonderful definition of palliative care, along with the clear distinction between palliative care and hospice care and confronts the notion that suffering only deserves attention when someone is predictably at the very end of life. She is passionate in her quest to see the whole person and provide a plan that prioritizes quality of life and function for each individual, and how we must advocate for ourselves or a loved one to ensure that anyone with a serious illness gets the essential support. 

Ryan and Meier also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the critical necessity of palliative care, and how CAPC was able to provide tremendous support and resources to patients, families, and healthcare professionals through the crisis.

Connect with Dr. Meier here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianemeiermd. 

Find out more about CAPC here: https://www.capc.org/.   

10/30/2020 : Recap: Elderhood, Ageism, and COVID
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Marla and Mary discuss the 27th episode of Elevate Eldercare with Louise Aronson, MD, a geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she directs UCSF Health Humanities. 

Dr. Aronson is also an author, and has just recently released her book, Elderhood, which offers a broad perspective on the issues impacting aging and eldercare. Mary and Marla discuss the original title for the book, Old Hood, and why Dr. Aronson wants to reform the word “old.” They also take a closer look at social isolation and failure to thrive. Have you ever heard of Marjory Winsome Warren? She played an interesting role in the history of geriatrics.

Learn about failure to thrive HERE

Find out more about Marjory Winsome Warren here: https://www.bgs.org.uk/marjory-warren

10/28/2020 : Louise Aronson on Elderhood, Ageism, and COVID
Louise Aronson, MD
Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

In today’s episode, Susan Ryan talks with Louise Aronson, MD, a geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she directs UCSF Health Humanities. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, she has received many awards and accolades, including the Gold Professorship in Humanism, the California Home Care Physician of the Year Award, and the American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Mid-Career Clinical Educator of the Year Award, and more.

Dr. Aronson is also an author, and has just recently released her book, Elderhood, which offers a broad perspective on the issues impacting aging and eldercare. Today, she talks about the three stages of life, particularly the third stage: Elderhood.

Dr. Aronson tackles the ageist stigmas and stereotypes within the healthcare system that devalue and disregard elders. In addition, she discusses the COVID crisis, the inequity across the care continuum, particularly for people of color, and her role with the San Francisco Department of Public Health COVID Response Unit.

In these complex and challenging times, Dr. Aronson offers fresh wisdom and thoughtful perspectives to help guide us forward in reimagining eldercare.

Find Dr. Aronson on Twitter @LouiseAronson and online at www.louisearonson.com.  

10/23/2020 : Recap: Consumer Voices in Long-Term Care
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

This week’s recap with Marla and Mary takes you on a fast history lesson about congressional legislation for long-term care. You will also learn about the Ombudsman Program and Marla’s work as an advocate for elders. 

This episode centers on Lori Smetanka, executive director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the leading national nonprofit advocacy organization representing consumers receiving long-term care in nursing homes, assisted living communities, and home and community-based settings.

We also discuss COVID-19 and why one elder described the nursing home during this time as a “death trap.” It was a story that haunts Lori and the staff at Consumer Voice. 

10/21/2020 : Consumer Voices in Long-Term Care
Lori Smetanka
Executive Director
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care 

This week, Susan Ryan sits down with Lori Smetanka, executive director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the leading national nonprofit advocacy organization representing consumers receiving long-term care in nursing homes, assisted living communities, and home and community-based settings.

Lori’s passion and expertise have served her and the mission of Consumer Voice well. In this episode, she provides the history of nursing home reform and the formation of her organization. This rich history offers insights into the high value of collaborative
partnerships and the critical importance of having the resident and family voices represented in the creation of policies.

Lori also dives into the devastation that COVID has left in long-term care communities across the country and how it has highlighted and the numerous challenges that have
long existed, including the exacerbation of loneliness and social isolation.

Find more about the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care here: https://theconsumervoice.org/ 

Connect with Lori Smetanka here on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lori-owen-smetanka-0184664 

10/16/2020 : Recap: Innovation, Technology, and Aging
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

“Technology empowers, technology engages, and it is an enabler”, says Sheri Rose, the CEO and executive director of the Thrive Center, a non-profit innovation center focused on wellness and aging located in Louisville, Ky. What do think about virtual reality for pain? What about an app for your phone for hearing loss? These are just a couple of the innovations you learn about at the Thrive Center. In this recap of episode 23, Marla and Mary discuss the impact of Sheri taking care of her mother with Alzheimer’s and how that influenced her decision for this “second career.” Have you ever wondered about the impact of personal experience in your life? You might be surprised. Marla shares an interesting article that includes late fees for video rentals and the innovation that was created from that situation—the outcome will surprise you! Find out why Sheri believes that technology needs to not only identify when an elder has a gait and balance issue, but also what role tech can play in helping that person build up their core body strength to improve heir balance and mobility issue. It is all about technology that is designed to have an elder live their best life possible. Find out more about the THRIVE Center here: https://www.thrivecenterky.org/ Find out more about The Impact of Personal Experience on Behavior: https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1145&context=oid_papers

10/14/2020 : Innovation, Technology, and Aging
Sheri Rose is CEO & Executive Director of the Thrive Center in Louisville, Ky.
 

Sheri Rose is the CEO and executive director of the Thrive Center, a non-profit innovation center focused on wellness and aging located in Louisville, Ky. She was named by Louisville Business First as “Top 20 People to Know in Aging” and was recognized by HealthTech Magazine as one of three women to know in health IT. In this episode, Sheri talks about why the Thrive Center exists, how it came to be, what it is (and isn’t), and the reason it is garnering global attention. She describes the impact of COVID-19 on the center and its surrounding communities, and what they have done to address the issues, such as the exacerbation of social isolation of older adults. Sheri also shares her take on some of the emerging technologies and how they can better support aging in community. Finally, she examines the vital role that technology will play in shaping the future of eldercare and what each of us can do to be a part of the solution. Connect with Sheri on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheri-rose-81391414b

10/09/2020 : Recap: New York City, COVID-19, and the Future of Aging Services
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

The early epicenter of COVID-19 was New York City and it was hit hard. In this recap of episode #21 with Dr. Jeffrey Farber, Marla and I unpack how the leader of The New Jewish Home in New York City took on the enormous challenges of COVID-19. Dr. Farber, president and CEO of The New Jewish Home in New York City, a health system for older adults that serves more than 10,000 clients annually through a diverse portfolio of services across three campuses in Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester. “Unimaginable” is how Dr. Farber described the initial months of the pandemic. Marla and I discuss how he focused on three critical items each day and how “leading by your core values” was essential to him during this crisis. Find out what those values include for The New Jewish Home and how important he found self-care to be for himself and his team members. Have you ever heard of nature-deficit disorder? Marla will give you the highlights and you will find out why Dr. Farber issued a “doctor’s order” to his team to take time for nature! Find out more about The New Jewish Home here: https://jewishhome.org/ Find out more about Nature-Deficit Disorder: http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child

10/07/2020 : New York City, COVID-19, and the Future of Aging Services
Jeffrey Farber, MD
President & CEO
The New Jewish Home

Susan Ryan sits down with Dr. Jeffrey Farber, president and CEO of The New Jewish Home in New York City, a health system for older adults that serves more than 10,000 clients annually through a diverse portfolio of services that includes short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing, low-income housing, day programs, and home health and care management programs across three campuses in Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester. Dr. Farber explores his experiences in New York City amid the early epicenter of COVID-19 and how he addressed the numerous challenges of battling the virus. In so doing, he examines the role of a leader in a time of crisis; the importance of showing up daily, communication strategies and community collaboration important to building relationships, and the necessity of making critical decisions that align with an organization’s core values. Finally, he provides a portrait of the future for eldercare that tackles ageism, shifts mindsets, and seeks to leverage the lessons learned amid a horrific pandemic. Find out more about The New Jewish Home here: https://jewishhome.org/

10/02/2020 : Recap: Eldercare & COVID from a Global Perspective
A rapid-fire unpacking of the week's episdoe, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this week’s recap, Mary and I talk about Susan Ryan’s conversation with Walter Coffey and David Sprowl, managing partners of an international consulting business. These two leaders in senior living departed a great deal of knowledge and wisdom about leadership, opportunities, and relationships. In addition, they offer a great list of books (some that I will be reading) that you may appreciate as well. Check out David Brooks’ The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life here: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Mountain-David-Brooks/dp/0812993268

09/30/2020 : Eldercare & COVID from a Global Perspective
Walter Coffey (top) and David Sprowl (bottom)
Managing Partners
WD International Consulting 

Susan Ryan sits down with Walter Coffey and David Sprowl, managing partners of an international consulting business. Walter was formerly the CEO of LeadingAge Georgia and the Georgia Institute on Aging for 18 years and well known for his efforts in the eldercare culture change movement. David was the Executive Director of Lutheran Towers, located in midtown Atlanta, Ga., where he brought person-centered approaches to affordable housing. They discuss the COVID crisis through an international lens and their work in different parts of the globe, their quest for person-centered approaches to eldercare to be realized more broadly, and the role of all staff within an organization functioning as leaders to effect transformation. Finally, Walter and David encourage us to not settle for ‘good enough’ but to intentionally strive for greatness. Connect with Walter here: linkedin.com/in/walter-coffey-5aa761133

09/25/2020 : Recap: Dementia & COVID-19: Two Leaders Who are Making a Difference
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Marla and I take a deeper dive into the 17th episode of Elevate Eldercare with Dr. Jennifer Carson, the director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program at the School of Community Health Sciences at University of Nevada, Reno, and Dr. Al Power, an internist, geriatrician, and Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada.

The conversation was so rich that we did the podcast in two parts! Find out how Dr. Carson and her colleagues in Nevada created an incredible response to COVID to support elders in the state to shelter in place. Learn why Dr. Power called it “a world leading initiative” and how you can replicate it in your state.

Learn why COVID gave Dr. Power the time for reflection and a chance to reinterrogate what he teaches about dementia. Find out if he believes it can still hold up during a pandemic.

In part two, we take time to discuss their views on the injustices in long term care and to challenge us to change our thinking on a number of issues. Marla comments on a topic raised by Dr. Power about either/or thinking and how it led her to an article on Both/And Leadership.

Check out 211 Nevada: https://www.nevada211.org/ 

Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network (NV CAN): https://www.nevada211.org/ 

Find out more about Both/And Leadership: https://medium.com/saseprints/both-and-leadership-d5c1107c60af 

09/23/2020 : Dementia & COVID-19: Two Leaders Who are Making a Difference
Al Power, MD, is a geriatrician, author, and Schlegal Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada. Jennifer Carson, PhD, is director of the Dementia Engagement, Education & Research Program at the School of Community Health Sciences at Univ. of Nevada, Reno.

Susan Ryan sits down with Dr. Jennifer Carson, the director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program at the School of Community Health Sciences at University of Nevada, Reno, and Dr. Al Power is an internist, geriatrician, and Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada.

Both Jennifer and Al are highly committed and knowledgeable advocates for people living in dementia who have worked together over the years on many projects. In this episode, Al and Jennifer talk about the power of deep-knowing relationships and individualized approaches as foundational to generating quality of life experiences for people living with dementia, and why consistent, or dedicated, staffing is paramount to that success.

The conversation also touches on how the pandemic dramatically revealed how significant relationships really were in addressing the profound challenges of loneliness and social isolation among elders who have dementia.

Jennifer and Al also talk about ageism and ableism, and how the crisis has exposed these stereotypes even more perilously.

Check out Dementia Friendly Nevada here: https://dementiafriendlynevada.org/

Find out more about Dr. Power here: http://www.alpower.net/

09/18/2020 : Recap: COVID and Small Homes – A Good Story to Tell
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Mary and Marla examine the 15th episode of Elevate Eldercare with Jill Wilson and John Ponthie, two senior living providers that operate more small-house/Green House homes under their organizational umbrellas than any other Green House provider.

Mary and Marla discuss how each explained the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations and the interesting variety of words they used to describe it. Learn how Jill ‘operationalized COVID’ and their predictive testing tree. Hear how both providers opened new homes during COVID, and how communication and complete transparency was a vital strategy for their residents and team members.

So why aren’t more providers building small house/Green House homes? Mary and Marla discuss how they respond to the question and their own insight on that topic.

More on Jill Wilson and the testing process at Otterbein Senior Life, watch the webinar entitled Preparing for a Potential Second Wave: https://www.thegreenhouseproject.org/events/covid-19-best-practices-ltc-initiative

09/16/2020 : Leadership, COVID, & the Small House Model
Jill Wilson is president and CEO of Otterbein Senior Life in Lebanon, Ohio.

Susan Ryan sits down with Jill Wilson and John Ponthie, two senior living providers that operate more small house/Green House homes under their organizational umbrellas than anyone anywhere.

Jill Wilson is president and CEO of Otterbein Senior Life, a faith-based not-for-profit ministry based in Lebanon, Ohio, and John Ponthie is co-owner of Southeran Administrative Services, a Sherwood, Ark.-based company that provides administrative support services for 36 nursing homes, including four campuses that encompass 33 Green House homes.

This compelling conversation takes a look at what drives these two innovators to do what they do and why they love the Green House model.

They each make the business case for the Green House/small-house model, as well as describe the experiences of the homes amid the pandemic.

Check out this in-depth interview with John Ponthie here about the

Green House homes he operates: https://skillednursingnews.com/2020/07/how-a-nursing-home-developer-made-green-houses-work-its-not-hard-to-pencil-out/

More on Jill Wilson here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-wilson-300a90

09/11/2020 : Recap: Tackling COVID and a Broken System

A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Mary and Marla examine the 13 th episode of Elevate Eldercare with David Grabowski, PhD, professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School.

With the focus of Dr. Grabowski’s discussion with Susan Ryan on COVID-19 and the impact it has had on nursing homes, Mary and Marla discuss the surprising results of one of his recent studies, the devaluation of long-term care staff, and solving the problem of social isolation among nursing home elders.

Check out Dr. Grabowski and colleagues’ recent Op Ed in the Washington Post here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/28/nursing-home-workers-now-have-most-dangerous-jobs-america-they-deserve-better/

09/09/2020 : Avoidable: David Grabowski’s Take on the Pandemic’s Impact on Nursing Homes
David Grabowski, PhD 
Professor of Health Care Policy 
Harvard Medical School

Susan Ryan sits down with David Grabowski, PhD, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. As a longtime researcher in the long-term care field, Dr. Grabowski has dedicated his career to shaping policy and making a difference in the lives of elders. Recently, he was part of a research team that studied the characteristics of nursing homes impacted by the coronavirus in order to understand which were more likely to experience an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

In this episode, Ryan and Dr. Grabowski discuss his observations on the impact of social isolation as a result of the ban on family visitation to nursing homes and why he believes that staff have the most dangerous jobs in America.

Dr. Grabowski also unpacks his observations about the factors that have shown to indicate the likelihood of an outbreak and what must be done to address the systemic flaws to mitigate the spread of the infection.

If you want to keep up with the latest research and insights on long-term care and COVID-19, follow Dr. Grabowski on Twitter here: @DavidCGrabowski

09/04/2020 : Recap: Flaws and Possible Solutions to Fixing the Eldercare Crisis, with Howard Gleckman
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap of this week’s episode with Howard Gleckman, Mary and I have a bit to say about that. In particular, we discuss his impressive knowledge of tax policy, funding, and long-term care and his ability to bring all those things together in a succinct and easily understandable way.

We examine his views on a broken long-term care system, issues around staffing, and the challenges faced by family caregivers.

What resonates with us, of course, is Gleckman’s call to action around what nursing homes need to do to survive in a post-COVID era: break the mold and be willing to try something truly different from the old ways of doing things.

Find Gleckman’s articles in Forbes here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/#6e3afe4c7417

09/02/2020 : Flaws and Possible Solutions to Fixing the Eldercare Crisis: A Conversation with Howard Gleckman
Howard Gleckman
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute

In this episode, Susan Ryan talks with Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., where he is affiliated with both the Tax Policy Center and the Program on Retirement Policy. Gleckman is the author of Caring for our Parents, a book that tells the stories of the families who struggle every day with the care needs of their loved ones.

Susan and Howard discuss the COVID-19 crisis and his assessment of the profound challenges and systemic flaws that have been exposed. In addition, Howard discusses the workforce issues, funding, lack of affordable and accessible options that address critical health disparities, and much more.

Howard’s astute insights, experiences, and expertise are thought provoking and those that hopefully will spur you to take action.

Get Howard Gleckman’s book here: https://howardgleckman.com/books/caring-for-our-parents/

08/28/2020 : Recap: Interdependence & Understanding Bias
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

From the words of Mary & Marla, hosts of the Friday Recap of this podcast:

There was so much to learn and such rich complex issues to unpack in this episode that we took 18 minutes to do it. But we think it will all be worth it to you as we explore the history and origin of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging and the complex issues addressed in the conversation between Susan and Karyne.

To begin, we examine self-awareness and the importance of looking at our own biases. We also talk about Karyne’s emphasis on empowering her members to advocate themselves to ensure that their issues are heard.

We hope you will take a listen.

Check out this graphic on Becoming Antiracist created by Andrew Ibrahim, MD, from the University of Michigan: https://www.surgeryredesign.com/current

08/26/2020 : Karyne Jones and the NCBA: Disparities, Racism, and Ageism Amid COVID
Karyne Jones
President & CEO
National Caucus Caucus & Center on Black Aging

Susan Ryan sits down with Karyne Jones, president and CEO of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging and NCBA Housing Management and Development Corporation. Together they unpack the many issues surrounding COVID-19 and the health disparities that exist among people of color.

You will hear Karyne describe how her organization supported their communities during the crisis, including the Coronavirus task force that she helped to establish and the monthly newsletters that contain practical information and resources to help mitigate the spread of the infection.

Susan and Karyne talk about implicit bias, the devastating impact of social isolation, our shared humanity, and need for connection. This conversation is particularly insightful and timely given recent events, protests, and data demonstrating the disproportionate number of COVID cases among minority populations.

Find out more about National Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCCBA) at its website, here: https://ncba-aging.org/

08/21/2020 : Friday Recap: How the Green House Model Came to Be
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In this recap, Marla and Mary examine three components of the episode: the origin story of the Green House model, where The Green House Project is now, and what the future of eldercare might look like.

From the first home built by Steve McAlilly’s organization, Methodist Senior Services, in 2003, to today, Marla and Mary take a long view of discuss several the power of community and its relationship to the Green House core values.

Takeaways: the pandemic’s ability to align the stars for the Green House model to shine as an example of a nursing home that mitigates COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Reignite spirit of innovation. Do we want to tweak or do we want to transform? What kind of community to be a part and how do we make it happen.

This week’s call to action: watch this short yet compelling video that illustrates the story of Green House and the impact the model has had on the field of nursing home care: https://youtu.be/cDHZkVkndrI

Discover more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

08/19/2020 : Origin Story: Dr. Bill Thomas and Steve McAlilly and the Genesis of The Green House Project
Steve McAlilly is president & CEO of Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, Miss. Bill Thomas, MD, is a geriatrician, author, and founder of The Green House Project and the Eden Alternative. 

Susan Ryan sits down with Dr. Bill Thomas, creator of the Green House model of nursing home care, and Steve McAlilly, president and CEO of Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, Miss., the first organization to build a Green House home.

You will hear Bill and Steve describe how Green House came to be, what precipitated the need for change, and how the two collaborated to create the first radically noninstitutional nursing homes in Tupelo, which spawned a global movement for better eldercare.

Find out more about Methodist Senior Services at its website, www.mss.org and Dr. Thomas’ latest innovation, Minka Homes and Communities, at www.myminka.com.    

Get more details about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

08/14/2020 : Friday Recap: Tammy Marshall’s Eye-Opening Perspectives
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

Marla and Mary examine Tammy Marshall’s unique look at impact of coronavirus pandemic on older adults and on the communities that her company, Thrive Senior Living, owns and operate. In the process, they explore salutogenic versus pathogenic approaches to care, wellbeing, and Atul Guwande’s contribution to rethinking the safety narrative.

Mary’s takeaway is Tammy’s exclamation to go back to the basics with regard to COVID: nature, sunshine, and good health and sleep.

This week’s call to action: check out Atul Guwande’s book, Being Mortal (particularly Chapter 5, which highlights The Green House Project).

Find out more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

08/12/2020 : Salutogenesis: Tammy Marshall and Proactive, Holistic Approaches to Care
Tammy Marshall
Chief Experience Officer
Thrive Senior Living

Susan sits down with Tammy Marshall, chief experience officer at Thrive Senior Living, a luxury provider of independent living, assisted living, and memory care in the eastern and southeastern United States. 

Tammy’s deep knowledge of nursing and aging services, unique approaches to care, and innovative perspectives frame her discussion with Susan as they unpack the impact of COVID-19 on Thrive residents and staff as well as on broader aspects of eldercare.

Marshall describes what she calls a “compulsive communication approach” within her organization and how she coaches her team to think adaptively. She explores the importance of salutogenic versus pathogenic approaches to care and how it drives her desire to ensure the best, most holistic approach within Thrive’s communities.

Follow Tammy on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @Dear_Tammy. Her company, Thrive Senior Living, is at www.thrivesl.com.

Discover more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

08/07/2020 : Friday Recap: Dr. James Wright and the Eldercare Narrative
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

Mary and Marla deconstruct Dr. Wright’s story of the devastating impact COVID-19 had at the Virginia nursing home where he serves as medical director. In examining his commitment to improving the lives of elders living with dementia, Mary and Marla discuss his commitment to changing the narrative about nursing homes by being transparent and steadfast in his messaging.

They also explore Dr. Wright’s exclamation that dementia-ism and ageism are the last acceptable prejudices.

This week’s call to action: Find out more about The Green House Project’s Best Life dementia care approach, which aligns with Dr. Wright’s plans to build an inclusive, open community for people living with dementia.

Discover more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

 

 

08/05/2020 : Galvanized: Dr. James Wright and His Journey to Becoming an Advocate for Elders
James Wright, MD
Medical Director
Richmond, Va.

Ryan sits down with Dr. James Wright, medical director of three nursing homes in Richmond, Va., to discuss his experience managing a tragic outbreak of COVID-19 early in the pandemic, how it has shaped his view of eldercare, and how he plans to improve it.

Now in recovery phase of the outbreak, Dr. Wright reflects on how it affected his residents, the staff, and himself. He describes how he used the crisis as a platform to help change the narrative around nursing home care in the United States and speak out about what he sees as flaws in the system.

Passionate about enhancing the quality of life and dignity, especially for elders living with dementia, Dr. Wright is the founder of Homecoming Group, a collection of dementia care experts who seek to establish the first memory care village in the United States.

Get more details about Dr. Wright’s passion project at http://homecomingrva.com/Center/

Discover more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

07/22/2020 : Friday Recap: Warrior Mode and Leadership through Crisis
A rapid-fire recap of the week's episode, with Green House team members Mary Hopfner-Thomas and Marla DeVries.

In the first Friday Recap of Elevate Eldercare, Mary and Marla break down Susan Ryan’s interview with Carol Silver Elliott, president and CEO of The Jewish Home Family in Rockleigh, N.J. As they examine Carol’s experience leading her team through the COVID crisis, Marla and Mary focus on several things: the crucible moment that COVID created, caring for staff and ensuring they had PPE, and the emphasis on communicating almost constantly with staff, elders, and families.

This week’s call to action: Follow The Jewish Home Family on Facebook, where you can find celebration videos of residents who have survived the coronavirus and excerpts from staff PPE “fashion shows.”

Discover more about The Green House Project at www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

07/22/2020 : A Crucible Moment: Carol Silver Elliott Meets COVID-19
Carol Silver Elliott
President & CEO
Jewish Home Family

Susan Ryan is joined by Carol Silver Elliott, president and CEO of Jewish Home Family (JHF), a nonprofit aging services organization located in northern New Jersey.

In this first episode of Elevate Eldercare, Carol’s tenacity and acumen as a leader is evident as she describes how she took a chaotic crisis and applied strategic systems to create real solutions.

She recounts poignant stories and the unique challenges presented by JHF’s close proximity to New York City, the epicenter of the virus at that time.

While her fierce love of elders is obvious, Carol is also transparent about her organization’s harrowing experiences. She describes creative approaches to remaining calm amid a crisis, which were accomplished, in part, by fostering among her staff ingenuity in the face of adversity.

Find out more about The Green House Project at its website, www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

Follow Carol Silver Elliott on LinkedIn and at the Times of Israel Blog.

07/22/2020 : Introducing: Elevate Eldercare

Nursing homes rarely garner positive attention, particularly from the media, and especially since the onset of COVID-19. It is within this context that The Green House Project has launched Elevate Eldercare, a podcast that seeks to speak up and out about the issues that have enabled a traditional system to continue and prevented society from going as far as we need to go. Our goal in this podcast is to offer hope on the horizon as we collectively strategize to Elevate Eldercare.

Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project, will sit down with guests each Wednesday for enlightening, provocative, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with thought leaders who offer diverse perspectives as they explore the opportunities and challenges to actualizing a vision for dignified eldercare through the lens of the Green House model of long-term care.

Follow The Green House Project here:

Facebook: @GreenHouseHomes

Twitter: GreenHouse_Proj

Instagram: @the_green_house_project

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-green-house-project/