Home www.eldermentalhealth.org

 

 

   Introduction                     


The Greater Lowell Elder Mental Health Collaborative (GLEMHC) has advocated to develop and to increase mental health services for elders in the Greater Lowell area since the mid 1980's.


The Collaborative has brought together individuals and agencies which provide elder services, mental health services, nursing services, hospital care, nursing home care, etc. in the Lowell area. It was organized initially by Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley (ESMV) and was able to obtain several grants for staffing. In recent years it has been run on a volunteer basis by its membership.

Some of the programs generated or provided included:

  1. Group services for isolated elders ;
  2. Friends in Deed (a friendly visitor program);
  3. A psycho-geriatric assessment service;
  4. Trainings for providers and consumers.

Purpose of This Web Site

Individuals and agencies regularly ask about mental health:
  • How and where do I obtain a service?
  • How do services differ?
  • How do I know if someone needs help?
  • What can I do to stay healthy? 
  • Who are providers and how do I know what they do?
It became clear that information about elder mental health and appropriate services is not accessible to everyone.


The Greater Lowell Elder Mental Health Collaborative decided to develop an elder mental health resource. It made sense to place this information at an accessible location. We also wanted to make changes easily in order to keep them current. Therefore we decided to develop an elder mental health resource guide on a web site.

The information in this guide is available to anyone. The section on agencies and their services is about the Lowell area. The other sections are applicable no matter where you live or work. It is our hope that this guide will help you to make referrals or to obtain services more easily. It will not help you to make diagnoses or assessments for yourself or for others.

We encourage your participation in this guide. If you have suggestions about information or what could be added to any section please let us know.

Mission Statement 

The Greater Lowell Elder Mental Health Collaborative is dedicated to improving and increasing access to mental health services for elders.

We have advocated and developed mental health services for older residents of the Greater Lowell Communities since 1985. Originally, the GLEMHC was organized and funded by Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley. In 1992 the work of the Collaborative was in part funded by the Parker Foundation. More recently, members of the Collaborative volunteer their time with the support of their agencies. The members represent agencies that provide elder services, elder mental health and nursing services, hospital care and home health care in the Lowell area.



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For More Information

For information about the organization, please send email to info@ eldermentalhealth.org 

For information about this site, please send email to webmaster@ eldermentalhealth.org.


Radio Interview






 

 

NEWS FLASH

Mass. State Budget 2010


Week of October 12

Governor Deval Patrick announced that there will be further cuts  in the 2010 budget.
This will include:

  • Cuts to Cities and Towns(which means that Senior Centers may be impacted.
  • Cuts to staff at all State agencies(which will includes Elder Affairs, DMH, and DPH).
The  details of these cuts will be clear later and there may still be further cuts.


                                                

As of September 8 a state-wide waiting list for home care clients has begun. 
 
The reduction in funding for 2010 by the State has resulted in this limitation of services for frail elders. Unless there is additional funding it is unclear if this wait list can end prior to the end of the fiscal year.
 
There will a priority given for those who are:
  •  abused, 
  •  being discharged from hospitals and nursing homes, 
  •  in hospice.

This wait list will be managed by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs(EOEA)

and not by the individual ASAPs.

ACTION STEP
 
You should use this information when you contact your state senator and representative about restoring monies for elder services(including home care, wages for CNA, elder mental health, PNA).
 
 
FEDERAL HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION

 

October, 2009

Week of Oct 19

L
ast week the Senate Finance Comm approved a health care bill. It does not include a government option(see below Oct 5).

This week about 30 senators sent a letter to the Majority leader indicating their interest in a bill which includes a government option.


 
Week of Oct. 5
 
The Senate Finance Comm should complete its work this week or next. It will not include a government option and will tax those with expensive health insurance plans. Other plans do include a government option and will tax the wealthiest
Americans. When they are done the House and Senate versions are likely to differ in those and other ways.
However, there may be general agreement on the following:
 
  • Most will continue to be covered by their employers.
  • Self employed people and those working for an employee who does not offer health insurance will be able to buy insurance through exchanges(which may or may not include a government option).
  • There are likely to be tax credits.
  • Private health insurers will have to cover everyone(regardless of pre-existing conditions) and may be limited what they can charge those who are old or sick.
  • Medicare may have to coordinate care for seniors - especially those with chronic conditions - in order to maintain people in the community and decrease or prevent hospital and nursing home care.
  • Medicaid will be expanded to cover more people including childless adults. 

 Mental Health Services for Nursing Home Residents:

Clinical social workers cannot bill Medicare B directly for psychotherapy services when an individual is in a Medicare A bed.
Amendment D3 by Senator Blanche Lincoln(D - ARK. in health reform legislation would rectify this problem.
Please contact your federal senator to support Amendment D 3.
 
 
September, 2009
 
The Senate Finance Committee continues to debate its version of the bill and to try to identify support among Republicans. Its current version is the only bill in Congress which does not have a government option(it does have the option of co-ops). It would not insure as many people as the other bills and would cost less. 
The Senate Health, Education , and Labor Committee's version has been reported out and includes a government option and a long-term-care option(from community to institutional care).
 
August, 2009
 
Individual congressional representatives held sessions with their constituents. In some cases they were met with name calling and various accusations about incorrect descriptions of aspects of the five bills making their way thru congress(see Important Issues below). Four bills have been passed in different committees(three in the House and one in the Senate). The Senate Finance Committee continues to deliberate.  
 
Summer , 2009
 
Congress is speeding up a process to place legislation on the President's desk in the Fall. Committee work could be done by the July 4th break and each house could complete its work by the August recess.
  
If we want to preserve Medicare we must reform the general health care system. The rising cost of medicare is due in part to the rising cost of health care for everyone. As long as 45 million have no health care and millions more have inadequate health care the costs of care will be unaffordable for everyone else. The cost of mental health care - including that for elders- is impacted by some of the same factors.
  
If this is not passed now it may not be done for a long while.
  
 
 There has been much discussion about healthcare legislation now pending in Congress. This debate can be useful and constructive. The President did not submit a bill and there are at least five different bills (each of which varies) in Congress. However, some characteristics attributed to the bills are incorrect and in some cases destructive.

Important issues:

 
 
  1. EUTHANIZE GRANDMOM AND OTHERS

 

There has been talk about "death panels" and forcing people to die. No bill has this provision. There

are provisions which allow patients to speak with their physicians about advanced directives(health

care proxy, durable power of attorney, DNR, feeding tubes, ventilators, etc.) Anyone would elect to

have this conversation. The MD would be paid for this time and would have to review a variety of

advanced directives.

 

         2. CARE WILL BE RATIONED

 

Care is rationed now. Currently, private insurance companies regularly reject people for health insurance if they have pre-existing conditions, place annual and life time conditions on coverage, discontinue coverage when you are ill, etc. Most, if not all, of these bills would prohibit those actions by insurance companies.

        3. AMERICA WILL BE BANKRUPT
 

 

Most of these bills will cost about one trillion dollars in ten years.

Currently,

    • We spend about two trillion dollars each year for health care.

    • Employers are ending health care as a benefit as they cannot afford it.

    • We are spending so much more for premiums, co-pays and deductibles that many are dropping their coverage.

    • Others are facing personal bankruptcy due to their health care expenses.

 

 

         4.   WE WILL ALL BE FORCED TO ACCEPT A GOVERNMENT PLAN(which we have never had in this country).

 

Medicare is a government plan and it is more cost-efficient than private plans. Some of the plans have a public/government option and some have a co-op option. In either case individuals would choose to continue their current insurance plan or a government or co-op plan. A government plan would be like Medicare for those under 65. The co-op plans have as yet little detail. There are no single payer plans (where the government is the only source of payment) on the table.

 

5. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE  

In most of the bills everyone will be required to have a plan. Those without a plan could have a financial penalty thru the IRS.

                   6 . SENIORS WILL LOOSE THEIR BENEFITS  .

No.

However, there are new benefits (in most plans).

  • Elimination of co-pays and deductibles for preventive services

  • Fill the donut hole for prescription coverage.

And, there will likely be cuts for providers including;

  • Looking more closely at and eliminating "unnecessary" or "redundant" tests.

  • Reduce funding for Medicare Advantage plans.

  • Decrease payments for hospitals and physicians.

    7. WILL THERE BE A LONG TERM CARE BENEFIT?

 

In Senator Kennedy’s version there is a long term care benefit. It would be elective and would involve an additional premium. This is the only bill which has a long term care provision.

Long term care is defined in the bill as community and home based care, assistive living, and nursing home care. It is the first time that there could be a federal insurance program which provides these benefits for most people respective of age, disability, or other status.

It has been passed in Committee and can be debated on the floor of the Senate.

 

 
Action Steps
  1. Please contact our two Senators(Kennedy and Kerry), along with your congressional representative to support health care legislation which provides long term care and includes single payer or at least a government option.
  2. Contact your relatives and friends in other States to do  

I. Mass 2010  Budget Update

 
SUPPLEMENTAL 2010 BUDGET AND VETOES
 
Governor Patrick recently vetoed the PNA which reduced it from  $ 72.80 to $ 60 per month. The legislature passed a supplemental budget for 2010 which, among other things, included the PNA at $ 69.68 per month.
THE GOVERNOR HAS VETOED THE PNA , THE WAGE PASS THRU FOR CNAS,  ADDITIONAL MONIES FOR HOME CARE, AND ELDER MENTALHEALTH..
 
 
ACTION STEP:
 
 
Please call the Governor at               617-727-3666         617-727-3666 or               617-725-4006         617-725-4006 and ask him to retain the PNA as it is in the Supplemental budget.
 
 
 
 VETOES BY THE GOVERNOR IN THE REGULAR 2010 BUDGET
 
 
 
 
The Governor has vetoed several items in the 2010 budget.
 
  1. Funds for Care Management (at the ASAPS) had been reduced previously and now the Governor reduced them again for a total of 4.7 million dollars.
  2. Language about the PNA for nursing/rest home residents was eliminated and funding was reduced.
  3. The Wage Pass thru(a CNA wage increase) was vetoed.
  4. The elder mental health line item now has no funding.
 
 
ACTION STEPS:
  
I. Contact the following and urge them to override the Governor' veto of:
 

    1.         PNA language. Maintain the PNA at $72.80/month.

    2.            line item 9110-1633(care management at ASAPs) for home care.

   3.             wage pass thru(CNA wage increase)

    4.             elder mental health line item.     

 
 
       Speaker Robert DeLeo at:
       Robert.deleo@state.ma.us
                     617-722-2500         617-722-2500
  
       Chair Charles Murphy
Rep.charlesmurphy@hwm.state.ma.us
                     617-722-2990         617-722-2990
  
II. Contact your own state representative and urge them to contact the Speaker and Chair Murphy to bring the PNA, Care Management ,wage pass thru, and elder mental health vetoes to the floor for override votes.
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

                      
 
 

DIRECTORY  

 

CAREGIVING  

Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver Health

Development of Objectives for Family Caregivers

Elders Who Are Depressed: Tasks For Family Members And Friends

Family Handbook

Family Support Groups

Journal Writing About Gratitude By And For Caregivers

Harmful Family Caregiving Behaviors

Help From Family Members

Research on Caregiving

Spousal Caregiving Can Lead to Gum Disease

Taking Care of the Caregiver

Teaching Caregivers to Cope Better May Strengthen Their Lives

When One Partner of a Couple Has Dementia

_______________________

END OF LIFE CARE

Hospice

Spirituality  

MASS AGING AND MENTAL HEALTH COALITON
 
 
Best Elder Mental Health Practices
Oct. 24,2008, Worcester Mass
 

WORCESTER

 MASSACHUSETTS ELDER MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET INITIATIVE FOR 2007-8

 
 
 

 

WORCESTER MASS

OTHER STATES

RECOMMENDATIONS:

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________________________________________________________  Legislative and Policy Updates

 
Impact of 2006 Federal Legislation on Elders

Federal Health Care Legislation 2009

MEDICARE: Significant Changes in Medicare 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Timelines For New Medicare Law Medicare and Mental Health Medicare Prescription Medication Low Income Assistance Tips When Applying For The Medicare Prescription Benefit STATE/OTHER 2005 Massachusetts Budget- Impact on Elders Elder Issues for 2005 Legislature 2006 Massachusetts State Budget Money for Family Caregivers 2008 Elder Mental Health Budget Proposal A Social Security Primer White House Conference on Aging

2010 Budget

2009 Legislative Issues

---------------------------------------------------

POSITIVE AGING

DIRECTORY

THE AGING BODY

ABOUT ADVANCED DIRECTIVES

What is an Advanced Directive? -

How Would it be Used?

What are the types of Advanced Directives?

DIET AND EXERCISE; IMPACT ON DIABETES

EAT VEGETABLES - SLOW MEMORY LOSS

ELDERS AND THE ARTS

ELDERS AND STORYTELLING

ELDERS AND THEATRE

GROWING OLD MAY NOT BE SO BAD AFTER ALL

MEMORY AMONG SENIORS: IMPROVED BY ROTE LEARNING

NORMAL AGING AMONG CAMBODIANS

BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY

DEATH AND DYING

RELIGIOUS ELDERS AND THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE

THE SIX DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS FOR OLDER ADULTS

SLEEP AND GOOD HEALTH

STRESS(OUR ADAPTIONS) AND THE AGING PROCESS

The Benefits of Volunteering - Volunteer for the Health of It!

Greater Lowell Senior Corps

 

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