Change can be hard. Even for a guy like me who welcomes change, it comes with challenges. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve when we are ready to roll out a new program, although I know there will be snafus. I love cracking open the results of our latest research, though I may not like every result I see. I love a new pair of shoes, even though wearing them all day may cause a blister or two.
Change is what you make of it.
I came home recently from the USAging Annual Conference & Tradeshow excited about changes that are happening around the country and right here in Central Indiana related to the care of the elderly. Now in its 47th year, USAging is the country’s largest gathering of leaders working to improve lives of older adults. It’s a powerhouse of healthcare and community leaders.
As you might expect, the conference was filled with information about what’s happening in Washington D.C. as well as national trends in funding and programming. There was excitement in the air and a greater focus on innovation, business intelligence and the changing role of advocacy.
This is all music to my ears. CICOA is working to change the way we do business through innovation, research and partnerships. We aim to provide a more holistic approach to caring for our seniors and their caregivers. We have a long way to go, but it’s refreshing to know we’re moving in the right direction, according to industry experts.
Key takeaways from the USAging Conference
- Strong partnership with hospitals and acute care organizations are vital to address social determinants of health. This means we all need to work together to consider the medical, social, environmental, economic and other factors that impact quality of life.
- Area Agencies on Aging (CICOA is one of 15 in Indiana and 622 nationwide) must focus on connecting with individuals based on where they live, work, play and worship, which requires even more community engagement.
- Shifting to a managed care model of services (planned to launch in Indiana in 2024) will allow us to focus on not only the needs of the client, but also of the family caregiver. Too often caregivers don’t have the resources, funding or support they need, with a direct impact on the quality of care delivered.
- Data will be a driver to gain deeper insights and intelligence to impact programs and services. CICOA has made this a priority over the past two years, and you’ll continue to hear more about it in coming months.
- It’s essential that we create a more equitable system in which all people have awareness of and access to available community resources.
- Area Agencies on Aging need to advocate not only for funding, but also to ensure our community and legislative leaders understand the essential services we provide.
There are lots of exciting things happening in our industry involving the care of aging citizens. Change may not always come as easy or as quickly as some would like, but rest assured, I’ve got my new running shoes on, and I’m eager to make sure seniors in Central Indiana can live their best lives possible.
As President and CEO, Tauhric Brown uses his strategic vision and experience in the elderly and disability service industry to expand CICOA services and collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. Before joining CICOA, Brown served as the chief operating officer for Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career started in the U.S. Army, and then he became a successful owner/operator for a multi-carrier wireless retail company. Inspired by his family and upbringing, he made the switch to the nonprofit world to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of others.