Hello Empowered Aging Family,
Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a safe and healthy start to 2023. At Empowered Aging, we are excited about the year ahead, driving even more program growth and continuing to expand our reach to all those we serve. As Californians and fierce advocates, the new year is a time when we renew our commitment to spread even more awareness and cultivate more remarkable change, ensuring all older adults and adults with disabilities are engaged, feel valued, and their equity is realized.
Speaking of change, January first marked the start date of over 50 new laws that will have an impact on older adults ranging from resident rights, emergency preparedness, health care, nursing home innovations, inclusion and equity, caregiving, and more. We are thrilled to see many of these long overdue changes take place. A few items that took effect include:
• Assembly Bill No. 895: Skilled Nursing Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly: Notice to Prospective Residents. This bill requires facilities to provide a prospective resident or their representative written notice which includes contact information for their local Long-Term Care Ombudsman and links to websites relating to the facilities.
• Assembly Bill No. 1855: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Facility Access. This bill blocks Skilled Nursing or Residential Care Facilities from denying entry to a representative of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program acting in their official capacity.
• Assembly Bill No. 1195: Limited Eligibility and Appointment Program: Lists. This bill aims to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities by requiring CalHR to provide a Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) employment referral list to a state agency upon request.
Our friends at the California Department of Aging share a comprehensive report on the new chaptered legislation and how it relates to the Master Plan for Aging. A lot is happening this year, and it’s vital for all of us who serve older adults and adults with disabilities to stay aware of the ever-changing legislation because of how it affects these vulnerable populations and the work we do on their behalf.
In this edition of Advocacy in Aging, you’ll read more about our newest cohort of Certified Nursing Assistant students who graduated from the Healthcare Career Pathway program and more exciting highlights from our organization.
Thank you again for all that you do for the older adults and adults with disabilities in our community. Thank you to all who donated, volunteered, or supported Empowered Aging in any capacity in 2022. If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out or have them contact our team by calling 925.658.2070.
On December 20th, our Healthcare Career Pathway program celebrated the graduation of our fourth cohort of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) students. The 12-week training course is twice the length required by the state, and because of the intensive training, 19 newly minted graduates are going directly into the workforce with the equivalent of one year of work experience.
If you’ve been following along with us for some time now, you’ve heard us talk about this program and our partnership with Opportunity Junction and Concord’s Mt. Diablo Adult Education. Healthcare Career Pathway began nearly five years ago as a program focused on creating a meaningful pathway to sustainable employment for students with addressable barriers while also addressing the critical shortage of CNAs working in long-term care.
From its inception, the program produced outstanding results, with students securing full-time employment upon graduation in fulfilling positions that provide critical care to older adults and adults with disabilities. While staffing issues were evident well before the pandemic, COVID shed light on just how significant the need was. Those facilities without adequate staff endured the worst outbreaks, and for residents, this lack of care was an issue of life and death. Unfortunately, it is an issue that has only continued to worsen. Healthcare Career Pathway is an important tool in building the workforce needed to care for our elders, so much so that it was included as a pilot program in California’s Master Plan for Aging Local Playbook and has earned additional funding to expand training sites across California.
Our Executive Director, Susannah Meyer, who also holds office as Vice Mayor for the City of Brentwood, was invited to speak during the ceremony. After the graduation, she stated, “I appreciate the opportunity in my role as an elected official to commemorate such a special event and an inspirational group of students. I can’t wait to see all they do for those they go on to serve in our community.”
We want to thank The Press for covering this event and sharing it with our East Contra Costa County neighbors. For more information about the Healthcare Career Pathway program, visit https://EmpoweredAging.org/Healthcare-Career-Pathway/.
Empowered Aging is looking for kind, compassionate, driven, and service-oriented people to join our expanding team. If you are dedicated to protecting the quality of life for older adults, then we want to hear from you. For more information on our current job openings and to apply, please visit our job listings.
Know someone else who fits the bill? Feel free to forward this email or share the link to our career portal.
Did you know that older adults and adults with disabilities don’t just rely on Empowered Aging for advocacy and support but also for friendship and connection? According to the CDC, poor social relationships, characterized by loneliness and social isolation, are associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. These are serious medical conditions that we can all help combat. If you are passionate about your community and are looking for new ways to give back, consider joining Empowered Aging’s Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance program in Solano County. Our goal is to help seniors build friendships, stay connected, and live a long, healthy life as a recognized part of our society. For more information on how to join, visit https://EmpoweredAging.org/Friendly-Visiting/. Or, if you’re interested in exploring our other volunteer opportunities, please visit https://EmpoweredAging.org/Get-Involved.
Thank you to our team of monthly MVP donors who have shown dedication to the senior community by regularly giving back. Because of your support, we can continue providing vital support services to older adults and adults with disabilities FREE of charge and stretch our outreach even further. If you or someone you know is ready to donate today in support of our elders, you can visit our donation page by clicking on the button below.
Want to Stay Connected with Our Executive Director and All the Things Happening at Our Organization? Download Susannah’s contact information below right to your phone. If you or someone you know needs help, is looking for the right resources, or has questions, please get in touch.