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Organizations for Older Adults

Quick Overview to The Joint Commission

Quick Overview to The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization, or JCAHO, is a private, non-profit organization. It accredits more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs throughout the United States.

If an organization or program receives accreditation from the Joint Commission or previously received it under JCAHO, they have met the standards that reflect the qualities that the Joint Commission has outlined for its accreditation. For hospitals or other health care service programs to be accredited, they need to subscribe for evaluations and pay a fee to the Commission. A majority of state governments have come to recognize Joint Commission accreditation as a condition of license and the receipt of Medicaid reimbursement. 

Founded in 1951 as the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals and later known familiarly as JCAHO, the Joint Commission is governed by 29 members on a board of directors. This committee includes doctors, nurses, administrators, health plan leaders, experts, ethicists and other medical service professionals. The Commission’s office in Washington D.C. directly deals with government agencies and with Congress in seeking and maintaining partnerships with the government that will improve the quality of health care for all Americans.

The Commission also works with Congress on legislation involving the quality and safety of health care. The goal herein is to continuously improve health care for the public, while working with stakeholders by evaluating health care organizations and motivating them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value to their patients. 

The Joint Commission provides accreditation services for the following types of organizations: 

         General, psychiatric, children’s and rehabilitation hospitals

         Critical access hospitals

         Home care organizations, including medical equipment services

         other long-term care

         Behavioral health care organizations, addiction services

         Ambulatory care providers, including group practices and office-based surgery practices

         Independent or freestanding clinical laboratories 

In order for these organizations to be accredited under what some people still know as “JCAHO standards,” they need to meet requirements established by the Commission. These standards address the scrutinized organization’s level of performance in key areas including patient rights, patient treatment, medication safety and infection control. By creating standards for organizations to meet, a higher level of performance in medical care is designed. Some positive aspects of “JCAHO accreditation”:  

         Strengthens community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment and services

         Provides organizations competitive edge in the marketplace

         Improves risk management and risk reduction

         Promotes education on good practices to improve business operations

         Promotes professional advice and counsel, enhancing staff education

         Enhances staff recruitment and development

         Is recognized by insurers and other third parties

         May fulfill regulatory requirements in select states

American Health Assistance Foundation

American Health Assistance Foundation

The American Health Assistance Foundation is a non-profit
organization that funds research seeking cures for Alzheimer’s disease,
age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, and provides the public with
information about risk factors, preventative lifestyles, available treatment and
coping strategies.

The Foundation issues important information to the general
public, especially those in the elderly population, through their website,
print publications, public service announcements, television and radio
broadcasts. The aim and focus of the American Health Assistance Foundation is
to educate people about risk factors, the latest research, treatment options,
risk reduction through healthy lifestyles and ways to deal with degenerative

The American Health Assistance Foundation is one of
America’s leading supporters of scientific investigations to gather information
in order to understand and find cures for Alzheimer’s disease, age-related
macular degenerative diseases and glaucoma.

The Foundation has rewarded over
$110 million of grants to professionals and prominent scientists for research
at universities, hospitals and medical centers around the world.
 Currently, it supports 125 grants: 62 for Alzheimer’s research, 34 for
macular degenerative diseases and 29 for glaucoma research.  

Founded in 1973, the American Health Assistance Foundation operates under the
U.S. Internal Revenue Code while being a non-profit organization for its
members. Individuals, groups and other parties can make donations to the
foundation to help them conduct their research and award grants to established
health care professionals.

The American Health Assistance Foundation has
six branches that are focused on specific research material and medical
programs. The AHAF also has partner foundations and organizations in other
countries to further the scope of its research. The Foundation is governed
by a Board of Directors, lead by the Executive Director.

There are three
Scientific Review Committees consisting of researchers who influence and guide
the Board on making decisions on which grants to allow. The funding that allows
the American Health Assistance Foundation to give out grants for research are
private donations from the general public. Cash contributions, memorials, wills and bequests, charitable trusts, annuities, and corporate and foundation
grants are all ways in which to donate to AHAF. 

Quick And Easy Guide to Understanding AARP

Quick And Easy Guide to Understanding AARP

The AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a
non-profit, non-partisan membership organization for United States citizens
over the age of 50. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the lifestyle
and quality of life for its members and those who wish to join. AARP provides a
wide range of unique benefits to its members, including special products,
programs and services.

The Association also sells insurance, investment funds
and other financial products, along with being one of the most powerful
lobbying groups in the country. There are over 40 million members signed up
with AARP, which makes it one of the largest membership groups in America.

In 1958 Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus founded the American
Association of Retired Persons, which developed from the National
Retired Teachers Association. Dr. Andrus wanted to promote retiree productivity
regardless of age, and the NRTA was established to help retired teachers claim
health insurance.

When the NRTA evolved into the American Association of Retired
Persons, the association was expanded to all Americans over the age of 50. In
1999, the organization changed its name from American Association of Retired
Persons to AARP to promote the idea that its members did not have to be
retired in order to be part of the organization. 

AARP is known for addressing issues dealing with the elderly and retired
persons through a wide range of initiatives, including lobbying efforts in
state and federal governmental meetings. The organization does not support,
oppose or fund any political candidates or parties as part of its non-partisan
mission. The Association also provides special products and packages to its
members including health products, travel and leisure packages, and life
event services.

Specific products can include member discounts on rental cars,
cruises, vacation packages and lodging, special offers on technology and gifts,
pharmacy services, legal services, and long-term health care insurance. The
Association also has a charity, AARP Foundation, which provides protection,
security and empowerment for retired persons. AARP also expressly provides
HMO plans for Medicare recipients as well as PPO coverage and a
high-deductible insurance policy that can be used with a health savings account
for members aged 50 to 64. By 2014, the former American Association of Retired
Persons is projected to be the largest source of health insurance for Medicare
recipients in the country, reaching nearly 14 million members. 

Mission of Administration on Aging

Mission of Administration on Aging

The Administration on Aging, or AoA, is an organization whose goal is to serve a growing elderly population in America. The AoA ensures the continuing service of networks on state, territory and local levels by funding lower-cost, non-medical services and support systems that provide the means for senior citizens to maintain their independence.
Their mission is to develop a coordinated, comprehensive and cost-effective system of services that helps elderly citizens in this regard in their homes and communities. The Administration on Aging is a federal agency responsible for advancing the concerns and interests of older people and their caregivers.
The AoA works with the Aging Services Network to promote the development of home and community-based long-term care that is responsive to the needs and preferences of elderly Americans. The Administration on Aging is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Aging.
The elderly population in America is steadily growing. Persons 65 or over, represent 12.8% of the American population; thus, about one in every eight Americans are senior citizens. By 2030, there are projected to be 72.1 million senior citizens in America. With this large increase in the senior citizen community, the Administration on Aging continues to create and organize programs and services designed to enhance the lives of the older adult population.
Some of these programs the AoA has created are home-delivered meals programs, nutrition services in congregate settings, transportation, adult day care, legal assistance and health promotion programs. They also place ombudsmen in assisted living homes who provide an ongoing presence in long-term care facilities, monitoring care and conditions, and providing a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

American Geriatrics Society

American Geriatrics Society

The American Geriatrics Society is a non-profit organization that serves over 4,600 health professionals devoted to improving health, independence and quality of life for elderly persons. AGS provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public by establishing and supporting programs in patient care, research, professional and public education and public policies.

The American Geriatrics Society was founded in 1942 by a small group of health care professionals to encourage and promote the study of geriatric health care. Geriatric health is the branch of healthcare that concerns medicinal practices dealing especially with the problems of aging and the diseases of the elderly. The most common geriatric diseases are immobility, instability and impaired intellect/memory. Other health care issues that affect the elderly population of America are elderly care, delirium, use of multiple medications, impaired vision and hearing. 

The American Geriatrics Society’s plan for the future is to reach out to all elderly patients in the United States in order for them to receive a higher standard and quality of life. By providing health care services and By augmenting the public’s knowledge of geriatric health through a variety of initiatives that promote clinical, basic and health service research for elderly people, more citizens will be likely to seek medical assistance from health care professionals in the field of geriatrics.

Expanding the teaching of geriatric education in medical schools, in theory, will increase the number of health care professionals who practice geriatric care. Certainly, recruitment of health care professionals to geriatric health practices will help increase the number of elders who can be helped with their health problems and concerns. The American Geriatrics Society has annual meetings and newsletters that include information about geriatric health and the concerns that the organization has about health care practices in America.