Nevada Senior Services Awarded 2016 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award at National Summit

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Nevada Senior Services, Inc., was named the 2016 winner of the Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award and presented with a $15,000 cash award at the Rosalynn Carter Institute’s National Summit Oct. 21. The award is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and named in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Named in honor of a great humanitarian, the Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award is the highest award given in the caregiving field. This year’s winner, Nevada Senior Services (NSS), Inc., was announced Friday, Oct. 21 at the Rosalynn Carter Institute’s (RCI) National Summit and presented with a $15,000 cash award, generously donated by Johnson & Johnson.

“We are honored and touched to be selected for this prestigious award ” stated Jeffrey Klein, president and CEO of NSS. “Both our organizations share the important mission of supporting the unsung heroes, our caregivers, with effective and accessible evidence-based programing to keep vulnerable individuals in the community with the people who lovingly care for them .”

Klein said NSS will use the award funds to launch Operation Family Caregiver – one of the RCI’s fastest-growing initiatives. Operation Family Caregiver will provide coaching to the families and friends of service members and veterans throughout Nevada to manage difficult transitions.

“Approximately 44 million unpaid family caregivers deliver the majority of support as well as long-term services to their loved ones,” said Leisa Easom, Ph.D., executive director of the RCI. “Future predictions indicate that the number of caregivers will shrink while care recipients will increase. We must re-envision the support for caregivers and assure that they thrive in their caregiving journey. As a nation, we must work together and move forward to address our caregiving crisis just as Nevada Senior Services is doing.”

In October 2010, the RCI released “Averting the Caregiving Crisis: Why We Must Act Now”, a position paper outlining twelve recommendations for addressing our nation’s caregiving crisis. To sharpen the focus, they restated the original recommendations as six strategic initiatives in “Averting the Caregiving Crisis: An Update”.

The Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award is given to the individual or organization that has taken concrete action in making these initiatives a reality. Here is a snapshot of the work NSS has achieved in all six initiatives:

  • Nevada Senior Services has established the Care Partner Institute to focus on creating a comprehensive tool box of resources to offer support throughout a caregiver’s journey. Through this Institute, a comprehensive menu of community-based caregiver supports are offered, including three national program offerings of the RCI; RCI REACH (Resources Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health), BRI (Benjamin Rose Institute) Care Consultation, and “Caring for You, Caring for Me.” Nevada Senior Services will launch the RCI’s Operation Family Caregiver program in early 2017.
  • All individuals contacting NSS are assessed using a newly implemented standardized assessment protocol. This ensures that they are placed into the most appropriate service for their level of need, whether it be information and referral, caregiver workshops and support groups, respite services, options counseling, care transitions, case management, or an evidence-based program.
  • During the 2015 session of the Nevada Legislature, NSS spearheaded a robust initiative to focus on the critical needs of the state’s older population. The Subcommittee on Legislative Issues hosted a “Senior Issues” event and published an in-depth report “Elder Issues in Nevada”, which was distributed during follow up face-to-face meetings with legislators. Priority issues identified for continued focus are Medicaid waiver slots, provider rates, the CARE Act, legal issues and guardianship.
  • The challenge for all community-based aging services providers is to build a sustainable funding base to ensure the continuation and growth of their programs. NSS has demonstrated its commitment to identifying means to continue grant-funded initiatives that have proven to be effective.
  • Nevada Senior Services has expanded their service area to include urban, rural, and frontier areas. This has allowed vulnerable seniors to remain in their homes and within their local communities where they can continue to participate in community life. This “normalizing” of the aging process has benefited not only the individual and their care partners receiving the services, but the entire community.

In addition to the cash award, NSS also received a beautiful statuette originally commissioned by former RCI Board member, Val Halamandaris, and executed by renowned sculptor Frank Eliscu, designer of the Heisman Trophy.

ABOUT THE ROSALYNN CARTER INSTITUTE FOR CAREGIVING
Located in Americus, Ga., the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving is a division of Georgia Southwestern State University. The RCI was established in 1987 in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a GSW alumna who serves as president of the Institute's Board of Advisors. RCI establishes local, state, national, and international partnerships committed to building quality, long- term, home and community-based services. It advocates for evidence-based research to address the strain and burdens associated with family, volunteer, and professional caregiving. For additional information about the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and its programs, visit http://www.rosalynncarter.org or call (229) 928-1234.

ABOUT NEVADA SENIOR SERVICES
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada Senior Services is a caregiver service organization that provides mild and moderate memory loss programs, comprehensive geriatric assessment, caregiver support groups, case management, creative aging services, chronic disease self-management, RCI REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer Caregiver Health), lied senior living apartments, home modifications and other services. Learn more at http://www.nevadaseniorservices.org.

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Stephen Snyder
Georgia Southwestern State University
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