February 01, 2017: Let's Open Doors!

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Let’s Open Doors is a public education and advocacy campaign co-founded by Drs. Louis and Gail Mottola.

The couple experienced the need due to Lou’s Parkinson Disease Dementia, a result of Agent Orange from his service in Vietnam. Still wanting to contribute to society, they realized that outdated doors created unnecessary hazards for those needing adaptive equipment at whatever age.

Our mission is to support the civil right of equal access for persons with disabilities and the aging population by advocating the accessibility of all entry doors.

By joining with other organizations, profit and non-profit, together with  individuals and public entities, Let’s Open Doors strives to influence the voluntary alteration of entry doors  to comply with guidelines of the 1990 American Disabilities Act.

Public commercial properties and medical offices offer goods and services for all persons, but a substantial number of entry doors act as barriers for our aging population, persons with disabilities and parents with children in strollers.

Panel-like shaped handles, common in Hampton Roads, are dangerous to anyone using a walker or wheelchair. Modern accessible handles for exterior doors are tubular (loop-type).  Door pressure has a positive or negative impact on a person’s legs or back, depending how difficult to open and how fast the door’s closing occurs. Today’s doors have pressure assisted features, less difficult to open safely and are slower to close.  Kinder still are automatic doors which open without touch, or by pushing a handicap button.

Though automation is the best solution, changing only handles and the door pressure can eliminate the barrier to goods and service.

Alterations are a “win-win” solution for both commerce and PATRONS.  By speaking out, people can remain with their same doctor or patronize the stores and restaurants chosen before having any disability. By choosing to alter entry doors, the businessman can take a nearly 50% federal tax credit, up to $10,000 or $15,000 per year for disability alterations.  By recognizing a market of $220 billion nationally, 56 million people or 18% of our population are better served as valuable citizens who have equal rights to goods and services.

The first organization to adopt this campaign  was the Hampton Roads Parkinsons Chapter and  included sending 600 Hampton Roads businesses a postcard, asking minimal cooperation by greeting those needing assistance at their entry doors.  “Many owners have done more by changing door handles or the doors themselves,” said Dr. Gail Mottola. “Now we are asking other organizations to join us in this campaign.”  Ann Perkins, outgoing President of Hampton Roads Parkinson Chapter, added, “We are pleased as we hear from members and others who watch for changes, that in fact, changes are happening.”  Incoming President Don Bradway emphasized, “We gratefully encourage all owners to make the change.” 

Contact Information: 

Dr. Gail Mottola, Executive Director

Let’s Open Doors

letsopendoors.net

(info@letsopendoors.net)

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"Virginia Adult Protective Services: What they CAN and CANNOT do," was presented by Carey Raleigh, Eastern Region Adult Protective Services Program Consultant, The Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services at the January SANG and Lunch & Learn meetings.  Below is a copy of her presentation.  

Click HERE to view the PowerPoint presentation.

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Golden opportunities:
Looking for a way to meet new people? Single senior events can help break the ice.

Please click here for a link to this article.

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NEWPORT NEWS, VA. Riverside Health System became the first provider of Community-Based Continuing Care (CBCC) in Virginia in late 2012 and now, in partnership with Williamsburg Landing, will offer its program – ChooseHome – to residents throughout the Williamsburg and Newport News region.

Also known as life care at home, CBCC programs provide services and benefits to independent older adults who wish to remain in their homes but want to have access to a safety net of continuing care services as well as control over the cost of long-term care.

“Our vision is to help people age in a place of their choosing,” said Bob Bryant, Senior Vice President for Lifelong Health and Aging Related Services at Riverside. “With ChooseHome, we’re able to offer residents in our community the ability to stay in their homes and still have access to the high quality services and healthcare they need, while also protecting their finances. Riverside is proud to be the first in Virginia to offer this program.”

Recognizing needs in the community, Virginia leaders adopted legislation in 2012 allowing for the creation of CBCCs in the Commonwealth, adding them to the programs regulated by the state through the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, the same organization that oversees continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

ChooseHome is offered to residents 60 and older, who currently live independently and want to have a plan for what their future long-term care needs may be. The program then partners with clients to offer the individualized support necessary to remain living in one’s own home safely and comfortably for as long as possible, potentially for life. 

The program is not a house calls program where a physician visits residents in their home, which Riverside does offer in select regions, but is one that helps older adults plan for and coordinate their long-term care through their relationship with a Personal Services Coordinator. The coordinators work with members to identify their goals, develop strategies to achieve them, and then orchestrate all the services that may be needed to support those goals.

The partnership between Riverside and Williamsburg Landing allows ChooseHome to draw from the vast array of quality services that both organizations already offer to the community including: home care, in-home technology, and priority access to facility-based care should the participant require a higher level of care in the future, such as assisted living or 24-hour nursing care.

“Williamsburg Landing is a well respected community and adheres to the same high standards that we have at Riverside,” said Jennifer Roberts, Director for the Riverside ChooseHome program.

The partnership, she added, was a natural fit.

“Williamsburg has one of the highest concentrations of seniors in Virginia,” said  Steve Montgomery, President and CEO of Williamsburg Landing, on the benefits of the partnership with Riverside.

Together, Montgomery said, Riverside and Williamsburg Landing can provide “greater access to the program for the residents of Williamsburg. Our Board of Directors has been assessing the growing numbers of seniors in Williamsburg and realized the need for additional services to help older adults as they age in place. A joint venture with Riverside to sponsor ChooseHome is the best solution to help the seniors in the community.”

Riverside and Williamsburg Landing have long worked together to help older adults reach the best medical care in Williamsburg. For the past three and a half years, Riverside has provided the physician services for Williamsburg Landing. “It has been a strong relationship that works well for our residents,” Montgomery said, “and has provided a base for partnering for ChooseHome.

For more information about Riverside and Williamsburg Landing’s ChooseHome program, call 757.585.2654, email choosehome@rivhs.com or visit www.choosehome.com.   

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"Palliative Care Versus Curative Medicine," was presented by Dr. Vicki Wilhelm, Medical Director - Sentara Hospice, at the April Senior Advocate SANG meeting.  Attached is a copy of her presentation.  

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"Health Care & Eligibility for Veterans," was presented by Jeffrey Pearson and Carvin Harmon with the Hampton VA Medical Center.  Below is their power point presentation, which includes a wealth of contact names and numbers.  

Download a PowerPoint of the presentation.

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"Commonwealth Coordinated Care - Medicare & Medicaid working together for you," was presented by Sarah Broughton and Patti Davidson from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services on March 11 at the Senior Advocate Network Group meeting (SANG.)  Attached is their presentation.  

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"The Affordable Care Act and It's Impact on Clients with Special Needs and the Elderly," was presented by Andrew Hook, founder, Hook Law Center at the November 21 Lunch & Learn.  View his presentation HERE

September 26, 2013: September 19 Lunch & Learn meeting

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"Coordination of Referrals for Patients Being Discharged," was presented at the September 19 Lunch & Learn meeting at Lake Prince Woods by Sherry Parker, Manager of Social Work Services and Sally Sekowski, Director of Care Coordination, Sentara Healthcare.  
To view their Power Point presentation, click here:

"Coordination of Referrals for Patients Being Discharged," was presented at the September 19 Lunch & Learn meeting at Lake Prince Woods by Sherry Parker, Manager of Social Work Services and Sally Sekowski, Director of Care Coordination, Sentara Healthcare.  
To download their Power Point presentation, click here.

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Did you know that a power of attorney is no longer valid once the person it was written for passes away?  
Or that many people write their funeral plans in a will, but most wills are typically not read until a week of more after death occurs?
July Lunch & Learn: "Funeral Facts that We all Need to Know," presented by Katie Cecillia of Woodlawn Funeral Homes.  
If you missed our July Lunch & Learn Program, you can view Katie's power point presentation here.  

Did you know that a power of attorney is no longer valid once the person it was written for passes away?

 
Or that many people write their funeral plans in a will, but most wills are typically not read until a week of more after death occurs?


July Lunch & Learn: "Funeral Facts that We all Need to Know," presented by Katie Cecillia of Woodlawn Funeral Homes.  
If you missed our July Lunch & Learn Program, you can view Katie's power point presentation here.