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Quality Assurance

HCBS Quality and Risk Mitigation Webinars

IDoA, with its provider network, continues to promote independence, dignity, and quality of life to older adults in Illinois. Providing continued educational opportunities through the Quality Webinar platform is a vital piece of this mission when serving older adults through the provision of home and community-based services under the Medicaid Program. This ongoing webinar series provides an opportunity for professionals with similar goals to share their knowledge and experiences to enhance our network's understanding of successful risk mitigation and best-practice approaches.  

Share strategies of self-care for the caregiver, including the use of a care giving team and productive communication techniques to reduce stress and possible burnout.

Learn more how you can provide the best support to your clients by referring them to an opportunity to better manage their health and increase their independence!  The Illinois Pathways to Health is a statewide network hub of evidence-based programs to help improve the health and wellness of older adults and adults with disabilities throughout the state of Illinois. Programs are all recognized by the ACL as highest tier evidence based and have proven to improve participants' health and wellness. Programs include Take Charge of Your Health and Take Charge of your Diabetes, six-week workshops that teach participants skills to better manage their conditions. We also offer three different fall prevention interventions- Tai Chi for Arthritis, Matter of Balance and Bingocize. Workshops are offered in both English and Spanish and facilitated virtually and in person when allowable.  

Illinois Department on Aging Virtual Conference II (3.30.21)

The Illinois Department on Aging's second virtual conference, Blending Health, Mind and Community included presentations on how the effects of COVID-19 and social distancing have increased the need for self-care and mindfulness. Presenters provided insight into stress, trauma and crisis mitigation while promoting hope and healing.

Welcome message from Illinois Department of Public Health's Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike:

Director Basta's opening remarks:

Thriving in a Tridemic: Supporting the Resilience of Aging Minorities:

Sustaining Hope to Build Resiliency:

The Companionship Movement, a Practice of Presence:

Caregivers Staying Connected at a Distance:  

Helping Professionals as Ministers of Healing: Serving Older Adults During COVID-19:

Examine the mixed emotions, the losses, and the changes in relationships (with family members, with a spouse, with themselves) that a caregiver experiences while caring for a loved one.

In recent years, the abuse of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs among older adults has been increasing. Also, there is a growing proportion of individuals in the U.S. who are near or in retirement, and a larger cohort of 'Baby Boomers' who will reach later life in the coming decades. There is growing evidence that older adults today drink alcohol, and abuse prescription and illicit drugs, at higher levels than previously reported. This webinar will highlight key recommendations in the recently-published SAMHSA Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #26: Treatment of Substance Use Disorder in Older Adults, and will focus on the nature and extent of substance use and abuse in later life, best-practices for screening and identification of late-life substance abuse, and brief motivational intervention strategies targeting older adults who misuse substances.

This presentation offered participants the most current information about COVID-19.  By attending this presentation, participants have a better understanding of the science of COVID-19 and the vaccines.  Shared knowledge about the vaccine included information about the science behind the vaccine, side effects of the vaccine and the importance of getting the vaccine. 

'Using alcohol to cope' places many older adults at heightened risk for negative consequences, especially with social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. This webinar will highlight the special risks of drinking among older individuals and how these risks are heightened over the holidays. Strategies that promote wellness which do not depend on alcohol consumption will be discussed.

In this presentation, participants explore what stress is and how it is affecting themselves and those they care for during the unsettling times we are living in. Topics covered include responses to stress and grief arising out of the pandemic, ways to combat isolation and how important it is to create the "new normal" necessary to cope with the unprecedented situation we are all facing. 

Illinois Department on Aging Virtual Conference (10.15.20)

The Illinois Department on Aging's first-ever virtual conference included presentations on COVID-19 and the public health emergency, strategies for dealing with traumatic circumstances, and a panel discussion led by members of the Aging Network.  This conference provided the most up to date information available regarding the virus and practical ideas for those who care for and/or administer services to seniors. The sessions can be accessed utilizing the individual links below. 

Recorded Message from Governor Pritzker & Opening Remarks by Director Paula Basta:

Public Health & COVID-19:

Grieving the Loss of Normal Life in the Face of Pandemic(s):

Adaptability & Creativity during COVID-19:

Mindfulness: The Art & Science of Cultivating Resilience:  

Senior Illinois Hall of Fame & Engaging Aging Awards:

The Illinois Department of Aging welcomed the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – better known as DBSA – to present on October 1, 2020.  DBSA is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2020 and is most known for hundreds of support groups, nationwide.  DBSA is the leading organization which focuses on the voice of the peer and those with lived experience.  Support groups and peer support specialists are what DBSA knows best and they are offering guidance for referrals in order for Illinois' senior population to tap into these services for greater levels of mental health and wellness – now needed more than ever during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

Webinar Regarding COVID-19: II - Update as of August 2020 (8.27.20)
Based on August 2020 data, Dr. Anthony J. Perry, Vice-President for Ambulatory Transformation at Rush University Medical Center and a board member of Age Options, returns with an update to his highly informational March 19, 2020 Webinar on COVID-19. In addition to the most current information available, Dr. Perry explains how isolated older adults are more vulnerable, the impact of COVID-19 on various race/ethnicities, and the importance of engaging with seniors living at home. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Perry back to share the latest information and guidelines regarding the effect of COVID-19 on older adults.

In the past few months, our society has changed dramatically. We continue to practice social distancing and other safety measures, which has affected the way we live and work. We face many challenges right now that cause a lot of unease and stress. With stress identified as a global health epidemic, along with the addition of an ever-changing pandemic, it is now more important than ever to identify and build resiliency skills to manage and thrive at home and in the workplace. There will also be health and safety guidelines to consider as we plan to re-engage with participants of older adult services. This session focuses on the characteristics of resilient people and explores strategies for building self-resilience and practicing self-care. Re-engagement with service participants will also be discussed – balancing the need for safety measures while re-building relationships – both seen as critical components for a successful transition.

Due to the risk for contracting the Coronavirus, social distancing and "sheltering at home" have become the new normal. Many older adults are staying home as much as possible and limiting in-person contact to protect themselves. As a result they are experiencing an even greater risk of social isolation and feelings of being disconnected. This quality webinar increases and enhances social connections while practicing social distancing. It also provides the tips and resources needed to increase virtual socialization while still "sheltering at home." 

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals.  It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues. Please join the webinar to receive an overview of the program.

Seniors are at risk for social isolation which is heightened by the current COVID-19 pandemic. A person's mental health is tested without regular social interactions. Guest presenter, Erin Emery-Tiburcio, PhD, ABPP, is an associate professor of Geriatric and Rehabilitation Psychology and Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Aging at Rush University Medical Center.  

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Department realizes the critical importance of using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to further ensure the health, safety and welfare of the workforce AND those we serve.  While PPE can greatly reduce risk, it is important that PPE be worn, handled and disposed of properly for this to occur.  

This COVID 19 virus webinar will explain the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control related to COVID 19 control, provide current up to date information about the spread, and discuss the use of universal precautions in home and community settings.

Social connections may equal increased health while creative aging programs may equal healthier lives. The director of a social connection program explains how the quality and type of connection matter, as well as the benefits of connection programs, social calls, and accessibility to people and resources. A link is included to an example catalog of such programs.

“Who is making the decisions when it comes to decisional capacity?” and “What ethical issues can arise?” An attorney leads us through these questions while reviewing the Health Care Surrogate Act, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, and ‘Autonomy verses Protection.’

Parkinson’s Disease is the 2nd most common degenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. This presentation introduces the TULIPS Acronym: A framework for Parkinson Disease Education which focuses on: Time, Understanding, Quality of Life, Increased Awareness, Pills on Time, and Support. Examples of support services and references are given.

Reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults in Illinois is the focus of this presentation which includes: a self-assessment checklist, a loneliness scale, examples of how physical health is affected by social isolation, and available assistance within the 12 Area Agencies on Aging covering every county in Illinois. Also included are activities to combat social isolation, links to applicable topics, and numerous references.

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, and/or behavior.  This presentation will improve our understanding of how older adults are impacted, will assist in recognizing the signs and symptoms, and will share interventions and tools for working with them.  

A nutritionist identifies the association between poor nutrition/malnutrition and the quality of life, lists the steps to follow when someone is at high nutritional risk, and gives additional resources to help address malnutrition.

A clinical psychiatric pharmacist identifies general categories of mental health difficulties and the common barriers to medication compliance.

Hospice programs and the Illinois Department on Aging work together to promote the dignity, choices, and rights of older adults in Illinois.

Visiting nurse practitioners lead us through the warning signs and symptoms for dehydration as well as the prevention strategies, treatment guidelines, and appropriate interventions.

A physician introduces the clinical tools and functional assessments that can be used to reduce fall risk among older adults. One example includes the STEADI Initiative (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) which was developed for healthcare providers who treat older adults.

IDoA Quality Assurance Staff review resources that can assess, measure, and respond to preventable falls. This presentation recognizes the tools which can be used to problem solve and where mitigation efforts can be effective in the home.

A Doctor of Pharmacology reviews common medications that increase fall risk, factors that increase the risk of falls, and the best practices to address medication intervention for fall prevention.

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