Max B. Rothman, JD, LL.M.
As the Area Agency on Aging for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, the Alliance serves as the administrative funding hub for $35 million in state and federal money for home- and community-based services. The Alliance is responsible for ensuring program integrity and fiscal accountability among subcontractors providing direct services through a system of competitive awards, contract management, program monitoring and technical assistance. In the past year, more than 77,000 people received home- and community-based services through our network.
The goal of our system is to allow older adults to “age in place.” Using state and federal funds, providers in the Alliance’s network ensure that elders in need – particularly those who are low-income, disabled, living alone – receive home- and community-based services, thereby reducing the risk that they will be placed in a nursing home. As a result, the area served by the Alliance has the lowest rate of Medicaid nursing home utilization in the state.
Our Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) serves as the single point of access for information on services available not only to older adults, but also to adults with disabilities, as well as to their caregivers. The ADRC handled over 75,000 calls in 2014. With the shift to Medicaid Managed Long Term Care, calls into the ADRC have nearly tripled. ADRC staff assists clients with eligibility determination for state and federally-funded long-term care programs.
The SHINE program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) provides un-biased counseling concerning Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance. In 2014, volunteers under the SHINE program reached 30,000 individuals through participation in events and outreach, group presentations, and individual counseling.
In 2014, the Alliance was awarded two Aging Achievement Awards from n4a for its Caregiver Project and its Older Adult Financial Protection initiative. The Caregiver program integrates the Alliance’s specialized knowledge and experience about caregiving and supportive services together with funded community programs that address specific needs of families caring for frail older members. The Older Adult Financial Protection initiative created the Older Adult Financial Protection Consortium of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties to engage stakeholders and bring diverse organizations together to develop and implement financial exploitation prevention strategies. Since 2009 the Alliance has received one Innovations Award and 10 Achievement Awards from n4a for its cutting-edge programs.
The Alliance is one of only four area agencies in Florida to provide the Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services Program, which allows veterans with service-related disabilities to live more independently in their communities and avoid costly nursing home placement by recruiting and hiring their own caregivers.
Addressing the “grey digital divide” between elders and technology, the Alliance created a program to increase access to the internet and broadband technology for elders who are often socially isolated and unable to access information in the community.
The Alliance is also committed to providing work opportunities for older adults. We have partnered with ReServe, a program recruiting older professionals to contribute their skills to local nonprofit organizations, and with organizations that administer the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which matches low-income older adults with nonprofits that can provide training in job-related skills that enhance opportunities for employment. In 2013, the Alliance for Aging received the Department of Elder Affairs’ Soaring Eagle Award for having a strong record of training and hiring SCSEP participants and for having elder-friendly policies.
The Alliance partnered with the City of Miami Gardens to join the n4a Livable Communities for All Ages Learning Collaborative. The purpose of the collaborative was to seek creative solutions for issues affecting older adults by training volunteer teams to develop a sustainable home repair program, and age sensitivity training for government agencies and local businesses. The collaborative was able to lay the groundwork for future efforts by educating a group of interested community members about how these programs are funded, developed, and implemented.
The Safe Steps-Pasos Seguros program continues to promote elder pedestrian safety through workshops in the community and a media campaign with public service announcements in English and Spanish. A policy outreach component informs elected officials and other decision-makers about strategies to lower the rate of elder pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
We continue to seek new, innovative ways to address the needs of elders in our community and to carry out our mission of promoting and advocating for the optimal quality of life for older adults and their families.