Pre-Conference Events

LeadingAge PA is committed to improving the conference experience for all of our members. We are offering a full day of training dedicated to our Assisted Living (AL) and Personal Care (PC) communities!

Because we know staying current is vital to your success, we are striving to help expand your knowledge base in critical areas of responsibility in the AL/PC environment.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to gain new resources, earn continuing education credits, and network with your AL/PC peers!


Session Code: 46-P

Enhancing Outcomes and Experiences in a Post-Pandemic World
Steve Leone, Elizabeth (Beth) Sparling, Jordan Strohl, and David Uhaze


Talk about a disruptor - COVID-19 caused global disruption of how we work and live. The devastating toll on millions of lives leaves those of us in its wake with one universal resolve: we must be better prepared for the next crisis. While trends follow tendency of human behavior, disruption alters the course of that tendency and as a result, leads human behavior.   COVID-19 left us with varied perspective, reaction, and direction across the entire senior living spectrum. While the modus operandi has remained consistently set on precaution, safety, and care, operators have had to behave differently based on the unique settings in their environments.

Our recent experiences suggest the following:

  • Decentralization/personalization will accelerate. The trend towards bringing care to clients will not only continue but also accelerate. Telemedicine will take full flight and in-home services will continue to expand. We will rely even more on technology to refine and deliver an intimate level of personalized services. Technology will also afford greater socialization while simultaneously social distancing. Traditional long-term care settings will be retooled to support those that are very ill or require intensive care.
  • Experiential design hits a speed bump. The trend of creating more experiential, memorable, and pleasurable environments hit the speed bump better known as medical best practice. At the height of the pandemic, all focus on creating hospitality and/or residential oriented environments gave way to obsession over infection control. Our attention was immediately focused on finding products and systems that mitigate the spread of infection, such as door hardware, sink faucets, and HVAC systems.
  • Pivoting in place. Spaces and programs will need to be exceptionally agile, flexible, and efficient. Pivoting may be a more apt descriptor than flexibility when describing what most operators had to do when COVID-19 hit. They redirected patients, residents, and staff on the spot as they created impromptu containment, isolation, screening, and safe zones. We witnessed greater need for compartmentalization of space to accommodate isolation, observation, screening, and visitation. Facilities will be equipped with systems, products, and components providing negative air pressure, bi-polar ionization, or UV treatment, allowing those spaces to transition from normal operation to pandemic mode. Temporary pop-up space for screenings, visitation, and other social activities will remain a lingering effect. Designers will be asked to identify and allocate space outdoors whether it be a parking lot, a front lawn, or back patio.
  • Expanded outdoor living spaces. The past several years have seen an increased interest in outdoor gardens in health care settings, and COVID-19 put an exclamation point on this trend. Courtyards, patios, and gardens will continue to provide healing places where family members can spend time with.

Session Code: 47-P

Progressive Discipline and Mandatory Reporting
Timothy Ford

This presentation provides an overview of the employment discipline process.  This starts with effective and updated written policies for all employees. It will cover the importance of employee evaluations, disciplinary investigations, and the communication of disciplinary actions to employees. It will cover personnel files and the documentation of disciplinary actions. Next, all of the proper steps to manage terminations will be addressed. Finally, it will cover mandatory reporting to the Division of Consumer Affairs or appropriate licensing Board.


Session Code: 48-P

Decoded: How the Latest Building Codes are Supporting Person-Centered Care 
Amy Carpenter and Kimberly Paarlberg

In 2008, the Pioneer Network created a task force to update the building codes to better address, and allow, features of the household/small-house model in personal care/assisted living and skilled nursing care settings. The goal was to change the nation’s model building codes to consistently allow the way person-centered care wanted to be delivered and support innovation in design. Since that time, there have been many additional changes and a dedicated group of people continues to improve them. This session will focus specifically on code changes that apply to all levels of care. We will discuss the intent behind the changes, how they should be applied, and how they benefit the residents. This session will focus on the currently adopted ICC code edition (2015 statewide/2018 in Philadelphia), but will also look ahead at what is coming in the next two editions. In addition, we will cover the 2012 NFPA 101, how it differs from the I-codes, and changes being proposed to the ICC/ANSI A117.1 accessibility standard. Code subjects discussed will include:
• Spaces open to the corridor.
• Household kitchens open to dining and other spaces.
• New categories in I-1 and I-2 occupancies.
• Accessibility alternatives for older adults.
• Fireplaces and decorations.
• Where are handrails required.
• Common inspection failures and how to prevent them.
• And more!


Session Code: 49-P

Bullying Among Older Adults: Not Just a Playground Problem
Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP

Bullying, defined as “a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others,” is an increasingly common problem among seniors. While the communal living nature of senior living communities can open the door for socialization and friendship, it can also be the location of cliques, gossip, abuse, and bullying behavior. It is estimated that between 10% and 20% of older adults living in senior living communities are mistreated by their peers, and often the behavior goes unreported or unnoticed by staff. 

Unfortunately, bullying is not just exhibited on the playground, it is a behavior that spans multiple demographics and age groups. In this session, participants will learn the definition and incidence of bullying in adult living communities and day centers, including what older adult bullying looks like among this population. Characteristics of older adult bullies as well their targets and gender differences will be explored. The reasons why bullying occurs, as well as the five different types of bullies, will be defined. 

The impact of bullying is detrimental to the health and well-being of our seniors. Even one instance can have a lasting impact! Therefore, it not enough just to define bullying – communities need to know the warning signs, the physical and emotional impact, and what to do if it happens to them. Therefore, interventions for the organization, the bully, and the target will be reviewed to help communities minimize (and prevent where possible) bullying and mitigate the effects on the target. Addressing bullying behavior among older adults is critically important for enhancing quality of life and promoting emotional well-being. Strategies to create caring and empathic communities for all residents and staff members are reviewed. 

Session Code: 50-P

Together We Can: Impact Suicide and Despair in Transition Elderly 
Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP

Acts of suicide, ideation, and self-harm later life is a highly prevalent, but minimally researched and uncomfortably discussed topic in the United States.  Yet the older adult presents with many or all of the primary risk factors: mental illness (especially depression and grief/loss), medical illness, impaired coping skills, social disconnectedness, and functional impairment.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, stress, anxiety, fear, and sadness can all exacerbate or result in symptoms of depression.  Furthermore, life transitions experienced by the elderly--including changes in housing of oneself or one’s spouse--exacerbate the risk, making the transition to assisted living or long-term care a crucial point to deliver screening and intervention.

With depression as a third-level split in the PDPM Special Care High category, how prepared are you and your staff to address the identification of depression in the elderly population, and what signs go beyond depression to reveal active suicidal or self-harm risk?  This session will discuss the prevalence of suicidality in long-term care settings, the signs and behaviors that point to elevated risk, steps to improve the comfort and ability of staff to conduct effective interviews and risk assessments, the particularly high risks facing the incoming Baby Boomer population, and additional tips for addressing depression in this pivotal time.  

10-11 a.m. Enhancing Outcomes and Experiences in a Post-Pandemic World Steve Leone, Elizabeth (Beth) Sparling, Jordan Strohl, and David Uhaze
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Progressive Discipline and Mandatory Reporting Timothy Ford
1-2 p.m. Decoded: How the Latest Building Codes are Supporting Person-Centered Care  Amy Carpenter and Kimberly Paarlberg
2:15-3:15 p.m. Bullying Among Older Adults: Not Just a Playground Problem Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP
3:30-4:30 p.m. Together We Can: Impact Suicide and Despair in Transition Elderly
Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP


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