LeadingAge and CAST had a very exciting Dec. 19!

LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix and I began the day by making presentations at a Public Workshop on Fostering Independence and Healthy Aging through Technology. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence convened the workshop.

Larry is a member of the Forum, which brings together stakeholders in the aging and disability worlds. The group’s mission is to identify barriers standing in the way of independence for older adults and people with disabilities, and to explore strategies to remove those barriers.

Larry introduced our good friend Steve Saling to his IOM colleagues. Steve, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), helped design and currently lives at the Leonard Florence Center for Living, a LeadingAge member in Chelsea, MA. A variety of technology solutions help Steve remain active and engaged despite his physical challenges.

It was great to have Steve at the meeting. He is a convincing advocate for the important role technology can play in fostering independence among people of all ages.

Premiere of CAST’s Vision Video

During my remarks, I highlighted the findings of the Aging Services Technologies Study, which CAST co-led and co-authored with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Then, Larry and I officially unveiled CAST’s highly anticipated vision video, High-Tech Aging: Improving Lives Today.

As you know, CAST has been developing this video over the past few months, with help from many of you. It was truly exciting to hold its premiere at such a prestigious gathering of experts and advocates for older adults and people with disabilities. 

I know the video’s primary message – that “affordable commercially available technology can facilitate coordinated care and independence today” – resonated with workshop participants.

Our video tells the story of Alma, an 83-year-old woman whose journey from home to hospital, rehabilitation and back home is assisted by technology. I strongly believe that your staff, residents, board members and strategic partners will gain important insights from the video. 

Please share it with them. You can easily download the video from the LeadingAge.org.

CAST Commission Report

The IOM workshop, CAST video and Aging Services Technologies Study were among the many topics that the CAST Commissioners discussed at their October meeting in Denver. A summary of the Commission meeting can be found in a new report entitled Abundant Opportunity: How Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Providers Can Contribute to Reforming the Nation’s Health Care System. I hope you will review it and send me your thoughts about the Commission’s discussions.  

CAST Case Study

Each month, Tech Time highlights one case study from Preparing for the Future: Developing Technology-Enabled Long-Term Services and Supports for a New Population of Older Adults. This month's case study is about Providence Life Services, a LeadingAge member and CAST Patron in Tinley Park, IL. I hope you will read this case study and integrate some of its lessons into your own planning.

Workgroup on Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

CAST is proud of our case study collection and of our EHR Portfolio, which you can use to select the right EHR for your organization.

If you liked these products, you will be pleased to know that CAST is launching a new project to develop tools for providers interested in implementing telehealth and remote patient monitoring solutions. 

We are planning to begin this project by convening a workgroup of providers and technology company representatives. Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this workgroup.

Issue Highlights

I hope you enjoy this issue of Tech Time. In particular, I urge you to read about the great things that CAST Supporters and Business Associates are doing in their own communities and markets.

Finally, all of your friends at CAST wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year! As always, please contact me with any comments or questions.

LeadingAge CAST has just released, "High-Tech Aging: Improving Lives Today," a vision video that shows how current technology can facilitate coordinated care and aging in place. The video demonstrates the possibilities through the story of Alma, an 83-year-old woman whose journey from home to hospital, rehabilitation and back home is assisted by technology. 

Full Version of High-Tech Aging




Two-Minute Version of High-Tech Aging








Download High-Tech Aging

You may also want to download the movie. We offer 2 versions of each movie: A .WMV file, which is easily embedded in PowerPoint presentations, and an .MP4 file. When you click below on your version's link, a zip file will begin downloading.

Download the 10-minute version (.wmv) (.mp4).

Download the 2-minute version (.wmv) (.mp4).

Companion Articles 

This ongoing 12-part series that will examine the host of aging services technologies that were highlighted in the video.


More About the Film

"High-Tech Aging: Improving Lives Today" is a follow-up to "Imagine -- The Future of Aging," which chronicled an older gentleman's technology-enhanced care and was released in 2005. 

That video included computer-generated technologies that were not available for purchase. All of the videos in High-Tech Aging are currently on the market, though infrequently used together.

LeadingAge CAST acknowledges the generous support of the following organizations, whose support made this video possible:


American Baptist Homes of The West

Care Innovations™, an Intel-GEcompany

Front Porch Communities and Services and the Front Porch Center for Technology Innovation & Wellbeing

Western Home Communities

Selfhelp Innovations, a program of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

CEA Foundation

Asbury Retirement Communities

Lutheran Homes of South Carolina

The video was filmed on location at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD.


As a LeadingAge staff member, I have visited several members but rarely had the chance to spend more than a day or part of a day at a member organization.  That changed for me this week as I spent Monday-Friday at Asbury Methodist Village for the filming of an upcoming CAST video that will be the sequel to Imagine -- the Future of Aging.

Our video will chronicle an 83-year-old woman named Alma as she lives independently, suffers a stroke, goes to a hospital, then rehab and then back home. Throughout, technology supports care coordination and aging in place. Asbury was the most accommodating hosts we could ever imagine. They gave us full access to a vacant apartment to use as the set for our video,  In addition, Alma became a temporary fixture at Asbury. She participated in an exercise class, did some therapy in the physical therapy lab and walked through the corridors and common areas.

With Asbury's help, we created an electronic medical record for Alma and furnished her apartment with home monitoring and telehealth technologies. One of the most difficult parts was helping us stage a room in their nursing home to look like a hospital room. Because of its commitment to culture change, Asbury has no bed rails or tray tables. All rooms have carpet and home-like decorations. We had to import most of the hospital furnishings from the outside.

Having interacted with many residents and staff, I was struck by how the culture change commitment pervades throughout the organization. Everywhere I went, I saw staff members hugging residents, having informal conversations before beginning to clean apartments or drive shuttle buses, and genuinely enjoying each other's company. It is a massive campus, but you could feel the strong sense of community. 

I was also taken with how technology facilitates quality and culture at Asbury. The electronic medical record is extensive and includes touch screen kiosks for direct care staff. Residents use a virtual reality program for therapy and many wear safety pendants. Asbury is always looking to advance its technology portfolio.  One of the technologies we used in the video will stay there for a demonstration and potential implementation as part of their therapy suite.

The furniture in the apartment we used was left by a resident who moved out to be donated to the CCRC's "Bargain Mart." There, other residents can purchase furniture and other home furnishings and all proceeds are donated to Asbury's foundation. I met a gentleman in an elevator who was carrying a lamp he had just purchased and he was very pleased to have found this treasure. I made a mental note to make a donation to the foundation.    

We are grateful to Asbury for assisting with the production, and I am personally grateful to Asbury for reminding me why I love working on behalf of not-for-profit aging services.


This is the 18th in a series of case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.

You can check out the full Presbyterian SeniorCare’s case study or continue reading the summary below.

The Organization

Founded in 1928, Presbyterian SeniorCare (PSC) is the largest provider of care and services to older adults in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Its world-renowned Woodside Place offers care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias while its SeniorCare Network affiliate manages or owns more than 45 affordable apartment communities in nine counties. 

SeniorCare at Home provides non-medical, private-duty care that focuses on in-home assistance with activities of daily living.

The Approach

PSC is preparing to extend its services into the homes of older people living in the community. Preliminary plans call for integrating a variety of technology devices into the organization’s non-medical home care agency and into an adult day health program that the organization is now expanding.


PSC hopes to expand its use of technology by deploying non-medical technology solutions through its private-duty home care agency, expanding the scope of its adult day health program by equipping client homes with remote monitoring technology systems and using in-home technology as a tool to better integrate its HCBS services into the process of nursing home discharges to a Medicare Home Health Agency (HHA) and long-term HCBS services.

Business Case

PSC is exploring a variety of remote monitoring systems and various personal emergency response systems, medication management systems, fall detectors and GPS locators. No single company has the exact solution to meet the needs of PSC clients. Additionally, the organization has had difficulty calculating a return on investment (ROI) for these technologies.

PSC does not perceive much value-add to the organization with a remote monitoring business model in which third-party vendors install remote monitoring systems, perform “backroom” monitoring and data collection functions, and collect the fees that consumers pay for the service. It is difficult to calculate a hard ROI to PSC as a pass-through referral source. 

The organization is exploring several alternative strategies that could help it make a business case for remote monitoring.

You can also view all 18 case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.

Since 2003, Ecumen has expanded its reach be­yond its bricks-and-mortar campuses in an effort to establish a market niche among older consum­ers living in their own homes. The organization’s mission to empower older people and help them remain independent led to the adoption of a variety of technology products and services.

This is the 16th in a series of case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.

You can check out the full MorseLife case study or continue reading the summary below.

The Organization
MorseLife is a non-sectarian,charitable organization that cares for seniors in various settings, including its long-term care facility, short-term rehabilitation center, independent and assisted living residence, and through home and community-based services (HCBS) that enable seniors to age in place. 

The organization also conducts research designed to develop best practices in the care of current and future seniors. The programs conducted on MorseLife’s 37-acre campus serve between 400 and 500 individuals on any given day. 

Thanks to an expanding HCBS program, MorseLife serves four times as many people in the community surrounding the campus.

MorseLife employs a variety of technologies in its provision of services and supports:

  • Remote monitoring technology, including Cybernet Medical’s MedStar.
  • Therapeutic recreation technologies, including “It’s Never 2 Late.”
  • Cognitive rehabilitation technology such as Dakim Brain Fitness software.

MorseLife also uses a paperless employment application process, has installed wireless networking technology throughout the MorseLife campus in preparation for the deployment of an electronic health record (EHR) system; and uses care documentation software, including CareTracker and Casamba.

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2009, MorseLife immediately understood that the historic health reform legislation would have an impact on providers of long-term services and supports. The organization worked with Artower Associates, a group of advisors formerly associated with Dixon Hughes, to improve its understanding of the law’s components. 

This education process led to a summer retreat in 2010, during which the MorseLife’s 45-member management council recommended a collection of strategic initiatives that the organization should pursue in order to participate fully in health reform initiatives. 

As part of these efforts, MorseLife has worked hard to develop relationships with hospitals and physician groups and to position itself as a useful partner that can help reduce local hospital readmission rates. 

To complement this effort, the organization developed new clinical pathways for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, hip and knee replacements, and stroke. MorseLife is also taking steps to track critical outcomes and readmission data that can help the organization promote itself as a potential collaborator in any ACO that is established as part of health reform.

Business Case
MorseLife spent over $350,000 on information technology in 2010, a figure that represents one third of its capital budget. This included wiring the campus for Internet, purchasing Care-Tracker and Casamba, and providing smart phones for management staff.

You can also view all 18 case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.

Dr. Perry Edelman and his colleagues at the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging have been working to assess the quality of life of people with dementia and developed a measure, called “” or OQOLD, which enables professional caregivers to assess the quality of life of persons with dementia based on their observations during a variety of activities.

EMR has helped MJHS’s home care agencies be more efficient with aggregated data to improve internal operations while the ability to provide custom­ized data about outcomes to partners and payers a key success factor in a future environment that will most certainly include payment bundling, capitation, health homes and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).

Technology initiatives at Lutheran Homes of South Carolina are grounded in the organization’s stra­tegic goals and priorities related to improving the quality of care and services for our residents. Cur­rent technology initiatives include electronic health records (EHR) and a variety of care tracking software designed for specific care sectors like hospice or assisted living.


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