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9/5/2000

HCFA, AOA Working Together to Improve Nursing Home Care

Katherine M. Bennett

In an effort to improve the quality of care in long-term-care facilities, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) have awarded grants to four national organizations focused on the elderly.

The award of $450,000 will support programs to educate and empower communities and families to improve nutrition and hydration and prevent abuse of nursing home residents. One recipient, the National Policy and Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging, in Miami, will promote an interdisciplinary team approach to improving nutritional care. Registered dietitians will use "Nutrition Care Alerts"—a tool developed to call attention to warning signs and steps clinicians, including pharmacists, can take to avoid weight loss and dehydration in the elderly—to evaluate and correct nutrition-related problems in fragile older adults.