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Boom Calendar for Grown-ups ~ Curated for Us @ Fifty Plus
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Need to Know

Increased staffing standards for nursing homes 

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a final rule for Minimum Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities and Medicaid Institutional Payment Transparency Reporting. In plain language, the final rule requires new minimum nurse staffing requirements of 3.48 hours per resident day, which includes direct RN care and direct nurse’s aide care. This final rule was informed by feedback from over 46,000 public comments.  

CMS is also finalizing a requirement to have an RN onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide skilled nursing care. In addition, CMS will require states to collect and report on the percent of Medicaid payments that are spent on compensation for direct care workers and support staff. 

ACCA launches new dementia care program 

The Athens Community Council on Aging introduced the Dementia Resource Center at an Open House on June 24. ACCA Executive Directory Eve Anthony says the center aims to be a “hub of hope,” offering a range of services, including resource navigation and care planning, education and training opportunities, support, dementia-friendly enrichment activities and respite. It is funded by the federal Administration for Community Living and partners with the UGA CARE Center, Piedmont Athens Regional, St. Mary’s Health Care System, the Northeast Georgia Area Agency on Aging and Hope Haven.  

Good to Know 

Senior-related legislation

CO-AGE, a senior advocacy group, reports that the state legislature increased funding for Home and Community Based Services by $550,000, which will move approximately 300 people off a waiting list for services. Other bills of interest that passed include:  

  • HB1123 – Establishment of statewide Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Multidisciplinary Teams under the Prosecuting Attorneys Council.  
  • HB663 – In another public health emergency, hospital and nursing home patients can have a designated caregiver to prevent isolation.  
  • HB1078 – the Program for All-Inclusive Care will allow participants to age in place at home while receiving care at an adult day health facility. 
  • HB1335 – This will revise staffing requirements for personal care homes, assisted living communities and memory care centers.  
  • SR323 – This resolution will create a Senate Study Committee on Improving Family Caregiver Services.  

Insurers always raise rates

When selecting a Medigap plan, few seniors ever consider the fact that insurers raise rates annually, according to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. The association’s latest survey of 2023-2024 data on rates for Medigap Plan G (the most popular choice among those turning 65) shows that larger insurers had larger rate increases than smaller ones (in terms of membership numbers). Their advice: Ask for a company’s history of rate increases before signing on the dotted line.

Outdoors Beyond Barriers

Following the successful introduction of 11 all-terrain wheelchairs in 2022, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has announced the expansion of the program into eight more state parks and historic sites. The Outdoors Beyond Barriers program is part of the state’s renewed commitment to expanding accessible hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities to those with physical limitations. Make chair reservations at:

Dementia shows up in credit scores

Long before people develop dementia, they often begin falling behind on mortgage payments, credit card bills, and other financial obligations, according to research highlighted in The New York Times. The study found evidence of people falling behind on their debts five years before diagnosis, confirming what many patients and their families know: that decision-making can begin to deteriorate long before a diagnosis is made or even suspected. Those experiencing cognitive decline may miss payments, make impulsive purchases or put money into risky investments. People in the early stages of the disease are also vulnerable to scams and fraud.

Fun to Do

Athens Film Festival 

The inaugural Athens Film Festival is set for Aug. 15 – 17 at four local venues, including Cine, The Morton Theatre, Flicker Theatre and Bar, and the Globe Upstairs. The line-up will include feature films and many shorts as well as additional activities and events at other locations around town. To see the full line-up of films and activities, and to purchase tickets, go to 

FoxSaid Fest 

The first annual music and art festival, FoxSaid Fest will take place at Athens Cotton Press on July 27, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will include folk-inspired music across three stages, indoors and outdoors, food trucks, a beer garden, an art market and kids’ activities and performances. $10 – $15, 

7th annual Hope Gala 

The Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation has scheduled its annual fundraiser for Saturday, Aug. 3, at Athens Cotton Press. The Foundation raises funds to support women facing economic challenges through technical training scholarships and grants for material support.  The evening will include a VIP Cocktail hour, dinner, a silent auction, and music. For ticket information, 

Two shows at OCAF 

The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation is full to overflowing with art throughout July. Two exhibitions will fill the galleries, including 41 paintings and drawings by one of OCAF’s founding members Bob Marable. Running concurrently is the Annual Members Exhibition with over 100 pieces of art. For hours, visit

2024-25 PAC line-up released The University of Georgia’s Performing Arts Center has a stellar line-up of guest artists this season, ranging from female vocalists such as Rhiannon Giddens, Samara Joy, Kathy Mattea, and Renee Fleming to an international array of musicians playing everything from piano to harpsichord to sitar. Other highlights will include a holiday music series and the American Liszt Society Festival. For ticket information:

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