Member Stories & Ideas
Stories have the power to inspire, educate, and drive change. LeadingAge shares members stories that capture new ideas, uncover creative innovations, and demonstrate your humanity and impact.
LeadingAge members are experts in aging services and we make it easy to learn from colleagues across the sector. That’s why we curate meaningful stories, case studies, and best practices from members around the country.
LeadingAge Story Collector, Powered by Greystone
Your stories are valuable, both to LeadingAge and to you. You can use them in your own advocacy, media outreach, and promotion. LeadingAge can leverage stories for member learning and advocacy. With support from LeadingAge Gold Partner Greystone, we’re collecting stories that demonstrate the humanity and direct impact of our work.
We are now collecting stories to help us celebrate Older Americans Month, May 2023, and its theme, Aging Unbound. We are looking for stories of diverse older adults who combat stereotypes by the way they live today. Use the Story Collector to tell us about the creators, scholars, athletes, volunteers, and teachers you serve —people who inspire, serve, and entertain those around them.
Have questions? See our Story Collector FAQs.
Technology Helps Overcome Hearing Loss, Language Barriers for Residents
This member adopted a simple two-way communication system that makes one-on-one and group communication easy and streamlines translation for non-English speakers.
Member Stories by Topic
- A Search for Leaders: How Postgraduate Fellowships Bring Talent to Aging Services: Nonprofit aging services providers are working to create postgraduate fellowships to bring potential leadership talent into the field.
- Caregivers’ Calling: Meaning and Fulfillment by Supporting Others: For National Caregivers Day, we honor the professional caregivers at the heart of our field.
- A Growing Program Launches Health Careers for Underserved Students and Young Adults: This member’s long-standing career development program is being rebranded and expanded into a replicable model to help other providers bring new talent into our field.
- ‘A Special Kind of Heart and Passion’: Florida Providers Cope With Hurricane Ian
- For This Professional, Working in Aging Services Is ‘A Game Changer’: This creative social work director—who fell instantly in love with aging services when she was first introduced to it—celebrates and admires the older adults she serves.
- Recruiting Job Candidates Over 50 With a Welcoming, Inclusive Environment: This LeadingAge member has become a certified Age-Friendly Employer, updating its recruitment practices to appeal to older generations of care professionals.
- An International Workforce Program as a Source of Well-Trained Staff: Nonprofit aging services providers are using creative strategies to cope with workforce shortages. This LeadingAge member is hiring interns from Jamaica who will fill hospitality and culinary positions–and eventually train as frontline caregivers.
- Bonus Program, Recruitment and Retention Efforts Support Frontline Workers: This provider is launching a $5.2 million bonus program, paired with new recruitment and retention task forces, to recognize and support frontline staff.
- New Rung Added to Career Ladders for Direct-Care Staff: This LeadingAge member helped create a new advanced role, “transitions specialist,” for direct care workers.
- ‘Employees with a Heart’ Build Better Jobs with this Provider’s Help: This member’s program empowers staff to gain the training they need to forge satisfying careers in LTSS.
- Federal Funds Can Make a Difference in Building the Aging Services Workforce: Workforce provisions in the Build Back Better legislation would boost training options for workers seeking health care careers, while helping LTSS providers improve their pipeline of new employees. Here’s an example of a successful federal program that should be continued.
- A Provider-High School Partnership Gives Students a Foundation for LTSS Careers: This LeadingAge member is helping at-risk high school students begin careers with CNA training, paid internships, and mentoring.
- A Financial Stewardship Program to Help Staff Make the Most of Their Money: This provider helps staff learn about budgeting, saving for retirement, and building a path to home ownership.
- A Culture of Trust Mitigates Effects of Staff Shortages: This provider’s pre-pandemic preparation, plus creative employee benefits, has helped it weather the pandemic without unmanageable worker shortages.
- Bringing Out the Leaders in Staff: This provider’s staff development program makes new employees feel welcome, builds bonds and leadership skills, and features hands-on attention from top leadership.
- Helping Immigrant Nurses Help U.S. Long-Term Care: This provider’s innovative program to recruit nursing staff from the Philippines helped it overcome its own chronic shortages of licensed nurses. It is also helping other providers find staff as well.
- Hard Choices in Search of a Living Wage for Staff: Despite inadequate reimbursement and in the face of severe workforce shortages, LeadingAge members are working to increase compensation for the direct-care workers that they rely on.
- Pairing Jobs and Training for a New Generation of Employees: Providers are partnering in programs that bring high school students into the LTSS workforce pipeline with employment opportunities, life skills counseling, and career training.
- Putting Out a Red Carpet to Recruit New Employees: This provider is attracting new employees using the principles it uses to attract new residents.
- Making All-Private Rooms and Creative Fundraising Keys to Skilled Nursing Excellence: This member believes that as a nonprofit provider, modernization of skilled nursing communities combined with robust fundraising will secure its future in long-term care.
- Creative Recruitment Ideas to Reel in Hospice Volunteers: Hospice providers face concerns about reinstatement of the 5% volunteer hours requirement once the COVID public health emergency ends.
- Expansion of HCBS a Challenge and an Opportunity for These Members: Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, more LeadingAge member communities are expanding their footprints to include home and community-based services (HCBS). Here are some examples.
- When Hospitals Needed Help, One LeadingAge Member Bolstered a Regional Health Care System: This New York member was called on to help support an overwhelmed regional health care system. It succeeded, while integrating National Guard troops in its work.
- A Free Food Pantry to Support Residents and Staff: This nonprofit aging services organization created a free food pantry to help residents and staff get through the worst days of the pandemic. But the need still remains, and this mission-driven provider is meeting it.
- Homes, Services, and Supports Help Older Adults Keep Leading Life: Nonprofit aging services providers improve the lives of older adults with person-centered services, giving millions of Americans new homes or helping them remain in their own homes while they age. Here are a few examples of people who are living their best lives with the help of LeadingAge members.
- An Information Lifeline for Those Lacking Networks of Support: This nonprofit aging services provider offers education, support, and camaraderie for older adults who fear they will age alone.
- Mission and Connection: Serving At-Risk Youth and Older Adults Too: This LeadingAge member’s services for children, youth, and families demonstrate the nonprofit difference by helping vulnerable young people with trauma-informed care and a commitment to trusting relationships.
- LeadingAge Members Promote, Educate, and Vaccinate with CDC Grants: Grants from Community Catalyst’s Vaccine Equity and Access Program are helping LeadingAge members promote and provide COVID vaccines and boosters within their organizations and surrounding communities.
- Adult Day Program Expanding its Future with a Dementia Hub: This LeadingAge member came through the pandemic with a commitment to expand the scope of its medical-model adult day services.
- Sustainable Design and Practices Attract Residents to this Life Plan Community: This LeadingAge member, with the help of its environmentally aware residents, is modeling the benefits of a green community.
- Reimagining Adult Day to Recover from the Pandemic: This provider’s adult day program, like many others, had to close during the pandemic. An ambitious new model, board leadership, and inspiration from the LeadingAge Leadership Academy drives its rebirth.
- ‘Who is Our Neighbor?’ For Afghan Refugees, a Place to Start a New Life: This LeadingAge member, along with local churches and the community, is helping to settle Afghan refugee families.
- More Rides and Lower Costs with a Pragmatic Partnership: This LeadingAge member partnered with another local provider to replace a transportation program that had been shut down by COVID.
- Wellness Partnership Brings Outdoor Fun to Older Adults in All Settings of Care: Aging services providers use innovation and creativity to offer all older adults opportunities to experience new things and conquer challenges. Here is one example.
- A Partnership and a Federal Program Helps Affordable Housing Residents Reduce Broadband Costs: A federal program lowered internet costs. Good service coordination and partnership with a community organization enabled low-income residents to put those discounts to work.
- Mission-Driven Focus on Affordable Housing Plus Services Drives New Partnership: This LeadingAge member is redeveloping an affordable housing community in partnership with a public housing authority and PACE providers, while seeking to offer PACE-like services to moderate-income residents as well.
- Members and the People They Serve Celebrate the Holidays with Engagement and Generosity: We heard from a few LeadingAge members who told their stories of holiday fun.
- Older, Wiser Creators Inventing a Better World: Residents at this retirement community are the brains behind a program to invent and improve tools for better aging in place.
- Art and an Evidence Base to Train Life Enrichment Staff: This LeadingAge member created a program to help staff make the most of their resident and client engagement work.
- Miles to Go: Wellness Initiative a Hit with Affordable Housing Residents: This LeadingAge member’s “Let’s Get Moving Together” program is giving residents a greater sense of control of their health, along with fun and friendly competition.
- Evidence-Based Therapeutic Horticulture Program Improves Lives of Residents: With the help of Civil Money Penalty grants, Washington state providers are bringing indoor gardens to benefit residents living with dementia.
- Intergenerational Program Pairs Ambitious Students with Accomplished Elders as Mentors: Senior to Senior matched a group of high school students with accomplished older adults, and great relationships resulted.
- An Annual “Walk in the Park” that Builds Bonds: This simple twice-yearly outdoor activity allows residents and staff to renew old friendships and create new ones.
- Family Creates Popular Live-Streamed Shows for Memory Care Residents: Technology enables the family of a resident to make its own entertaining contribution to this community’s social life.
- Technology Helps Overcome Hearing Loss, Language Barriers for Affordable Housing Residents: A simple two-way communication system makes one-on-one and group communication easy, and streamlines translation for non-English speakers.
- Harnessing Technology to Streamline At-Home Services: This LeadingAge member has partnered with a technology company to bring affordable at-home services–complete with strong family connection capabilities and AI-driven monitoring–to clients aging in place.
- Combining Technology and Wellness in Affordable Housing: Two LeadingAge members are partnering to make a meaningful impact on the lives of low-income housing residents with whole-person wellness programming, enabled by digital devices and improved broadband access.
- A Good Idea and Willing Partners Bring Digital Engagement to Affordable Housing: A start-up nonprofit and a LeadingAge member joined forces on the fly to open new horizons, via internet connectivity, for residents isolated during the pandemic.
- Affordable Housing Residents Engage with the World Via Technology and Broadband: These residents need social engagement, access to services, education, and fun. This provider’s technology program, complete with digital devices and one-on-one help, makes those things possible.
- Bringing Broadband, Devices, and Training to Affordable Housing Residents: The Lighthouse for Older Adults initiative works to diminish isolation and improve access to health care, wellness, and services for low-income residents.
- Smart Speaker Technology Helps Affordable Housing Residents Age in Place: This partnership puts Amazon Echo Dots or Google Nest Minis in the hands of affordable housing residents, along with the skills needed to use them.
- Using Simple Technology Upgrades to Build TV Studios for Resident Engagement: This provider adapted to COVID-driven lockdowns by finding a whole new way to engage and inform residents.
- Broadband Reunites Retired Doctor with Classmates After 65 Years: A medical school reunion was made possible by communications technology.
- Virtual Reality Opens Hearts and Entertains Nursing Home and AL Residents: A pilot of VR programming in one AL community was so popular it was quickly expanded across this member organization.
- Technology Helped This Provider Maintain a Human Touch During Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic forced this provider to adapt to technology-driven resident engagement; it also led to the positive rethinking of many aspects of community life.
- Innovating With Technology to Boost Resident Engagement: With its volunteer program shuttered during the pandemic, this provider, a technology company, and creative students joined forces to entertain residents.
- Relationships Grow, Isolation Drops Thanks to Technology: This provider adapted simple technology tools to boost communication and community during the pandemic.
- A Technology Workaround to Streamline Testing: This member adapted its EMR to comply with test reporting requirements while saving funds and staff time.
- Cutting-Edge Technology Brings Providers into the 21st Century: Providers are exploring progressive technology that enhances resident and staff health and safety.
- Board Leadership Helps Provider Weather the Pandemic: Edgewood Summit credits quick action by board and staff for minimizing the effects of COVID-19.
- A Strategic Growth Plan Keeps This Organization Focused on the Future: Consistent long-term growth planning, along with a university partnership, has resulted in redevelopment plans for both of this provider’s campuses.
- Giving Voice and Honor to Older Adults: This LeadingAge-member provider helps residents tell their stories of life and wisdom with the help of writer-volunteers.
- Celebrating Resilience and Community During Older Americans Month: The 2nd annual DC Longevity Fun Run brought together people of all ages, 11 aging services organizations, and local dignitaries to honor older adults, the people who serve them, and the importance of community.
- Living Their Best Lives in the Place They Call Home: Aging services providers encompass a variety of creative organizations offering services ranging from simple help at home, to housing, to long-term nursing and memory care for those who need it. See how nonprofit and mission-driven providers help residents and clients live healthier, happier lives.
- Leading Life Their Way: Extra help from aging services can improve older adults’ quality of life, safety, and happiness. See how nonprofit aging services providers help residents and clients live their best lives.