Monthly Archives: January 2014

Policy & Leadership Summit to Feature Keynote Dr. JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez


jdrpictureJoin speaker Dr. JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez at the Policy and Leadership Summit, March 4-6 as she discusses the unprecedented  changes  in healthcare, including care transitions that require an evidence-based approach. Many of our perceptions of old age are based on myths and inaccuracies. This interactive session will provoke us to question our preconceived notions of the 3.6 million older Californians as well as how we envision our own aging. This in turn can lead to more informed and productive approaches to legislative directives and programmatic changes.

Visit the LeadingAge CA website to learn more about the 2014 Policy & Leadership Summit and register today. March 4-6 is just around the corner!

A Classic Game Provides a New Outlook on Life

mahjong-tiles-bamboosBy Yvette Kamakawiwoole, activity director, Asian Community Center
Nursing Home

When Ms. Le first arrived at the Asian Community Center Nursing Home as a hospice patient, things were not promising – she had given up on life and was awaiting the inevitable. The family worried about her and hoped for a miracle to turn things around – and the unexpected miracle came from an old Chinese game called Mahjong.

With a little encouragement from her roommate and staff, Ms. Le agreed to play for just a little while – three hours later she was still engaged in the game, and like her peers she was disappointed that the game had come to an end because of dinner. Ms. Le was now a part of the “Mahjongers,” and was making plans to meet and play each day.  If there is one thing to know about Mahjong, it’s that you need four players, so Ms. Le was now part of a group that needed her. She was not about to disappoint her new friends!  Ms. Le found herself playing mah jong for hours, conversing, laughing, and joking with her friends. Her outlook on life had changed for the better; not only was she juggling a social schedule, she even began to wear jewelry and lipstick again! Since then Ms. Le has revisited old hobbies like sewing and crafting. She’s still visiting with friends and family, participating in group activities with friends and yes, still playing Mahjong.

Mahjong was Ms. Le’s catalyst to a second chance on life, a way to occupy her time, and also get intellectual, emotional, and social stimulation without being the direct object and focus of someone’s attention.  Mahjong is not western style therapy or one-on-one intervention, it’s an opportunity to make new friends.  Ms. Le has since graduated from the hospice program and has been a happy, busy and contributing member of the ACC Nursing Home community.

Yvette Kamakawiwoole can be reached at

EMERGE Applications Due February 14!

header_2484LeadingAge California will be offering its fourth year of EMERGE, a comprehensive leadership development program specifically designed to better prepare aging services professionals for the future. Applications are due February 14, 2014. The program is available to anyone who is employed with a LeadingAge California Member, irrespective of position or work experience.

An EMERGE information session will be held on January 30, 2014 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. for anyone applying to EMERGE or for any LeadingAge California member planning to send their employee through the program. Participants will learn more about the application process and requirements, course schedule, time commitments and program expectations. Members will also hear about the program experience and the required action learning project work from EMERGE alumni. This session is free and will be held via teleconference. Registrants will receive the call-in number and a PowerPoint after registering online.  For those who are unable to attend the information session, but would like to receive more information about the EMERGE program should contact Megan Maddox at