January 11, 2021

45 Forward – Episode 1

Listen to Ron's Interview with Kathleen Otte

“Freedom of Choice: New Paths to Aging Well in our Communities”

Featured Guest: Kathleen Otte

Contact: Kathleen.otte@acl.hhs.gov

Kathleen Otte is the Senior Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Older Americans Act within the states of New York and New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With a distinguished, wide-ranging career in the field of aging for more than 30 years, Kathleen’s current job at ACL is to help fulfill the agency’s broad mission every day—maximizing the independence, health and well-being of older adults and people with disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers. Before joining ACL, Kathleen served as the director of the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services for the state of New Hampshire. She led a team that designed a caregiver support program that won the Regional Innovation Award from the Council of State Governments. Kathleen also has received the Spirit of Jane Addams Award for her work with elder justice initiatives.

The Administration for Community Living website is a great place for aging and disability data, resources and information to help people age independently in their community: www.acl.gov

Some useful tools and features include:

The Eldercare Locator at:  https://eldercare.acl.gov,

Here you can find local resources for aging and disability services – just plug in your zip code for information  or call 1-800-677-1116 to speak with a staff member.

 Some other useful resources:

  • Staying Connected at Home During COVID-19A new flyer from the Eldercare Locator and engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults helps AAAs and others in the Aging Network ensure that older adults have the information, resources and tips they need to stay connected to the community during the COVID-19 national health crisis, thereby avoiding the negative health effects of social isolation and loneliness.
  • AARP Livable Communities and AARP state offices work with local leaders and residents to help ensure that towns, cities and communities nationwide are livable for people of all ages. Toward achieving that goal, they create and manage programs, tool kits, how-to guides and a collection of easy-to-use and understand printed and online materials.

  • LeadingAge Pandemic Playbook The Pandemic Playbook is an interactive collection of insight, wisdom, and critical lessons LeadingAge members have learned about serving older adults during a catastrophic health crisis. It will help ensure that providers can prepare for and mitigate the impact of a future pandemic.

  • Georgia Tech Pass It On Center continues to create national and state resources to foster the safe, effective, and appropriate reuse of assistive technology (AT) so that people with disabilities can get the affordable AT they need in order to live, learn, work, and play more independently in communities of their choice.

  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. 

  • SAGE National LGBT Elder Hotline Talk and be heard at the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline. Through the hotline, anyone with a phone can be connected to an LGBT responder who is friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to listen. Call the free SAGE Hotline, toll-free, at 877-360-LGBT (5428), available 24/7 in English and Spanish, with translation in 180 languages.


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