November Civic Buzz: Elder Healthcare – Info and Advocacy in MN

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Elder Care is a complicated and emotional subject, which will touch most of our lives, whether for ourselves or our loved ones. It can be extremely difficult to navigate the labyrinthian systems for care and payment, all while dealing with the emotional and physical issues that come with needing such care. We will discuss what resources are available, and how to navigate the many transitions people experience - between hospital, long-term care, rehab, home care, etc... How can the League advocate, not only for best practices in elder care, but for better information for people wrestling with this system?

Our speaker will be Natasha Merz, Assistant Commissioner of the MN Aging and Disabilities Services Administration.

Natasha Merz is committed to promoting equity informed, person-centered practices in Minnesota’s long-term care services and supports system, as well as promoting these practices in the workplace. She is excited to continue this collaborative work in her role leading the Aging and Disabilities Services Administration (ADSA).

Natasha began her career as an attorney, practicing elder law and teaching at the University of St. Thomas Legal Services Clinic. She transitioned into a public service career working for the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care (OOLTC), providing advocacy and dispute resolution services to nursing home residents and people who live in assisted living settings. Following that, she has held policy and leadership roles in OOLTC and the Disability Services Division (DSD), most recently as Director of DSD.

Natasha is a graduate of Creighton University, with co-majors in political science, Spanish and a co-major in Justice and Peace studies. She received her law degree from the University of St. Thomas.