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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

November 15, 2011

Update on CLASS Repeal

Last Tuesday, Senator John Thune filed his CLASS Act bill as an amendment to the three percent withholding bill, which is currently on the Senate floor. Senator Thune was hoping that his amendment would be entered in to the “Unanimous Consent,” but it was rejected. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee has scheduled a markup of H.R.1173, a CLASS Act repeal bill for Tuesday, November 15th at 10am EST in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

If you are interested in helping to send a message to Congress about CLASS, contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org and we can direct you to opportunities to take action.

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Consumer Voice Signs on to Letter to Super Committee

The Consumer Voice, along with 84 other organizations, signed on to a letter to the members of the Super Committee to reduce the federal deficit without taking away essential long-term services and supports.

The letter states: “Cutting Medicaid will have a devastating effect on older adults and persons with disabilities. Currently Medicaid is the single largest source of long-term care coverage in the nation. Nearly three million seniors and people with disabilities receive Medicaid services that allow them to stay in their own home or community. At the same time 70% of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to pay for facility care which costs $75,000 a year, or substantially more. Reducing Medicaid funding will make it harder for the elderly and people with disabilities to qualify for the nursing home benefits or home and community-based services they need.”

Read the full letter.

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For State and Local Ombudsmen - Save the Date - Volunteer Recruitment Webinar!

As our country experiences dramatic fiscal and demographic changes volunteer recruitment may become more challenging to local and state Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. Join us as we learn about successful volunteer recruitment strategies that have worked for both state and local programs. Our presenters will share a variety of recruitment techniques including online recruitment, creative recruitment advertising, collaboration with other agencies and organizations and innovative program materials.

To address the diversity of program structures throughout the national Ombudsman network we will benefit from the knowledge and experience of four presenters representing the state, local and volunteer ombudsman perspective: Kathie Gately- State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (AR), Darlene Cray- Volunteer Program Coordinator (NH), Juanita Beale- Volunteer Coordinator, King County (WA) and Diane Bishop- Certified Volunteer Ombudsman (OR).

We will also identify available NORC resources regarding volunteer recruitment and discuss upcoming developments and training opportunities regarding volunteer management. Please mark the date on your calendar and look for the ReadyTalk registration invitation in your in-box.

This call is open to any Ombudsman responsible for volunteer management.

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Time: 3:00- 4:30 ET

If you have any questions, please contact Amity Overall-Laib, aoveralllaib@theconsumervoice.org or 503-645-1879.

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Share Your OAA Story

For more than 40 years, Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, funded by the Administration on Aging (AoA), have been provided in nearly every community in America. These services have made a difference in the health and lives of millions of older Americans. AoA would like to hear how these programs have made a difference in your life, your family member or friend, or in the lives of the people you work with or serve. Volunteers have historically been the backbone of programs funded by OAA, serving at every level and delivering all types of services within the Aging Network. Share a story about how a volunteer has made a difference to you or to your program. Share your story and it may appear on AoA's website!

 To submit your story, visit AoA's website.

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Senators Kohl and Mikulski Introduce Strengthening Services for America's Seniors Act

Last week, Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chairwoman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families, introduced the Strengthening Services for America’s Seniors Act. This legislation will improve care and services for older adults by improving existing Older Americans Act (OAA) programs. It will ensure family caregivers receive the support and services they need, strengthen the long-term care ombudsman program and create better referral and report systems for legal assistance programs.

Kohl said: “This bill will help the nearly 44 million family members providing care to an older relative by permitting states to assess whether family caregivers need services such as respite care or counseling. It will also strengthen the long-term care ombudsman program by providing more tools to protect residents.” For more information about this bill, visit the Special Committee on Aging’s website.

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About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to swells@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org