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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

January 24, 2011

Don't Miss Facebook First Friday on February 3!

Join the Consumer Voice on the Friday, February 3rd for a lively and interactive discussion on a number of long-term care topics.

From 9am – 3pm ET, we will be chatting on our Facebook wall about issues that matter to you (and us!) the most. During this time three questions, polls and/or video comments will be posted on our Facebook page. First question posted at 9am, second at lunchtime, third in the afternoon. You just pop on and respond as much or as little as you would like (respond throughout the day or just come by one time for 5 minutes and answer a question!).

This is completely FREE and open to anyone in the public who would like to participate.

The topic February 3rd is mental health.

Just go to our Facebook page ahead of time or on Facebook First Friday and press the “like” button in the upper right of your browser (near our organization's name). If you already have a Facebook account, you can get started right away, otherwise it will prompt you to create one.

You’ll see our questions right there on the main page. Jump in and participate!

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Consumer Voice Awards Inspector General of HHS

Consumer Voice President John Weir, Awardee Daniel R. Levinson and Consumer Voice Executive Director Sarah Wells

On Thursday January 19th 2012, Sarah Wells, Executive Director, joined by Janet Wells (Director of Public Policy), Claire Curry (Leadership Council Member) and John Weir (President) presented an award to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson. The award was presented to the Inspector General for his and his office’s efforts in fighting the use of chemical restraints and over-prescribing of Anti-psychotic drugs in Nursing Homes.

For more information, visit the Consumer Voice’s website.

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Update on CLASS

On January 18th, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up H.R. 1173, the “Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act.” The bill, introduced by Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA) repeals the CLASS program. The vote was largely along party lines (23-13), with only one Democrat, Ron Kind (D-WI) who voted for repeal. This means the CLASS Act has now been repealed by two House Committees -- The Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. It is important to note that H.R. 1173 will now move to the House floor to be voted on.

Although repeal may pass in the House, there is no guarantee that the Democratic Senate will repeal. Many legislators are committed to CLASS. Senator Jay Rockefeller issued the following statement after the committee met, “The CLASS Act may not be perfect, but repealing this important long-term care law without a real alternative in place ignores the needs of millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, leaving them out in the cold.” Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) asked the Ways and Means Committee yesterday “to work together on a bipartisan solution” to the problem and to “replace not repeal.”

For more information, visit www.advanceclass.org.

You can make your voice heard by participating in a call-in day tomorrow, January 25th to stop the repeal of CLASS.

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Study Finds Antidepressants Might Raise Fall Risk in Nursing Homes

A new study has found that antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with an increased risk of falls in nursing home residents with dementia. Researchers analyzed data about daily prescription medicine use and falls among 248 nursing home residents with dementia. A total of 683 falls were experienced by 152 (61.5 percent) of the 248 nursing home residents. Injury or death resulted from 220 of the falls. The researchers found that the risk of having an injury-causing fall was three times higher for residents who were taking SSRIs than for those who were not.

Falls are a major issue for nursing home residents with dementia, and one-third of falls among nursing home residents result in an injury, the study authors noted. The lead author of the study stated: “Staff in residential homes are always concerned about reducing the chance of people falling and I think we should consider developing new treatment protocols that take into account the increased risk of falling that occurs when you give people SSRIs.”

For more information, read the full article.

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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