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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 12, 2012

Consumer Voice Staff Members Attend Seniors' Health Town Hall Event at White House

On June 11th the Consumer Voice’s Sarah Wells, Executive Director, Sara Cirba, Associate for Advocacy and Development, and Marybeth Williams, Associate for Public Policy attended a Seniors’ Health Town Hall event at the White House. The purpose of the event was to highlight the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for seniors. Five areas of the ACA were highlighted. First, if a senior is in a donut hole, they will receive a 50% discount when buying brand-name prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D. Second, Medicare now covers preventative services, like mammograms or colonoscopies for free, and seniors can also get a free annual wellness visit. Third, doctors, hospitals, and other providers are taking advantage of new programs to help them work better as teams to provide seniors with the highest quality care possible. Fourth, the ACA is combating fraud and abuse of Medicare so that the life of the Medicare Trust fund will be extending. Fifth, under the ACA, existing Medicare-covered benefits can’t be reduced or taken away. In addition to the benefits of the ACA, there was also a lively question and answer portion where panelists answered questions ranging from how the ACA combats elder abuse with the Elder Justice Act, works to reduce hospital readmissions, ensures that primary care physicians are adequately compensated, and the impact of the imminent Supreme Court decision.

From left to right: Sarah Wells, Executive Director, Sara Cirba, Associate, Advocacy & Development, and Marybeth Williams, Associate, Public Policy at the White House

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Program in Michigan Allows Older Veterans to Stay in Home-Like Environment

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System will expand its Medical Foster Home program which provides care to elderly veterans in home-like environments. The program is for seniors who can’t safely live alone and need a nursing home-level of care but want to stay in a non-institutional setting. The program started in 1999 matching veterans to approved homes and experienced caregivers and will increase to 101 sites.

For more information, read the article in Home Health Care News.

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Study Finds that Nursing Home Workers Who Feel They Are Part of a Team Provide Better Care

A new study found that nursing homes that foster an environment in which workers feel they are valued contributors to a team of caregivers provide better care to their residents. The study used data on over 45,000 residents in 162 nursing home facilities across New York.

Helena Temkin-Grenner, professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead author of the study said, “This study empirically demonstrates that better work relationships between staff, as measured by staff cohesion, are associated with better outcomes for nursing home residents. Nursing home managers have the tools to encourage good patient care, but they have to work at it and encourage practices that promote better cohesion, communication and teamwork in their facilities. If they do this, the quality of care will improve.”

For more information, read the article on Futurity.org.

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June 15th is World Elder Abuse Day

World Elder Abuse Day (WEAAD) will be observed on June 15th. WEAAD was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. WEAAD provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

For more information, visit the AoA’s website or INPEA’s website.

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Consumer Voice Co-Sponsored Event with Altarum Institute in Detroit

The Consumer Voice co-sponsored a roundtable discussion last week from Altarum Institute at Detroit Public Television studios entitled “Speak Up! Influential Women Give Voice to the Challenges of Elder Care.” The session was attended in-person by 100 participants.

Watch the discussion online on Altarum Institute’s website.

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NCLC Requests Information on Challenges Faced by African-American and Latino Older Adults

The following request was sent to the Consumer Voice from Odette Williamson of the National Consumer Law Center:

We here at the National Consumer Law Center are doing some informal research and outreach to advocates on the challenges faced by African-American and Latino older adults. Specifically, we are seeking information from the field on the financial and economic challenges faced by this population - whether it is lack of resources, overwhelming debt, limited income, etc. We are aware that some of these challenges are the same ones faced by the general population, but perhaps take on more urgency among African-American and Latino elders. If you work predominantly with this population, would you be willing to comment and share your insights? Please email me at owilliamson@nclc.org and we can discuss these issues by email or phone.

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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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