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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 26, 2012

Reminder: Resident's Voice Submissions Due July 13th

The Resident’s Voice is an opportunity for residents from facilities across the country to share their ideas about this year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme, “My Voice, My Vote, My Right,” with other residents, ombudsmen, families, community members and nursing home staff.

Residents are encouraged to think about and respond to the following questions:

1.  What was the most memorable election you voted in and why?

2.  What does it mean to be politically active?

3.  Why is it important for you to have the right and ability to vote?

Residents can respond to the questions in writing (poems, stories), through art of any kind or with video’s/recordings. We encourage facilities/families to frame resident entries and hang them in residents’ rooms or other areas of the facility.

All submissions are due July 13, 2012.

Resident submissions will be randomly displayed on the Consumer Voice and National Long-Term Ombudsman Resource Center websites in a section called “The Resident’s Voice.” Residents who participate will receive a certificate of participation. Please see the submission criteria and photo release forms on the Consumer Voice website.

Send entries electronically to Tina Steier at csteier@theconsumervoice.org.

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Michigan Governor Signs 10 Elder Abuse Prevention Bills into Law

Last week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed ten elder abuse prevention bills into law, significantly expanding the ability to combat vulnerable adult abuse in all forms. There are still eight bills to get through the legislative session, but the following are now law:

SB 454 – allows videotaped testimony for vulnerable adults in specific circumstances

SB 455 – increases penalties for financial exploitation

SB 457 – authorizes (does not mandate) elder death review teams; provides FOIA protection and guidance for team membership.

SB 459 – increases criminal penalties and clarifies fraudulently obtaining a signature as a crime

SB 461 – prevents a convicted abuser from inheriting from their victim; requires bonding for conservators

SB 462 – requires abuse in LTC to be reported to state authorities (not just to NH management); protects employees who report to the state

SB 464 – requires the state to develop a model protocol for abuse investigation

SB 465 – increases penalties for financial abuse

SB 466 – creates the Senior Alert, similar to an amber alert. The senior alert allows law enforcement to begin an investigation/notify press immediately if a vulnerable adult is reported missing.

SB 468 – prevents a magistrate from refusing 3rd party complaint on the basis that the victim did not file the complaint

To read the full bills, visit Michigan's Legislative website.

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CMS and CHIP Services Issue Bulletin on HUD Policies and Resources for States Developing LTSS

Last week, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) issued an Informational Bulletin on recent Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) actions, policies and resources that are available to states as they continue to develop long-term service and support systems that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision.

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Delaware Bill Would Require Background Checks for Employment in Long-Term Care Settings

A Delaware bill that recently passed the state Senate and is now pending House approval would establish a more comprehensive background check system for home care and home health care workers. Delaware’s State Senate bill 216 would require criminal background checks and mandatory drug screening for employment in long-term care settings.

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

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Lonely Older Adults May Have Increased Risk of Poor Health

Though many older adults prefer to receive care at home, one side effect – loneliness – can cause serious health implications. A report published by Archives of Internal Medicine found that seniors aged 60 and older who are lonely have been linked with an increased risk of death and functional decline.

“Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons. We demonstrated that it is also a risk factor for poor health outcomes including death and multiple measures of functional decline,” the authors commented.

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

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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