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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

September 18, 2012

Tools and Resources from Advocacy in Action Now Available!

On September 10th the Consumer Voice hosted its first ever Advocacy in Action day. The day-long event consisted of training, sharing, and advocacy. There were 30 individuals in attendance. Because of the intimate size of the group, the Consumer Voice was able to take the opportunity to tailor this event to be in depth and fit participants' individual needs and expectations. The day began with a State of the Union of Long-Term Care where Ashley Carson Cottingham, a Staff Director of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Anne Montgomery, a Senior Policy Advisor for the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Becky Kurtz, the Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, Administration on Aging each gave briefings on current policy topics affecting consumers of long-term care. After that Mike Splaine, Owner and principal of Splaine Consulting, and our own Robyn Grant gave a presentation on how to appropriately craft and deliver an advocacy message. The presentation focused on the essentials of an effective message and ended in role plays where participants were able to practice their message and delivery on Consumer Voice staffers. Advocacy in Action Day continued with the advocates breaking up into two groups. One group went to the Hill where they had the opportunity to meet with legislators and advocate on behalf of a particular topic related to long-term care of their choosing. The second group participated in the afternoon sessions. They learned valuable tips on how to deliver an effective message via both traditional and social media from our own Sarah Wells. Advocacy in Action Day was concluded by Mike Splaine and Robyn Grant assisting the advocates in formulating an action plan to implement when they return to their homes.

The Consumer Voice would like to thank all participants of Advocacy in Action day and looks forward to continued partnership with these advocates as they cultivate their message and continue their advocacy!

Tools and resources from Advocacy in Action are now available on the Consumer Voice website.

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Register for Webinar on Using Online Communications to Connect with Older Adults

Join the National Council on Aging and IlluminAge for a webinar entitled “It’s All About Content: Using the Internet and Social Media to Reach and Inform Older Adults.” This webinar will demonstrate how aging services organizations can capitalize on online communications and social media to better reach and serve older adults. The webinar will cover examples of organizations that are using online communications to connect with older adults and will show how to do this on a tight budget.

"It's All About Content: Using the Internet and Social Media to Reach and Inform Older Adults"
Thursday, September 27, 2012
1:30-2:30pm EST

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HHS Releases 2012 LGBT Report

The Department of Health and Human Services has released its 2012 annual LGBT report, “Improving LGBT Health.” This report is part of an overall effort started in 2010 from HHS to advance equality and expand opportunity for LGBT individuals. In 2011, the report set out seven core areas to address regarding improvements to the health and quality of life for LGBT individuals: research, LGBT children & families, cultural competency, anti-violence efforts, the Affordable Care Act, funding opportunities, and outreach. The 2012 report continued to focus on these areas but also expanded its efforts to include: awarding Community Transformation Grants to organizations that target LGBT individuals in order to decrease chronic diseases in vulnerable communities; facilitating the development of tools and training materials through SAMHSA/HRSA that will help health care providers deliver culturally competent service to LGBT individuals; increasing the opportunities for LGBT persons to take part in health care decision-making; expanding the scope of health care options available to LGBT persons and more.

For more information, read the overview from the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.

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HHS Anounces $12.5 Million in Awards to Aging and Disability Resource Centers

Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $12.5 million in awards to Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to support older Americans and people with disabilities stay independent and receive long-term services and supports. These grants, funded by the Affordable Care Act and the Older Americans Act, support options counselors who help individuals and their caregivers find and utilize long-term services and supports, regardless of income or financial situation.

For more information, read the press release from HHS.

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AARP Public Policy Institute Releases "Across the States 2012: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports"

The AARP Public Policy Institute has released the ninth edition of the state long-term services and supports reference report, “Across the States 2012: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports.” The report provides comparable state-level and national data presented in maps, graphs, tables and state profiles as well as a summary of key findings and trends.

Download the report on AARP Public Policy Institute’s website.

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Study Shows that Middle-Aged Californians Will Need Long-Term Care for a Family Member Within the Next 5 Years

A new study from The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research revealed that nearly half of middle-aged California voters say they will need long-term care for a close family member within the next five years. Yet, the same percentage said they couldn’t afford even a single month of nursing home care. The study showed that Californians, regardless of political party or income level, are struggling to save money for future long-term care expenses.

For more information, read the report on the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s website.

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Maryland Residents: Need Help in Finding a Nursing Home?

The Informed Patient Institute recently wrote a blog article which provides Maryland residents with tips on how to choose a nursing home. One resource the article highlights is the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC). The MHCC sponsors a Consumer Guide to Long Term Care (available here) which provides a variety of resources about planning and paying for long term care. Additionally, the guide also includes a Nursing Home Search where Maryland residents can get information on nursing homes in Anne Arundel County. They can learn about the types of residents in the home, how well they do on a range of quality indicators (such as how many residents don't develop pressure sores or are pain-free) and get information about how well they did on state inspections.

Another resource the article provides is the county Department of Aging's Long Term Care Ombudsman program.   Ombudsman are people who can help residents know what to look for in choosing the right facility and also help with any concerns someone has once their loved one is in a facility. For more information about the Maryland Ombudsman program, click here.

For other links to nursing home report cards in Maryland and nationwide, check out the non-profit Informed Patient Institute which recently evaluated all of the nursing home report cards in the country: www.informedpatientinstitute.org/

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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