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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

October 2, 2012

October's Facebook First Friday: Celebrating Residents' Rights Month

Facebook First Friday is a fun and interactive way to chat monthly with advocates, consumers and others about hot topics in long-term care. To get involved in the discussion, head to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theconsumervoice and “Like” our page. You can check in throughout the day to comment on our wall. Feel free to jump into one of the questions we pose, pose your own question, or just observe.

The Consumer Voice will hold their next Facebook First Friday on October 5, 2012 from 9:00-3:00 pm ET. September’s topic will focus on National Long-Term Care Resident’s Rights Month. Residents’ Rights Month is a time to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and the value of individuals living in long-term care facilities. The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2012 is, "My Voice, My Vote, My Right" with the goals of educating the community about residents' rights to vote and participate in the political process. For Facebook First Friday, we will be discussing residents’ rights in general as well as voting rights in long-term care facilities.

Until then, please spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues about our monthly events so that we can continue to grow this wonderful dialogue!

First 2012 Presidential Debate is Tomorrow

The 2012 Presidential candidates will hold their first debate tomorrow, Wednesday, October 3rd, at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. In the debate, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will be discussing domestic policy, including their stances on health care. We are hoping to hear a meaningful dialogue on our nation’s long-term care issues. 

As you prepare to tune in to the debate – which will air from 9:00 to 10:30 pm ET and can be viewed online (click here for more information) – take a look at the Consumer Voice’s 2012 election webpage to access more information on the candidates’ long-term care platforms. Have our useful factsheet on long-term care and the 2012 Presidential candidates in hand as you watch the debate.

Remember to tune in, and let us know your thoughts afterwards by tweeting us @consumervoices or posting on our Facebook page here!

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CMS Announces Awards to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced seven cooperative agreement awards partnering with 145 nursing facilities to implement the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents. The initiative will test models to improve the quality of care and help decrease avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents by funding organizations that offer enhanced on-site services and supports to nursing facility residents.

“We are excited about this partnership and the programs these seven organizations are putting in place to work with nursing facilities to ensure the best possible care for their residents. We view this initiative and the enhanced level of collaboration it will generate among a variety of providers as the key to reducing costly and avoidable hospitalizations for this population that often has the most complex health care needs,” said Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

For more information, read the press release on CMS’s website.

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Join Our NEW Listserv!

We've created a private listserv for Ombudsmen that manage volunteers. The purpose of the LTCO Volunteer Management Network listserv is to promote discussion among peers, share challenges and successes regarding Ombudsman volunteer management and allow NORC staff to respond to questions and highlight resources. To join, please email Amity Overall-Laib.

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Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs...

Do you have an open position? Send your job posting or position description to Alia Murphy at the Ombudsman Resource Center at amurphy@theconsumervoice.org. We'll post it to our website at http://www.ltcombudsman.org/about-ombudsmen/job-opportunities.

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Consumer Voice Announces Grants For Two Citizen Advocacy Groups

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) is pleased to announce the availability of grants to two citizen advocacy groups (CAGs) in the amount of $4,000 each. The grants are part of phase two of the Consumer Voice's project Quality Care, No Matter Where: Consumer Guides for Self-Advocacy, funded by the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation. The goals of this project are as follows: (1) to empower individuals with disabilities and older adults to be self-advocates for quality long-term services and supports as well as to educate them about the various options available across the long-term care spectrum; (2) to strengthen citizen advocacy groups that work on behalf of long-term care consumers; and (3) to forge new and meaningful partnerships with national and state disability groups.

CAGs will utilize these grants to develop state/local long-term care consumer guides and/or factsheets, as well as conduct a consumer outreach campaign to the aging and disability communities over the course of six months.

The Request for Proposals can be found here. The due date for proposals is October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm EST. All proposal submitters will receive a notification via email (or postal mail, if an email address is not provided) regarding the acceptance or denial of their proposal by November 12, 2012. We look forward to receiving your proposals!

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Consumer Voice Executive Director Sarah Wells Speaks with Direct Care Alliance about the Consumer Perspectives Report

The Consumer Voice’s Executive Director Sarah Wells recently talked with the Direct Care Alliance’s Elise Nakhnikian about the Consumer Voice’s new report “Consumer Perspectives on Quality Home Care.” Sarah highlighted some important points addressed in the report. She emphasized the importance of the relationship between direct care workers and consumers and explained how these relationships are often very personal. She also recounted some of the ideas that consumers expressed over and over again. Consumers want their workers to get better pay and benefits; consumers want their workers to have more training.

Read the full interview with Sarah on the Direct Care Alliance’s website.

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Support Senate Bill 3604; Informed Consent for Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

Action Alert for Advocates in the following states: AZ, DE, FL, ID, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, SD, TN, TX, WA, WV, WY

If you reside in one of the states listed above, the Consumer Voice urges you to reach out to your senators in support of Senate bill S. 3604, the Improving Dementia Care Treatment for Older Adults Act. This important legislation would require nursing homes to obtain informed consent before an antipsychotic medication is prescribed for a resident with dementia. 26% of all nursing home residents are given antipsychotic medications; 88% of these residents are elderly people with dementia who are being given antipsychotic medications that the FDA warns put them at serious risk of medical complications and death. Requiring “informed consent” would mean that patients would have a choice and know the risks and benefits of antipsychotics before being prescribed these medications.

Senators in the states listed hold key positions in influencing the progress of this crucial legislation. We need your help! CLICK HERE to send a message to your senators urging their support of S. 3604!

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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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