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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

December 4, 2012

Consumer Voice Submits Letter to the Editor in Response to Bed Rail Article

Consumer Voice Executive Director submitted a letter to the editor to the New York Times in response to the November 25th article on bed rails.

To the Editor:

Thank you for telling the story of Gloria Black's courageous campaign to spare other families the grief of having a loved one die from entrapment in a bed rail, a "safety" device found in many nursing homes, assisted living facilities and private homes. As your article “After Dozens of Deaths, Inquiry Into Bed Rails” noted, bed rails are widely advertised to individuals like Ms. Black's father as keeping elderly persons with dementia safe in bed--in spite of at least 550 deaths and 36,000 injuries.

The Consumer Voice is encouraged that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is taking a new look at bed rails and the inherent danger they pose to adults with dementia. It is time for federal regulators, including the CPSC, FDA and FTC, to stop arguing about who has jurisdiction to regulate the different types of bed rails and to figure out how they can work together to protect vulnerable, at-risk Americans.

Sarah F. Wells
Executive Director
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

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Reminder: Consumer Voice Looking for People to Join our Newly Formed Consumer Input Council!

The Consumer Voice has launched a brand new Consumer Input Council as a way for consumers receiving services and supports at home to stay involved and informed on long-term care issues.

By joining the Consumer Input Council, participants will have the opportunity to regularly provide Consumer Voice staff members with feedback about their experiences with home care. That information will help guide the Consumer Voice in its policy work. In addition, participants will receive regular policy and advocacy updates and opportunities to take action themselves. The council will meet by phone, using a toll-free number.

Please note, this council is only open to consumers who receive long-term services and supports at home.

The first meeting of the Consumer Input Council will take place next Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 from 2:00-3:15pm ET. If you receive long-term services and supports at home and would like to participate in the call, click here to register.

If you can't make the call, but would like to be part of this council, please contact Sara Cirba at scirba@theconsumervoice.org or at 202-332-2275 x 221.

We hope you join the Consumer Input Council and look forward to hearing from you December 11th!

Study Finds Increased Provider Taxes and Raised Payment Rates for SNFs

According to a study from the General Accountability Office, many states have increased provider taxes and have raised payment rates for skilled nursing facilities. The survey was conducted between 2008 and 2011 in order to prepare for more people being added to the Medicaid rolls in 2014. Almost all of the provider taxes that were increased were on institutional providers, including skilled nursing facilities.

For more information, read the article in McKnight’s.

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First-Ever National Statistical Study on Domestic Workers Released

According to the first-ever national statistical study of domestic workers, caregivers earn a median wage of about $10 an hour, and few receive benefits like health insurance or paid sick days. The study, released last week, was based on 2,086 domestic workers in 14 major metropolitan areas, and found substantial differences in pay across ethnicity, immigration status and whether the worker lived with her employer.

For more information, read the article in the New York Times.

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Honoring Leonila Vega

The Consumer Voice is saddened by the passing of a visionary leader and undying source of inspiration, Leonila Vega.

After graduating from University of Wisconsin Madison Law School, Leonila began her advocacy career at Legal Action of Wisconsin and then Disability Rights Wisconsin, helping people obtain social security benefits. During her time in Wisconsin, Leonila developed a reputation as a “ferocious advocate for seniors and people with disabilities” as well as an expert on long term care in Wisconsin. Next, Leonila accepted the Executive Director position at the Direct Care Alliance. Under Leonila’s visionary leadership, Direct Care Alliance created the Voices Institute National and State Leadership Training Programs to provide workers with advocacy training, supported the development of worker led state associations, developed the Personal Care and Support Credential, and built a movement to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Leonila was an incredible advocate and will be missed.

Read more about Leonila’s life, legacy and tributes from friends, family and DCA staff.

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National Guardianship Network Requests Proposals for Working Interdisciplinary Networks for Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS)

The National Guardianship Network (NGN) has invited the chief justice and state court administrator of each state to partner with community entities in establishing and maintaining Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS) to advance adult guardianship. Four states will each receive $7000 incentive grant plus technical assistance from NGN experts to develop a WINGS group. Applications are due by Thursday, January 31, 2013.

For more information, read the cover letter and Request for Proposals sent to New York. (Each chief justice and state court administrator received the same personalized letter in hard copy; use the New York letter as an example.)

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Nevada Seeks a New State LTC Ombudsman

Nevada is seeking a new State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The position, listed as "Social Services Manager" in the job listing, will plan, organize, direct and manage the activities, staff and functions necessary to provide social services in an assigned region or district office and its satellites. The position will be located in Carson City, Reno or Las Vegas depending on the candidate pool.

For more information, read the job posting on Nevada’s website.

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National Center for Health Statistics Launches National Study of Long-Term Care Providers

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) launched its new initiative, the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP), in September. Directors of adult day services centers (ADSCs) and residential care communities (RCCs) are being asked to provide information about their centers and participants (for ADSCs) and their communities and residents (for RCCs) through a user-friendly questionnaire. By law, all data collected and released will be kept in strict confidence and used only for statistical purposes and no individual provider, staff, or participant/resident can be identified. Please participate in this national study, if contacted. Results are expected to be released late 2013.

To learn more about NSLTCP, visit here.

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