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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

March 26, 2013

Volunteer Management Webinar Materials Now Available

The webinar recording, PowerPoint slides and other materials from last week’s webinar titled “Modernize Your Program to Attract and Retain Today’s Volunteers” are now available on the NORC website.

 This webinar provides recruitment, training and retention strategies to help your program attract and retain “today’s” volunteer. In addition to explaining what it means to “modernize” your program, the webinar reviews current volunteer demographics, why volunteers serve, what volunteers want from their experience and how to best utilize their time, skills and expertise. Representatives from three LTCO programs share their experience regarding a variety of volunteer management practices that help them recruit, train and retain volunteers, including the following:

  • The value of assessing your program and volunteer satisfaction surveys
  • Successful recruitment using traditional approaches and free, online resources
  • Working with volunteers that are employed full-time
  • How to match a volunteer’s skills, knowledge and experience with their role and responsibilities
  • Creative uses of technology to enhance training and communication

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Resources for Understanding Sequestration

On March 1st, 2013, sequestration - a collection of federal spending cuts mandated through the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) - went into effect, triggering automatic funding reductions across nearly all government agencies. These automatic spending cuts were included in the BCA, otherwise known as the ‘debt ceiling compromise’, to serve as an inducement for Congress to reach a deficit reduction agreement. Under this law, sequestration would take effect on January 2, 2013 if Congress failed to pass such a deal within an allotted amount of time. Sequestration was delayed to March 1, 2013, but Congress did not reach a compromise on deficit reduction. As a result, these automatic spending reductions – which were never intended to be implemented – went into effect.

 Sequestration triggers $85 billion in automatic cuts to federal government agencies in 2013 and $109 billion more in federal spending reductions over the next eight years. Several vital programs and services that long-term care consumers may rely upon – such as Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, catastrophic subsidy payments and low-income premium and cost-sharing subsidies under Medicare Part D, and all Veterans Affairs (VA) programs – are exempt from sequestration. However, many vital programs for long-term care consumers - such as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, various key supportive services authorized by the Older Americans Act (including senior transportation programs, personal care services, legal services, and the National Family Caregiver Support Program) – are subject to cuts under sequestration. Medicare provider payments will also be reduced by 2% under sequestration, which could possibly limit provider access or increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

 As sequestration only went into effect a few weeks ago, it is difficult to assess the full impact these cuts will have on long-term care consumers. However, below are some resources that may be helpful in better understanding sequestration and how it relates to long-term care.

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Consumer Voice Attends SCAN Foundation Briefing on the State and Future of Long-Term Care Financing

On March 20th, 2013, the Consumer Voice was pleased to attend a briefing by The SCAN Foundation on the state and future of long-term care financing. This event included discussion of the current landscape of long-term care financing in the United States and policy considerations for the future of long-term care. Speakers included experts on long-term care insurance’s role in the private sector as well as leading policy specialists on social insurance models. The briefing concluded that no one long-term care financing option meets the existing or growing long-term care needs of our nation’s population and that a multi-faceted approach – including both privately and publicly funded options – was integral to meeting future needs. Bruce Chernof, President and Chief Executive Officer of The SCAN Foundation, gave the opening and closing remarks at the briefing, in which he highlighted the opportunity of the recently formed Long-Term Care Commission to engage in meaningful work on long-term care financing issues. Dr. Chernof was recently appointed to serve as one of the fifteen members of this congressionally mandated commission. Materials from the briefing can be found at The SCAN Foundation’s website here.

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Friday Morning Collaborative Holding Webinar on Immigration Reform

The Friday Morning Collaborative Webinar Series is holding a webinar on Thursday, April 4th entitled “Immigration Reform: Key Issues for Older Adults, Individuals with Disabilities, and Home and Community-Based Services. This webinar provides an overview of key issues in immigration reform and describes a vision for creating a more just and caring society across generations.

Immigration Reform: Key Issues for Older Adults, Individuals with Disabilities, and Home and Community-Based Services
Thursday, April 4, 2013
2:00pm EST

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Skilled Nursing Facilities Not Expected to Reach Reduction Goal of Antipsychotic Use

According to Alice Bonner, the director of the division of nursing homes of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, skilled nursing facilities are making progress in reducing the off-label use of antispychotics, but they are expected to fall short of an overall 15% reduction goal by the end of 2012. Though the facilities are not expected to achieve the goal, use of antipsychotics is going down steadily in every region, and some facilities have individually achieved up to a 50% reduction rate.

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

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Two-Day Workshop on Elder Abuse and Its Prevention

The Forum on Global Violence Prevention, at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, will hold a two-day workshop exploring the burden of elder abuse around the world, focusing on its impact on individuals, families, communities, and societies, and illuminating promising approaches to its prevention. Attendance is free and open to the public. The workshop can be accessed both in-person and via webcast.

Elder Abuse and Its Prevention
April 17-18, 2013

For more information, visit the website.

Protect the Elderly from Dangerous Bed Rails

THANK YOU to those individuals and groups who have signed our petition which calls for safety standards for adult bed rails. Haven’t signed yet? Please take the time to do so today by clicking here. We have a goal of 1,000 signatures and we need your help to reach that goal!

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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 © 2013.

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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