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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

October 22, 2013

Connecticut Passes Law That Mandates Training for Nursing Home Staffs on Residents' Fear of Retaliation

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation that mandates nursing home staffs in Connecticut facilities receive training on how to identify and respond to patients’ fear of retaliation.

According to a study by the University of Connecticut Health Center, there is a real concern by seniors living in long-term care facilities that staff members may retaliate if a resident voices a concern or files a complaint.

“Considering Connecticut has one of the largest aging populations and highest rates of seniors in nursing homes, protecting the rights of elderly residents in supportive living is a priority for this state,” Malloy said in a press release.

“Reprisal against residents for reporting mistreatment can either be obvious or subtle – that’s why we need to ensure the dedicated and hardworking attendants at nursing homes around the state have the best possible training to identify and respond to all cases of retaliation.”

Connecticut is the first state to mandate retaliation training, to compliment federal standards set by the Nursing Home Reform Law. The training will discuss patients’ rights to file complaints, examples of what constitutes or may be perceived as retaliation, and ways to alleviate patients’ fear of it.

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DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Holds Luncheon Honoring Residents' Rights

Last Friday the DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program held their Residents’ Rights Month Luncheon.  This was an opportunity for residents of nursing homes throughout the District of Columbia to celebrate the rights they enjoy as residents. This year’s theme for Residents’ Rights  Month is “Speak Out Against Elder Abuse!”  This year’s theme is extremely timely because the Administration on Aging declared 2013 the Year of Elder Abuse Prevention. The hope in declaring 2013 the Year of Elder Abuse Prevention is to encourage national, state, and local organizations to both protect seniors and raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  During the luncheon D.C. long-term care residents were honored and the dignity, respect, and value of each resident was promoted.  Sara Cirba, Advocacy and Development Associate at the Consumer Voice, was a key note speaker at the luncheon and discussed the history of Residents’ Rights Month and why speaking out against elder abuse is so important.

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NORC's Lori Smetanka and Consumer Voice's Robyn Grant Quoted in USA Today Article

Lori Smetanka, Director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, and Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Consumer Voice were recently quoted in an article on financial abuse in long-term care facilities in USA Today.  Thousands of residents in US nursing homes and other long-term care institutions for the aged and disabled have had their personal savings raided or mismanaged after relying on the facilities to safeguard the money in special trust fund accounts.  These trust funds are supposed to work like conventional bank accounts, but USA Today found more than 1500 recent cases in which nursing homes have been cited by state and federal regulators for mishandling the funds. 

Trust fund cases "can be hard to detect.  It can take a long time before anyone figures out that someone is stealing the money," Lori Smetanka said.  Federal rules do not require nursing homes to audit their resident trust fund accounts, but some states do partial or occasional audits during the regular inspection process.  "Most businesses have regular audits.  That should just be part of a nursing home's regular operating costs," said Robyn Grant.

Read the full article here

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NASUAD Presents Award to Arkansas Office of the State LTC Ombudsman Program

The National Association of States United for Aging & Disabilities (NASUAD) presented the Arkansas Office of the State LTC Ombudsman Program with one of three National 2013 Volunteers Matter: Excellence in Volunteer Services Award.  The awards are designed to highlight successful state-run programs that are leading the way in the creative use of volunteers in the long-term services and supports network.  Kathie Gately, Arkansas State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, accepted the plaque and a $1000 check on behalf of the LTC Ombudsman program for the development of the Certified Volunteer LTC Ombudsman Program.  For more information, click here.

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Assistant Secretary Kathy Greenlee Discusses Elder Abuse on AARP Blog

AARP Blog recently featured a discussion with Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee on elder abuse.  Recent research by the AARP Public Policy Institute revealed that caseloads for adult protective services (APS) have increased since the start of the last recession, but the funding for these services either remained flat or decreased in many states.  The trend is troubling because APS programs provide safeguards for adults who cannot protect themselves, and APS caseworkers are the first responders to victims of elder abuse.  These concerns prompted AARP Blog's discussion with Kathy Greenlee.

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Community Catalyst Releases Checklist to Assess Whether a Medicaid Managed Care Program for LTSS is Consumer Focused

Community Catalyst recently released a checklist to help consumers and other stakeholders assess whether a Medicaid managed care program for LTSS is consumer focused.  Many of the questions featured on the checklist are also applicable to any Medicaid managed care program.  View the checklist.

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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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