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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

May 27, 2014

CPSC Recalls Bed Handles

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bed Handles Inc. announced a recall last week of adult portable bed handles due to entrapment and strangulation hazards. Bed handles are a type of adult portable bed rail.  About 113,000 bed handles were recalled after three women died after becoming entrapped between the mattress and the bed handles. Robert S. Adler, CPSC's acting chairman, said, "The recall of more than 100,000 bed handles signals CPSC's commitment to the safety of older Americans - a group that the commission has increasingly focused on."  The recall came a day after the CPSC announced its new Senior Safety Initiative.  For more information on the recall, read the story in the New York Times.  The Consumer Voice issued a statement commending CPSC for the recall but calling for mandatory safety rules for adult portable bed rails.

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Consumer Voice's Robyn Grant Speaks on Staffing to Congressional Task Force

The Congressional Task Force on Seniors held a briefing last week on issues related to the workforce.  Speakers included Stephanie Monroe, from US Against Alzheimer’s and the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s, who spoke about family caregiving; Sarita Gupta from Caring Across Generations and Jobs with Justice, who presented on issues related to the direct care workforce; and Robyn Grant, Consumer Voice Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, who spoke about the need for accurate nursing home staffing data and minimum staffing requirements in nursing homes.   To read Grant’s comments, click here.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

The Consumer Voice is an official World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) Collaborator for 2014.  June 15th is WEAAD, which provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.  The Consumer Voice encourages others to join as collaborators and submit a WEAAD event.  Join us Friday, June 6th for a Facebook First Friday focused on elder abuse in honor of WEAAD.  For more information about WEAAD and ideas on how you can participate, view the WEAAD toolkit and take action.

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Study Shows Dual-Eligibles More Likely to Go from Hospital to Lower-Quality Nursing Home

According to researchers from Brown and Harvard Universities, people eligible both for Medicare and Medicaid go to lower-quality nursing homes after being hospitalized at a rate higher than Medicare-only patients.  The study suggests that if the nursing home referral process changed, both government insurance programs could potentially save money and health outcomes might improve. The study showed that an average dual-eligible patient is about 9 percentage points less likely than a Medicare-only patient to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility with a high nurse-to-patient ratio.  For more information, read the article in McKnight's and the research abstract here.

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Reminder: Ask Congress to Fund an Elder Justice Initiative!

The President’s FY 2015 budget request included $25 Million for an Elder Justice Initiative, which would create an Adult Protective Services (APS) National Data System, develop APS program standards, and support evidence-based research regarding elder abuse. The President has done his part and included this important provision in his budget. Now it's up to Congress. Many in the Aging Network have serious concerns that if money is not appropriated for the Elder Justice Initiative this year, it is very likely the Elder Justice Act and its activities will never receive funding. This means no funding for APS services, improving the  long-term care ombudsman program’s ability to respond to abuse complaints, ombudsman training, and much more.

Individuals can send a letter to Members of Congress in support of the President's FY 2015 request for funding for an Elder Justice Initiative by clicking here. We also have a draft letter for organizations to send to Members of Congress in support of this request, which can be found here.
Thank you for your support!

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It's Coming!

Mark your calendar for June 3rd and watch your email for an exciting announcement from the Consumer Voice!

Upcoming Opportunities:

  • Consumer Voice to offer free state-based training, Updated application timeframe: June 3-23; Consumer Voice will be offering FREE state-based, in-person advocacy trainings for groups with the capacity to make an impact on policy and contribute to the Consumer Voice's national efforts. We welcome anyone and everyone - long-term care ombudsman programs, consumer advocacy groups, family/caregiving groups, consumer alliances, and community and senior organizations - to apply to receive these trainings. It doesn't matter how much or how little advocacy you've done in the past - all are welcome to apply! Find more information here.
  • Meaningful Consumer Engagement: Consumer Advisory Committees, Tuesday June 3rd 2:00pm EST - Two-part webinar hosted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in collaboration with The Lewin Group and Community Catalyst.  The webinar will focus on the components, benefits and goals of consumer advisory committees, including examples from two delivery systems with track records of meaningfully engaging their members. Featured Speakers: William Dean, Manager, Delivery System & Consumer Engagement, Community Catalyst; John Ruiz, Consumer Liaison, Commonwealth Care Alliance; Ken Pariseau, Manager, External Affairs, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.  Register by Friday, May 30
  • The Past and Future of Long-Term Care: 1989 to 2039, Wednesday, May 28th 9:00am EST, Washington, DC (Also available via webinar) - Forum held by RTI International. Leading health policy experts will discuss the changes in quality of care, service delivery, and financing for long-term care since 1989, where it stands today, and the implications of 2039.  RSVP to attend the webinar.
  • 2014 National Home & Community Based Services Conference, September 13-18, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA

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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 info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2014.

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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