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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 3, 2014

Consumer Voice Staff Present on Nursing Home Transitions

On May 28th, the Consumer Voice's Sara Cirba and Amity Overall Laib presented in a webinar hosted by the National Legal Resource Center entitled "Supporting Consumers Who Transition Out of Nursing Homes." The Consumer Voice interviewed numerous individuals who transitioned back to the community and heard from them about what worked, what didn't, and what could have been done better. This webinar covered what consumers said about the transition process and strategies for improvement. The webinar also looked at the roles of care partners and others, such as the long-term care ombudsman and transition coordinators, in supporting the individual. The recording and materials from the webinar are available here.

See also: New Consumer Voice Transitioning Project Announced

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LTC Ombudsman Casework: Advocacy and Communication Skills Video and Training Materials Available

"Long-Term Care Ombudsman Casework: Advocacy and Communication Skills" video and training materials are now available. This video reviews LTCO complaint investigation procedures and demonstrates resident-directed advocacy and effective communication skills during complaint intake, investigation and resolution that are applicable to all aspects of LTCO work. The video is intended to be used with the accompanying trainee guide during classroom training for new LTCO; however, trainers can also use these materials to help experienced LTCO refresh their skills by applying the techniques and procedures discussed in the video to different scenarios. The video has two scenarios and the total length is approximately 35 minutes (22 minutes for the first scenario and 13 for the second). The first scenario shows the process of complaint intake, investigation and resolution, and the second scenario demonstrates how a LTCO uses a different strategy to address a complaint that had been previously resolved.  Video and materials are available via the links below or can be purchased from the Consumer Voice for $15/set.

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Skilled Nursing Facility Resident in Colorado Awarded $3.3 million in Negligence Case

In Pueblo, Colorado, Belmont Lodge Health Care Center, a skilled nursing facility, was found guilty of negligence, and an 82 year old resident and his family have been awarded $3.3 million.  The lawsuit originally filed in 2013 said that James Sharon suffered from "recurrent negligence" during his three-year stay at the facility.  According to the complaint, Sharon suffered an array of injuries.  The jury awarded $300,000 for negligence and $3 million for punitive damages.  For more information, read the article in McKnight's.

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Consumer Voice to Develop New Self-Advocacy Resources for Nursing Home Transitions

Expanding long-term care service options coupled with shifting policy and consumer preferences for home and community based services may be increasing the tempo of transitions to and from nursing home facilities.  Yet, research conducted by Consumer Voice with people who have experienced transitions from nursing facilities to home care or other care environments revealed that successful transitions require detailed planning, support, and preparation.  There is a tendency to forget that nursing homes provide comprehensive residential, dietary, mobility, recreation and other services and that setting up or re-establishing services independently like utilities and pharmacy arrangements can be complex and daunting.  

In a new project made possible through foundation funding, Consumer Voice will study the experiences and ingredients of successful transitions and develop resources including planning guides and checklists useful for advocates, educators of seniors and persons with disabilities, and for consumers themselves.  The project, “Quality Care, No Matter Where: Successful Nursing Home Transitions" will begin with additional research and produce new resources by mid- 2015.  Stay tuned!

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Seeking Assisted Living Contracts

The Consumer Voice is beginning a project analyzing assisted living contracts.  We hope to obtain contracts from every state and from a range of facility types.  Please help by sending us a copy of any contracts you may have.  All submitted material will be treated confidentially.  Any analysis or report that results will not name individuals or institutions. Contracts can be mailed or scanned. Send them to:  Amanda Celentano, Consumer Voice Associate of Program and Research, e-mail: acelentano@theconsumervoice.org or mail:

Amanda Celentano, Associate of Program and Research
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425
Washington, DC 20036

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Correction to Consumer Voice Mention in McKnight's Article

The Consumer Voice was mentioned in a McKnight's article last week.  The article incorrectly stated the the Consumer Voice's May 27th statement called for a permanent ban of bedrails.  Rather, the Consumer Voice statement urges “the Commission to further protect older adults (and persons with disabilities) by issuing mandatory rules for these products.”

Consumer Voice takes issue with the fact that although CSPC data show that these portable devices have been implicated in 174 deaths and 110,000 injuries during a 10 year period, the CSPC has called for only voluntary, not mandatory standards.  The petition Consumer Voice and many other organizations submitted to the CPSC in 2013 called for mandatory standards or a ban. As our statement indicates, we are advocating first and foremost for improved products and mandatory rules regarding their use, rules that address the asphyxiation and entrapment hazard caused by the use of adult portable bed rails.

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Upcoming Opportunities:

Launch of Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign, Tuesday, June 24th 2:00pm EST by telephone and webinar - The Consumer Voice is hosting a virtual kickoff event to launch our Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign. More registration details to come.

ACL Listening Session: Older Adults and Oral Health Education for LTC Services and Supports Providers and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, Wednesday, June 11th 3:00pm EST - The listening session from the Administration for Community Living is open to 200 individuals interested in providing feedback related to older adult oral health education. The webinar objectives are to deliver a synopsis of the oral health of older adults in the U.S.; present an overview of ACL's current oral health initiatives; and provide the aging services network with an opportunity to give feedback and have questions answered.

Jimmo v. Sebelius Improvement Standard Updates, Wednesday, June 11th 2:00pm EST, $99 per site - Presented by lead counsel for the Jimmo Plaintiffs, this webinar from the Center for Medicare Advocacy will provide the latest information regarding the Settlement Agreement and implementation of the national class action litigation, Jimmo v. Sebelius.  The webinar will provide up-to-date information about: Jimmo implementation and monitoring; the Jimmo re-review process for class members denied Medicare based on an Improvement Standard; and what to do if Medicare is denied for skilled maintenance nursing or therapy.

Elder Justice Action: District Office Visits, Thursday, June 5th 3:30pm EST, Call- in number: 1-800-356-8278; Conference code: 458866 - During this webinar, learn the "why, how and when" to making a successful district office visit.  Connecting with lawmakers' district offices is one of the most effective ways to build the relationships necessary for us to win.  Join fellow advocates for a webinar presented by Blob Blancato and the Elder Justice Coalition team in collaboration with Elder Justice ACTion, a grassroots campaigning group. To join the webinar, use this link: http://web.megameeting.com/guest/?id=173-205657

Discussing POLST with Persons with Early Alzheimer's Disease, Monday, October 20th 3:00pm EST - The National POLST Paradigm has scheduled another webinar in its yearly series.  This seminar will address the special challenges of discussing POLST-type wishes with patients in the early stage of dementia.  Register ahead of time as space is limited.

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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