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June 26, 2014

Consumer Voice Launches Nursing Home Staffing Campaign

The Consumer Voice Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign was launched on June 24 with a virtual kickoff held by webinar/teleconference. The short-term goal of the campaign is to educate residents, families and the public, along with members of Congress, about the need for increased staffing in nursing homes, with a long-term goal of requiring that residents receive at least 4.1 hours of nursing care (care from certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses) every day.  Currently, federal regulations only require nursing homes to provide “sufficient” nursing staff to meet residents’ needs.  Research has established that higher levels of staffing are associated with better care.
Speakers at the kickoff included Sarah Greene Burger, former Consumer Voice (formerly NCCNHR) Executive Director and currently the Coordinator of the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations, who discussed the history of staffing policy and Consumer Voice/NCCNHR advocacy; Brian Capshaw, chair of the Consumer Voice Leadership Council and  Executive Board Member of the Statewide Coalition of Presidents of Resident Councils in Connecticut, who described the impact of short staffing on residents; and Karen Guice, Lead Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the Jefferson County Council on Aging in Alabama, who spoke compellingly about the importance of the Campaign and the need for everyone to get involved.
In conjunction with the kickoff, the Consumer Voice released a new staffing webpage and a  Nursing Home Staffing Campaign Toolkit that contains fact sheets, an issue brief, talking points, a “ready to go” PowerPoint presentation, and more. To access the toolkit, click here. Consumer Voice asks all residents, advocates, caregivers and LTC professionals to take action and join the campaign.
Since technical problems with the webinar prevented some people from hearing speakers,  it will be held again in the near future. Details will be announced soon.

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Consumer Voice Awarded NORC Grant

The Consumer Voice is pleased to announce the award of a 3-year Cooperative Agreement, effective June 1, 2014, from the Administration for Community Living to continue operation of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center!  The Center provides technical assistance, training, and support for State and Local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen across the country.  To learn more about the National Ombudsman Resource Center, go to www.ltcombudsman.org.

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CFPB Releases Guide to Protecting Residents from Financial Exploitation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a guide to protecting residents from financial exploitation to equip assisted living and nursing facility staff with the know-how to prevent and spot the warning signs of elder financial abuse.  

The guide is geared for assisted living and nursing facilities, but will also be helpful to operators of other senior living facilities. Family members of residents can read the guide to learn the red flags of financial exploitation, and can share the guide with staff of their loved ones’ facilities.  Long-term care ombudsman can benefit from tips in the guide. Download the manual from CFPB's website.

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Community Catalyst Produces Video on LTSS Coordination in Duals Demonstration

Community Catalyst recently produced a Voices for Better Health video on LTSS coordination in Massachusetts duals demonstration.  The video shares Olivia Richard's story, whose quality of life has improved by working with her Independent Living Long-Term Services and Supports (IL-LTSS) Coordinator through the One Care program, the Massachusetts dual eligible demonstration project. Watch the video here.

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Register now for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!

Registration is now open for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!  Register before July 22nd and save $50 with our Early Bird Rate. For more information about the conference, click here.  To register, click here.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2014 Consumer Voice Leadership Awards.  These awards are a great way to recognize a long-term care consumer, long-term care ombudsman, family caregiver, citizen advocate or another individual for their advocacy on behalf of long-term care consumers.  Nominations are due by Friday, July 18th.  For more information about the awards, click here.  If you have additional questions, contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org

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AARP Scorecard Measures State Performance on LTSS

Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are a range of personal care services in a variety of settings to help people with disabilities or chronic physical, cognitive or other care needs with such functions as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, mobility, transportation, money management and other functions of daily living.  Working with a large group of experts and advisors, AARP has assembled a scoring system to measure how states perform these services for older people, adults with disabilities and family caregivers.  The AARP scorecard measures five dimensions: affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, and effective transitions.

Last week, AARP reported the results of its second evaluation of all 50 states against these criteria.  Not surprisingly, there is a lot of variation in state performance; some states may be strong on one dimension but not on another.  Overall, AARP reported that the scorecard is leading states to work to improve LTSS.  According to Bruce Chernof, MD. President & CEO of The SCAN Foundation, this fact demonstrates the value of the scorecard approach. However, the report also recommends greater urgency, that “the pace of improvement must accelerate as the Baby Boom Generation moves toward advanced ages.”

The best state for LTSS?  According to the AARP scorecard, it is Minnesota.  Go to the report to see where your state ranks overall and on each dimension!

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Direct Care Alliance to Close

For nearly 10 years, Direct Care Alliance has been the national advocacy voice for direct care workers, people who provide hands-on care to others who need long-term supports and services.  Consumer Voice has been a coalition partner of Direct Care Alliance and we have supported their goals and programs to enfranchise and empower the workers who care for long-term care consumers.  A recent DCA victory was the final home care rule extending basic labor protections–including federal minimum wage and overtime pay–to home care workers nationwide.

Against this background, we are sad to report that Direct Care Alliance has posted a farewell message saying it is closing its Washington and New York City offices by June 30, 2014.  Through October, DCA will operate as a virtual organization and determine how to find new homes for its staff and programs.  We are grateful for the work of DCA, their contributions to direct care workers and to long-term care consumers across the nation and around the world.

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Upcoming Webinar:

PASRR and the Minimum Data Set: A Closer Look at PASRR - Identified Nursing Home Residents in Your State, Tuesday, July 8th 1:00pm EST - This free webinar from PASRR Technical Assistance Center, in collaboration with National Association of PASRR Professionals, will provide a brief overview of MDS and demonstrate some of the state and national trends it can be used to identify.  It will also introduce the "MDS Fact Sheet" - a new kind of state-specific analysis that the PASRR Technical Assistance Center will distribute to states later in 2014.

In this Issue

Consumer Voice Launches Nursing Home Staffing Campaign

Consumer Voice Awarded NORC Grant

CFPB Releases Guide to Protecting Residents from Financial Exploitation

Community Catalyst Produces Video on LTSS Coordination in Duals Demonstration

Register Now for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

AARP Scorecard Measures State Performance on LTSS

Direct Care Alliance to Close

Upcoming Webinar

4.1 It Can Be Done!

The Consumer Voice just launched our Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign! You can learn more about the campaign here: http://www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing

We're advocating for 4.1 hours of direct nursing care to nursing home residents.  Get the word out by sending us your picuture featuring "4.1 It Can Be Done".

See more on our Facebook album.

Post your photo to our Facebook page or tweet us your photo: @ConsumerVoices

Consumer Voice Executive Director Richard Gelula and Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Robyn Grant

Play Consumer Voice Website Trivia!

Explore our new website and win prizes! Answer the question below (and look for more trivia questions in upcoming weeks) and be the first to email the answer to info@theconsumervoice.org:

Where can you take action to tell Congress that better staffing is the key to better care? (Please provide the link in your answer.)

Congratulations to last week's winner: Nancy Wrede

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, July 1: Guardianship 101 in the Nursing Home Setting: What Every Social Worker Should Know, 1:00pm EST, Webinar from the University of Iowa School of Social Work

Tuesday, July 8: PASRR and the Minimum Data Set, 1:00pm EST, Free webinar from PASRR Technical Assistance Center

Wednesday, July 9: Family Conflict in the Nursing Home, 4:00pm EST, Webinar from the University of Iowa School of Social Work

September 13-18, 2014: National Home & Community Based Services Conference, Arlington, VA

October: 2014 Residents' Rights Month, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care

Monday, October 20: Discussing POLST with Persons with Early Alzheimer's Disease, 3:00pm EST, Webinar in yearly series from the National POLST Paradigm

November 15-18, 2014: Consumer Voice Annual Conference at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA Register now.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Long-Term Care Resources & News

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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