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This issue of The Gazette is made possible by contributions from members of the Consumer Voice staff in memory of Jackie Koenig,
their former colleague, ombudsman and advocate for quality long-term care, who will be remembered at a reception on Friday, July 18, 2014.

July 15, 2014

Seeking Assisted Living Facility Contracts

The Consumer Voice is increasingly concerned about assisted living facility (ALF) contracts that contain misleading, illegal and/or harmful provisions.  Consumers may be signing contracts without understanding how those provisions may affect them.   As part of a special project, we are analyzing ALF contracts with the goal of creating educational materials to better equip  prospective residents and families who are looking for an assisted living facility.  Please help us by sending us any contract you can obtain. Contracts can be scanned and emailed to Amanda Celentano at acelentano@theconsumervoice.org or mailed to Amanda at the following address: National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, 1001 Connecticut Ave, NW, #425; Washington, DC  20036.

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Participate in the 2014 Resident's Voice Challenge

Residents' Rights Month is an annual event designated by the Consumer Voice and is celebrated in October to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, sub acute units, assisted living, board and care and retirement communities. It is a time for celebration and recognition offering an opportunity for every facility to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and the value of each individual resident. The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2014 is, "Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care" with the goal of encouraging residents and others to be educated about staffing and long-term care.  

The Resident’s Voice is an opportunity for residents from facilities across the country to share their ideas about this year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme with other residents, ombudsmen, families, community members and nursing home staff.

Residents are encouraged to think about and respond to the following questions:

  1. Why are adequate staffing levels in nursing homes important to you?
  2. Describe a time when a staff person has gone out of their way to help you or made you feel special.
  3. Describe a time when you raised a concern about staffing at your facility and your voice was heard.
  4. What do you think should be done to ensure there is enough staff to provide good care to residents in all nursing homes?
Residents can respond to the questions in writing (poems, stories), through art of any kind or with videos/recordings. We encourage facilities/families to frame resident entries and hang them in residents’ rooms or other areas of the facility.

Plus, we will be creating a calendar in honor of this year’s theme!  Send us photos of residents and staff along with quotes from the residents about what the staff members mean to them, and we may include your picture in our calendar for sale during Residents’ Rights Month!

Send entries to info@theconsumervoice.org.

All submissions are due August 1, 2014.

For more information about the Resident's Voice Challenge and Residents' Rights Month, visit our website.

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Provide a Consumer Voice Conference Scholarship

The Consumer Voice Annual Conference is a one-of-a-kind experience that includes the best speakers in the field, many opportunities to network with colleagues and time to interact directly with long-term care consumers.  However, many individuals are not able to afford to attend the conference.  This year, we have created a special giving opportunity for Scholarships.  If you are able, please give as many scholarships as you can.  We would be delighted to obtain support for an additional 50 people.  Provide a scholarship by making a donation of $295 x the number of scholarships you would like to give.  Contributors to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference receive many benefits.  For more information about contributing to the conference, click here.

There is still time to receive a discounted conference registration - Register before July 22nd and receive $50 off of the registration rate.

Nominations are due this Friday, July 18th for the Consumer Voice Leadership Awards presented at the 2014 conference.

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DOJ, HHS Release Elder Justice Roadmap

The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services released the Elder Justice Roadmap - a detailed, practical guide "by the field, for the field" to engage in strategic planning to create coordinated approaches to addressing elder abuse. This unprecedented effort gathered input from public and private entities, experts from across the United States, and hundreds of people who address elder abuse and have a role to play in detecting and preventing it. The Roadmap reflects the knowledge and perspectives of these experts and will be considered by the Elder Jusice Coordinating Council and others in developing their own plans to prevent and address elder abuse.

The Roadmap highlights five top priorities critical to understanding and reducing elder abuse and to promoting health, independence, and justice for older adults: 1. Awareness; 2. Brain health; 3. Caregiving; 4. Economics; and 5. Resources.

The Elder Justice Roadmap can be used to raise awareness, identify the priorities most appropriate for you/your organization, engage new partners, and develop concrete plans of action to combat elder abuse.

The Consumer Voice/National LTC Ombudsman Resource Center participated as subject matter experts for the Roadmap, and is a member of the Roadmap's Interim Steering Committee.

For more information, see the Administration for Community Living press release.  Comments and feedback are welcome and should be sent to elderjusticeroadmap@gmail.com.

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Annual Fundraiser for the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program

Friday, July 18th  4pm - 6pm
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room

Please RSVP by emailing

About Jackie and the Program:
Jackie Koenig was the Consumer Voice's First Communications Director who later became director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. As a treasured friend and co-worker, one of Jackie's many passions was mentoring new people in gerontology, a practice she began in the 1980s when she served as a local ombudsman in Ohio and as a member of the Consumer Voice's Board of Directors.  She was passionate about her advocacy work and did not hesitate to pass on her enthusiasm to the many interns she had been privileged to tutor.  For this reason, family and friends decided to honor Jackie's legacy by establishing a special fund to support the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program.

With regret, Jackie met her untimely death in 1998, but the memories of her unique brand of heartening advocacy live on. Throughout the year, students and recent graduates are selected to serve as interns at the Consumer Voice.  Today, the organization hosts an average of five interns each semester. Staff rely heavily on the support of interns to complete important advocacy and policy work and the students likewise gain valuable, real-world experience in consumer advocacy and public policy.

Can't Attend?
Please consider an
online donation (you can designate your gift to this fund on our website)!  The Consumer Voice's ability to advocate for long-term care consumers is made possible by the generous financial support of our donors.

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Article Published on Effects of Regulation and Litigation on a For-Profit Nursing Home Chain

Recently an article was published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law by Charlene Harrington, professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing entitled "The Effects of Regulation and Litigation on a Large For-Profit Nursing Home Chain."  The article examined the effects of state regulation and civil class-action litigation on corporate compliance with nurse staffing and quality standards, corporate strategies to manage staffing and quality, and corporate financial status of a large for-profit nursing home chain.  A historical case study was used to examine multiple public data sources, focusing on facilities in California from 2003 to 2011 during and after regulatory actions and litigation. The results showed that the state issued numerous deficiencies for violations of the nurse staffing and quality standards with minimal impact on quality compliance with state law. A class action jury trial found the company violated the state's minimum staffing standard on one-third of the total days during a six-year period and awarded a $677 million verdict. A court settlement and supervised injunction resulted in compliance with minimum staffing and some improvement in quality measures, but quality levels remained below the average California facilities. The litigation also negatively impacted the finances of the company's California facilities and parent business. The study found that civil litigation had more impact on the chain than the regulatory oversight.

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In this Issue

Seeking Assisted Living Facility Contracts

Participate in the 2014 Resident's Voice Challenge

Provide a Consumer Voice Conference Scholarship

DOJ, HHS Release Elder Justice Roadmap

Annual Fundraiser for Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program

Article Published on Effects of Regulation and Litigation on a For-Profit Nursing Home Chain

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our newly launched nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating for a minimum of 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day.  To show your support of this campaign, individuals can send us a photo with the slogan "4.1 - It CAN Be Done" by tweeting us pictures @ConsumerVoices, posting on our Facebook or emailing your photos to info@theconsumervoice.org.  Get the word out and encourage consumers to participate by sending in their photos too! 

You can join the Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care campaign, learn more about the campaign's goals, access the campaign advocacy toolkit, and take action at: www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing

Most recent supporters:

Jessica from San Antonio, TX

Tyronda from North Carolina

Calendar of Events

Friday, July 18: Nominations due for 2014 Leadership Awards

Friday, July 18: Annual Fundraiser for the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program, 4:00-6:00pm EST, Consumer Voice office, Washington, DC, RSVP to info@theconsumervoice.org

Friday, August 1: Submissions due for the 2014 Resident's Voice Challenge, Email submissions to info@theconsumervoice.org

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!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Monday, July 7:
Mother (95) of Consumer Voice Executive Director says "4.1 It CAN Be Done!"

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, July 7:
Research from CGNO Supports 4.1 Nursing Hours Per Resident Minimum

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Read past issues of The Gazette here.

Sponsor the Gazette - Consumer Voice is now accepting sponsorship for each weekly issue of The Gazette.  As a benefit of sponsorship, the contributor may honor, remember, or thank an individual or organization.  For more information, contact Richard Gelula at rgelula@theconsumervoice.org

Conference Scholarship Campaign - Contribute to the Conference Scholarship Campaign to enable us to register individuals including long-term care consumers and nursing home residents who cannot otherwise afford to attend the annual Consumer Voice conference.  We would be delighted to obtain support for an additional 50 people.  Provide a scholarship by making a donation of $295 x the number of scholarships you would like to give.

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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