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August 5, 2014

Legislation Requiring Round-the-Clock RN Coverage Introduced in Congress

The Consumer Voice applauds the introduction of H.R. 5373, the Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on July 31st. The bill would require all nursing homes receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement to have a registered nurse (RN) on duty twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week.

Although most people believe RNs are already required round-the-clock, this is not the case. Under current federal law, nursing homes are only required to have a RN eight hours each day regardless of facility size – no matter how many residents they have or how sick they are. To read our full press release on this legislation, click here.  Advocacy for increased RN staffing is part of Consumer Voice's Nursing Home Staffing Campaign.  To learn more or join the Campaign, go to www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing.

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Executive Order Barring Forced Arbitration in Government Contracts Highlights Need to Prohibit Similar Clauses in Long-Term Care Facility

President Obama has issued an Executive Order barring the use of forced, pre-dispute arbitration clauses in certain government contracts. Consumer Voice has released a statement in response urging the Administration and Congress to address the use of such clauses in long-term care facility contracts.  Eliminating these agreements is part of the Consumer Voice's public policy agenda. To read the statement, click here. To find out more about the issue of forced, pre-dispute arbitration agreements and how they impact long-term care consumers, visit our webpage on the issue here.

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Resident's Voice Submissions Deadline Extended to August 11th

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 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 Monday, August 11, 2014.

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

Does your organization have events planned to celebrate 2014 Residents' Rights Month? Send information on your event to info@theconsumervoice.org, and we will post it on our website.

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Free Advocacy Skills Training on August 26th in Arlington, VA

Consumer Voice is offering a FREE state-based, in-person advocacy skills training on Tuesday, August 26th at the Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport. We welcome long-term care ombudsmen, consumer advocates, family members, caregivers, consumer alliances, disability groups, and community and senior organizations. This will be an all day training from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. A free lunch will be provided.

You must register by Wednesday, August 13th to participate in this FREE training. Registration is limited, so make sure to register today. If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please contact Amanda Celentano, Program and Research Associate, at acelentano@theconsumervoice.org or at 202-332-2275 ext 204.

We hope you can join us in August!

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Webinar Recording Available for "The Changing Landscape of Assisted Living - Developments in States"

The webinar recording is now available for "The Changing Landscape of Assisted Living - Developments in States" hosted by the National Senior Citizens Law Center and the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance.  This presentation includes the results of a 12-state study on assisted living laws.  The webinar also includes presentations from advocates engaged in state efforts to improve assisted living through the legislative process – California, where the RCFE Reform Act of 2014 is moving through the state legislature; and Connecticut, which has revamped its assisted living regulations to improve resident health and safety. The presentation also discusses a new California-focused reform project.

Watch the webinar on the NORC website.

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PA 14-15, An Act Concerning Improving Transparency of Nursing Home Operations Signed in CT

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill during its 2014 session that will improve reporting requirements and provide the State with valuable information in order to assess the overall financial health and stability of nursing facilities.  Governor Malloy commented that the greater financial transparency provided for in this bill protects the rights and interests of residents as well as the State of CT.  The bill requires that operators of nursing homes who pay more than $10,000 per year to related parties or companies must provide profit-and-loss statements for such companies.
Connecticut State Ombudsman Nancy Shaffer and Resident Council President, member of the Executive Board of the Statewide Coalition of Presidents of Resident Councils and Chair of the Consumer Voice Leadership Council, joined other advocates at the State Capitol for Governor Dannel Malloy’s signing of the bill. To read the bill, click here.

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Study Finds Involving Nursing Assistants in Decision-Making May Improve Quality

A new study from researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found that empowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results in improved service.  The study analyzed managerial decisions of nursing home employees and how they are related to quality.  It found that when nursing staff had the autonomy to make decisions, there was a higher relationship to service quality.  Read the original study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology and find more information in the article from McKnight's.

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Caring Across Generations Launches #ThrowbackSummer

We all have grandparents or elders in our lives who’ve had a lasting impact on us — our gramps, nanas, abuelas, paw-paws, gonggongs.
They’ve taken a stand against injustice. They’re trailblazers. They’re immigrants. They have killer style and amazing dance moves. They’ve given us unconditional love, support, and inspiration (and too many meals to count).
To shine a light on their stories, Caring Across Generations has just launched a new summer-long campaign called ThrowbackSummer. It’s kicking off with a contest called ThrowbackYearbook, and we’re joining in to encourage people to share stories of their grandparents and elders.
For many of us, the issue of long-term care starts at home. It’s rooted in the love we feel for our family members, and in particular, the elders in our family. The contest is aiming to make this issue personal by shining a light on these relationships and uplifting stories that could otherwise go untold – from the silly to the heartwarming.
Playing off the yearbook theme, you can nominate your grandparent to win one of five categories: Life of the Party, Best Dressed, Most Talented, Ahead of Their Time, or Most Inspiring.
In particular, Caring Across is looking to highlight the stories that are usually less visible — the story of the grandparent who's raising their grandkids because their own children have been deported or are incarcerated. Or the amazing grandparent who supported their grandkid’s coming out process. The contest is notably open to not just grandparents, but any elder who has played a significant role in your life, whether living or passed on.
We’ve checked out the stories that have been submitted so far, and they’re pretty amazing. You can add yours on this simple entry form – http://throwbacksummer.com/enter/ – and be sure to include a pic! And if you don’t have one already, all the better excuse to call up your family and take a trip down memory lane.

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In this Issue

Legislation Requiring Round-the-Clock RN Coverage Introduced in Congress

Executive Order Barring Forced Arbitration in Government Contracts Highlights Need to Prohibit Similar Clauses in Long-Term Care Facility Agreements

Resident's Voice Submissions Deadline Extended to August 11th

Free Advocacy Skills Training on August 26th in Arlington, VA

Webinar Recording Available for "The Changing Landscape of Assisted Living - Developments in States"

PA 14-15, An Act Concerning Improving Transparency of Nursing Home Operations Signed in Connecticut

Study Finds Involving Nursing Assistants in Decision-Making May Improve Quality

Caring Across Generations Launches #ThrowbackSummer

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 supporter:

Paul Mon Dragon at Palmview Rehabilitation & Nursing Home in Yuma, AZ

Support the Consumer Voice While You Shop Online!

You can now shop on Amazon while supporting the Consumer Voice!  Consumer Voice is now listed as a part of AmazonSmile, an easy and automatic way to support Consumer Voice every time you shop, at no cost to you.  The Consumer Voice receives a donation of a portion of the purchase price every time you make a purchase.  All Amazon purchases cost the same as they normally would. 

To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to smile.amazon.com and input "NCCNHR" as your charity of choice.  For simpler shopping, you can install a one-touch button on your browser, so you can easily return to AmazonSmile to shop and support the Consumer Voice. For more information about AmazonSmile, click here.  Begin shopping now at smile.amazon.com!

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, August 26: Free Advocacy Skills Training, 9:30am - 4:30pm, Arlington, VA, Consumer Voice's free advocacy skills training; Register by contacting acelentano@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.

Provide a Scholarship to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Many advocates are not able to afford to attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference to experience the best speakers in the field, opportunities to network with colleagues and time to interact directly with long-term care consumers.  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.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Thursday, July 31:
Consumer Voice once again calls for the elimination of forced, pre-dispute arbitration clauses in long-term care facility admission following today's Executive Order barring the use of such clauses in certain government contracts, Consumer Voice Press Release

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, August 4:
Resident empowerment founders educating @rgelula of @ConsumerVoices at Pioneer Network meeting

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

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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