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September 15, 2015

CDC Releases Resources on Antibiotic Stewardship in Nursing Homes

The CDC has released "Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship in Nursing Homes," a resource designed to help nursing homes improve antibiotic prescribing practices and reduce inappropriate use to protect residents from the consequences of antibiotic-resistant infections.  This resource provides examples of how antibiotic use can be monitored and improved by nursing home leadership and staff. A companion checklist is also available to help nursing homes assess policies and practices already in place and review progress in expanding stewardship activities on a regular basis.  View the resource here.

Fact sheets specifically for residents and families are also available:

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CMS Extends Deadline to Submit Comments on Proposed Nursing Home Regulations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced  that the agency will be extending the comment period 30 days for the proposed nursing home regulations. Individuals and organizations will now have until October 14th to submit comments on the proposed rule.

As a reminder, we've prepared sample comments for to use for commenting on the regulations. You can find these sample comments, along with instructions on how to submit your comments to CMS on our website.

With this additional time, we hope that many of you will be able to submit comments - we need as many of you as possible to weigh in!

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Hill Briefings Preceding Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23rd

September 23rd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day.  In preparation for the day, several organizations are holding Hill briefings this week.  On Wednesday, September 16 at 11:00am ET, the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force is holding a briefing in 122 Cannon House Office Building entitled "Preventing Falls and TBI-Related Injuries Among Older Americans Congressional Briefing."  Speakers will include Dr. Grant Baldwin, Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Edwin Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration for Community Living; Martha Roherty, Executive Director of NASUAD; and Howard Bedlin, Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy at NCOA. On Thursday, September 17 at 1:30pm ET, Trust for America's Health and Safe States Alliance will hold a briefing in 485 Russell Senate Office Building on the recent report, "The Facts Hurt." The briefing will address three leading causes of injury – child maltreatment, falls by the elderly, and prescription drug overdose – and how we can prevent them.  Each briefing will include remarks on the revised 2015 Falls Free National Falls Prevention Action Plan.

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month; Webinar and New Resource Available for Older Adults

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September, the National Council on Aging is holding a webinar on Thursday, September 17th at 2:30pm ET entitled "Suicide Prevention and Older Adults."  During the webinar, Expert speakers will highlight risk factors for suicide among older adults and will discuss successful strategies for preventing suicide. Register for the webinar here. Plus, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a new toolkit for senior centers entitled, "Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide."  Learn more about the resource on the Administration for Community Living's blog.

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Book Your Hotel Room for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Be sure to reserve your room at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel soon for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference.  Rooms are booking quickly!  The special conference rate will end October 5th, so book your room now to ensure you get a room at a great rate!  For more hotel information, click here.

Conference Program Updated

Don't forget to check out all of the wonderful events included on the updated agenda. Bringing together long-term care consumers, advocates, ombudsmen, agency personnel, policy makers, researchers, provider representatives and others, the Consumer Voice Conference is genuinely unique and reinforces the advocacy perspective.  Agenda highlights include a listening session with CMS, a wide variety of workshops on topics such as alternatives to use of antipsychotic drugs and nursing home enforcement; plenaries on the new federal HCBS regulations and palliative care for persons with advanced dementia; and many important group meetings.  View the full updated agenda here, and register for the conference here. Regular conference rate ends October 9th.  Don't miss out on these informative events with experts from across the nation!

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Introducing the Legal Track at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

The 2015 Consumer Voice Conference is showcasing a series of special Legal Track Sessions on Thursday, November 5. created for attorneys working for quality care.  Sessions include:

  • Listening Session with CMS – The Survey & Enforcement System
  • Combating the Excessive and Illegal Use of Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs in People with Dementia
  • Protecting Residents’ Rights from Arbitration
  • Issues and Strategies in Assisted Living Litigation

For more information on the Legal Track Sessions, visit the Consumer Voice website.  Spread the word about these can't-miss sessions with this flyer.

Register for one-day Attendance - $219 (after October 9 - $239) or full conference registration – November 5-7 - $429 (after October 9 - $479).

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Don't Miss the 40th Anniversary Party; Tickets on Sale Now

Purchase tickets now for the Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party November 5th 6:30pm-9:30pm ET at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel!  Enjoy music and dancing, lots of food and a cash bar.  Plus, express yourself and come dressed as your favorite decade of the past 40 years!  For information about sponsoring a table, click hereRegister for the Consumer Voice Conference and attend the party for free.  Purchase additional tickets for $95.  Send your well wishes to Consumer Voice with a congratulatory message that will be on display during the party!  Join us in celebrating 40 years of making quality care matter!

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What do you have planned for Residents' Rights Month 2015?

Residents' Rights Month is an annual event celebrated in October to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities.  It is a time for celebration and recognition offering an opportunity for every facility to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and value of each individual resident.  This year's theme is CARE Matters.  What's new for this year's Residents' Rights Month?

  • We have already heard about several wonderful events and trainings happening all across the country!  What do you have planned? Let us know at info@theconsumervoice.org. 
  • Need some inspiration for activities? Check out the Residents' Rights Month page on the Consumer Voice website for ideas for engaging activities for residents, ombudsmen and staff.
  • Preorder "40 Words of Wisdom" - a unique book featuring essays, poetry and artwork from long-term care residents. Perfect as a residents' rights training tool for ombudsmen and staff or as a keepsake book to encourage residents to let their voices be heard!
  • CARE Matters wristbands and buttons are still available.  Great as giveaways during Residents' Rights Month events or gifts to residents or volunteers!

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Facebook Friends - Be sure you "Get our Notifications"

Have you liked us on Facebook?  We use our Facebook page as a way to post about current long-term care news and engage in discussions about important issues.  Plus, we love sharing our archival photos during #tbt (Throwback Thursday) and including information about exciting news and events going on at Consumer Voice.

Already like us on Facebook? Don't miss any important news or events by making sure you get our notifications. Visit our Facebook page; towards the top, click on the "Liked" button and choose "Get Notifications."  This will ensure that our posts appear on your Newsfeed.  It's convenient for you because you'll always see our recent posts as they happen.  It's helpful to us because we'll know we're reaching you with our information and updates.  We look forward to connecting with you on Facebook!

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ACL to Hold Ombudsman Listening Session on Draft APS Guidelines

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently released Draft Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services (APS) Systems. These draft guidelines were developed by experts in the field of APS and adult maltreatment based on the best research available on what works in APS and similar systems.

ACL is particularly interested in receiving feedback from the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen and others in the LTC Network.  A specific Listening Session has been set up for us on October 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm (Eastern).  Click here to register to be on the call.

You can also share your feedback on the draft guidelines by submitting a comment by October 30, 2015 on the ACL website.

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In the News...

  • A lawsuit against the company that runs Golden LivingCenter nursing-care facilities in Pennsylvania has been updated to include 11 more locations.  The change occurred as a result of the more than 350 complaints the state attorney general's office received since announcing the case in July.  For more information, read the article in Lancaster Online.

Spotlight on Giving: 40th Anniversary Special Gifts Campaign

For 40 years, Consumer Voice – known for most of those years as NCCNHR – has been dedicated to achieving person-centered, quality long-term care.  We have made significant progress in this time, but in an ever-changing world in which person-centered practices compete with other values such as “limited government” and provider profits, there are always new challenges.  One is occurring right now. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed new regulations governing nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments. This is the first new set of rules in 25 years. They actually espouse a great deal of movement toward person-centered practices, but in many areas the new rules will cause problems. One problem is the absence of a definitive staffing requirement for nursing care. This is a major oversight.

Here is where your support for Consumer Voice during our 40th anniversary comes in. We truly need your help. We have mounted an extensive, multi-organization effort to address problems in the new CMS regulations. Once we have submitted our comments and have helped other advocates to do the same, the next phases of our advocacy will ensue. This continues to be extremely important work and Consumer Voice is leading the way. Now, can you be counted to make a significant contribution to this effort? Each person decides what “significant” is.  There are many ways you can give: donate online or by check, sign-up for a monthly automatic payment from your account, make a gift of stock – even donate a used car or other property.  To discuss your gift and how you would like it recognized, please contact Richard Gelula at rgelula@theconsumervoice.org or (202) 332-2275 x209.  And for more information about the 40th Anniversary Campaign, click here.

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Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center have a multitude of resources available online covering a wide range of long-term care topics.  Visit the Consumer Voice website and the NORC website to explore all the available resources.  Take a look at this week's highlighted resource:

Side-by-Side Comparison of Current and Proposed Nursing Home Regulations  - On July 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed revisions to the current federal nursing home regulations. To assist you in comparing the current version with the proposed rule, Consumer Voice created a side-by-side comparison. You can access a pdf of the comparison here and an Excel version of it here.

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In this Issue

CDC Releases Resources on Antibiotic Stewardship in Nursing Homes

CMS Extends Deadline to Submit Comments on Proposed Nursing Home Regulations

Hill Briefings Preceding Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23rd

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month; Webinar and New Resource Available for Older Adults

Book Your Hotel Room for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Introducing the Legal Track at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Don't Miss the 40th Anniversary Party; Tickets on Sale Now

What Do You Have Planned for Residents' Rights Month 2015?

Facebook Friends - Be Sure You "Get our Notifications"

ACL to Hold Ombudsman Listening Session on Draft APS Guidelines

In the News...

Spotlight on Giving: 40th Anniversary Special Gifts Campaign

Spotlight on Educational Resources

40 Words of Wisdom Now Available for Preorder

As part of Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary celebration and this year's Residents' Rights Month, we selected 40 Resident's Voice entries - moving essays, touching poetry, and beautiful art - and combined them into 40 Words of Wisdom, a poignant collaboration of resident voices across the nation.  This is a must-have collection!

40 Words of Wisdom makes a great gift for residents, caregivers, ombudsman staff and volunteers and others.  Every facility should have copies for sharing, for discussions and for inspiration.

Preorder your copy now!

Nursing Homes: Getting Good Care There Now Available

We have received a new shipment; our acclaimed resource, Nursing Homes: Getting Good Care There, is now available for purchase from our online store.

Consumer Voice’s classic consumer guide includes dozens of specific advocacy strategies, checklists and standards of care. A “must-read” for residents, family members, and advocates who seek the best possible care in nursing homes. Also a great training tool for all paid and volunteer ombudsmen.

Purchase your copy here.  Remember - Consumer Voice members receive 10% off.  For bulk orders (25 or more), contact info@theconsumervoice.org.

Participate in the Nursing Home Staffing Campaign

As part of our nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating to have a registered nurse on duty in a nursing home 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  To show your support of this campaign, ask your Congressperson to support H.R. 952, the Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act.  To learn more about staffing issues, visit www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing.

Calendar of Events

September: Sepsis Awareness Month

September: Emergency Preparedness Month

September 13-19: National Assisted Living Week

Thursday, September 17: Suicide Prevention and Older Adults, 2:30pm ET, Webinar from NCOA Center for Healthy Aging

Tuesday, September 22: Pain Assessment in Dementia: One Person at a Time, 2:00pm ET, Part 1 of a two-part webinar series from Pioneer Network and NYU, $99

Wednesday, September 23: Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Wednesday, September 30: National PrepareAthon Day

October: Residents' Rights Month, CARE Matters

Monday, October 5: Disrupt Infections: Creating a Community of Prevention, 9:00am-11:00am, Stockbridge, GA, Workshop from Advancing Excellence

Tuesday, October 20: Pain Management in Dementia: One Person at a Time, 2:00pm ET, Part 2 in a two-part webinar series from Pioneer Network and NYU, $99

November 1-7: National Memory Screening Week

November 4-7: Consumer Voice 39th Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia

Thursday, November 5: Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, Arlington, VA

Register Now for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference
November 4-7, 2015

New Resources Available on Nursing Home Transitions

  • Quality Care, No Matter Where: Successful Nursing Home Transitions Report - examines nursing home transitions and how they can be improved from the perspective of both consumers who have moved back into the community and the agencies that assist them.
  • Consumer to Consumer: Tips for a Successful Nursing Home Transition - provides steps nursing home residents can take to make their move go as smoothly as possible
  • How-To Guide for State and Local Advocates - equips advocates with strategies, ideas and materials to use in working in their state.

View all resources here.

Your Car Can Help Promote Quality Care - It's Easy!

Do you, a loved one or friend have a car that you or they would like to dispose of?  Now, Consumer Voice can help – and your used car can help Consumer Voice!  By working with our car disposal agency, Vehicle Donation to Any Charity (V-DAC), the proceeds from the sale of your car become a contribution to Consumer Voice.

Donating your car is easy - V-DAC comes to the location of the car and picks it up (whether the car can be driven or not).  Provide the car's registration and title, and V-DAC will send you a contribution letter with the amount of the donation that was made.

Note: We are actually registered with the service as “NCCNHR” so when asked which charity you would like to benefit, just say or type in “NCCNHR.”

Here is a link to our page on the V-DAC site http://v-dac.com/org?id=52-1122531 and you can get started there – or just call 877-999-8322 toll free.   And to discuss your donation with Consumer Voice, just write to us at info@theconsumervoice.org or call (202) 332-2275 x209

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Thursday, September 10:
An updated agenda is now available for the 2015 Consumer Voice Annual Conference!

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Friday, September 11
Breaking: Comment period for proposed nursing home regulations extended to October 14th

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About The Voice

The Voice is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe below. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2015.

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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. Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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