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September 29, 2015

Residents' Rights Month Begins This Week!

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 2015 is, "CARE Matters" with the goal of highlighting quality care.

  • How are you celebrating Residents' Rights Month?  Check out our News & Events to see how advocates and residents are celebrating across the country.  Plus, let us know what you're up to - email info@theconsumervoice.org.
  • Need some ideas for activities?  Check our website.
  • Encourage your local media to cover Residents' Rights Month by releasing a press release, using our easy tool to write a letter-to-the-editor or asking your governor or mayor to declare October 2015 Residents' Rights Month.
  • Tweet @ConsumerVoices using #CAREMatters to tell us how you're celebrating Residents' Rights Month.  Plus, use this sample tweet to promote the event to your network:  I'm celebrating Residents' Rights Month #CAREMatters with @ConsumerVoices to honor all long-term care residents http://bit.ly/1GS629p

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Calling All Advocates: Submit Comments on Proposed Nursing Home Regulations

If you have not yet done so, Consumer Voice urges you to submit comments on the proposed nursing home regulations.  This is one of the most important advocacy opportunities you will ever have to impact what new federal nursing home regulations will look like, including whether or not they include any minimum staffing standards.  For your convenience, we have prepared sample comments on the proposed regulations that you can use as is or modify. You can find these sample comments, along with instructions on how to submit your comments to CMS, on our website. Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-3375 if you have any questions about how to submit comments.  Comments are due by 5:00pm ET on October 14.

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News Documentary on Misuse of Pyschotropic Drugs in Nursing Homes Wins Emmy

The news documentary "Overmedicated and Misinformed" by KCET TV in Los Angeles won an Emmy for its coverage of a lawsuit which sought to halt the misuse of psychotropic drugs at one of California's largest skilled nursing chains.  Plaintiff Aleah Davis was forcibly administered mind-altering drugs against her will though she was never examined by a psychiatrist or diagnosed with any mental disease.  Ms. Davis was given drugs including the powerful antipsychotic Haldol, which the FDA has recognized is not an approved treatment for dementia and almost doubles the mortality rate when prescribed to elders.  Learn more about this documentary here.

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The Agenda is Packed for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference - Register Now!

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.

Conference highlights include:

  • Pre-conference intensives on Managing Challenging Behaviors Without Drugs and Advocacy Strategies and Appeals – Involuntary Discharge from Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
  • Listening Sessions with CMS;
  • Workshops such as; Addressing the Care Needs of Younger Residents; Nursing Home Enforcement; Issues in Assisted Living Litigation; Unwanted Medical Treatment and Achieving Staff Stability;
  • Screening of Alive Inside;
  • Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party;
  • Closing Plenary - The Power of Advocacy: How Do We Get Where We're Going?
  • Special Legal Track on November 5th - sessions geared towards attorneys working for quality care
  • ...and even more on the full agenda!

Register now to take advantage of this one-of-a-kind opportunity to share insights with advocates from across the country, learn about best practices nationwide, attend skills trainings with experts from the field, and engage in one-on-one dialogue with long-term care consumers.

Hotel room block ends October 5th so book your room ASAP!

Regular registration for the conference ends October 9th.

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Celebrating Our History and Honoring Our Gems - Partners

As Consumer Voice Celebrates our 40th Anniversary we want to take this opportunity to reflect on our past and recognize the individuals who shaped our organization. In honor of the 40-year ruby anniversary we will highlight Consumer Voice's Gems which include key leaders, organizations, and special moments that have made a significant impact on our organization's development, mission, and advocacy.

For this month's gem, we celebrate our partners.

Building effective partnerships has been an important component in the Consumer Voice's advocacy efforts over the last 40 years. Other advocacy and professional organizations, funders, researchers, and long-term care providers have enhanced our community engagement and allowed us to multiply the power of advocacy for quality long-term care services and supports around the nation. By collaborating with partners we have increased community awareness on key issues such as abuse and neglect, restraint reduction, quality care, residents' rights, person-centered care, reducing the use of inappropriate antipsychotic medications, and self advocacy. Our partnerships have helped us establish a network of advocates dedicated to improving long-term care.

The role of our partners has been to inform community leaders, decision-makers, and elected officials about consumer issues and advocate for quality improvements. The Consumer Voice and our partners have been able to do this several times in the last four decades. The Consumer Voice campaigns to pass the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (OBRA 87) and then to prevent the repeal of the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) in 1995 are examples of successful advocacy due to collaboration. Both campaigns were championed by members of congress and supported by many partner organizations such as AARP, the Alzheimer's Association, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The advocates, as well as other national organizations, were successful in both of these campaigns and the Nursing Home Reform Act continues to serve as the foundation for quality care.

Advocacy to address current issues such as mandatory arbitration agreements, adequate and well-trained staff, requiring a registered direct care nurse on duty 24 hours per day in nursing homes, quality care in assisted living and home and community based services, require the invaluable support of partnerships. Additional partners include Justice in Aging, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA), AMDA, PHI, American Health Care Association (AHCA), Leading Age, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Community Living, the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (NASOP), the National Association of Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman (NALLTCO), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Pioneer Network, the Direct Care Alliance, and the Direct Care Network.
Together hundreds of national, state, and local organizations and individuals are working to improve the long-term care services and supports system. If you are not currently a member, Consumer Voice encourages you to join our network in order to help us reach consumers, advocates, and supporters around the nation and successfully advocate for issues that are important to all of us.

You are invited to join us in celebrating 40 years of making quality care matter by signing this ecard, sending a congratulatory message to info@theconsumervoice.org, become a member, and/or supporting our current and future work with a contribution.

In the DC area? Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration November 5th 6:30pm - 9:30pm at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.  More information here.

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40 Words of Wisdom Will Ship Next Week - Order Your Copy Now!

40 Words of Wisdom is a unique keepsake book featuring written entries and artwork created by residents around the nation sharing their words of wisdom, thoughts on care and creativity.

CARE Matters is the theme of this year's Residents' Rights Month, designated by Consumer Voice as a time to highlight rights and quality in long-term care settings. Residents were asked to share how CARE Matters and they let their voices be heard--we received more than 100 entries from all over the country!!!

As part of the Consumer Voice’s 40th Anniversary celebration, we selected 40 of our favorites--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!

This book would be a great training tool on residents' rights for ombudsmen and staff or it can be a special keepsake for residents and consumers to encourage them to let their voices be heard!

Order your copy of the book now and it will be shipped next week!

Consumer Voice members receive a 10% discount at checkout. Join to get this and other benefits.
For bulk discounts (orders 25 or more), contact info@theconsumervoice.org. You may only utilize one discount - member or bulk discount - per order.

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Briefly Noted...

  • Congratulate Consumer Voice on 40 years and have your message displayed during the 40th Anniversary Party on November 5th. More information on the party page.

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:

2006 CARE Matters Residents' Rights Month Packet  - In 2006, the theme of Residents' Rights Week was CARE Matters.  The 2006 packet was split into four sections named for the letters in CARE - Choice, Accountability, Rights and Empowerment.  Many materials and resources from this packet are still relevant and useful today.

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In this Issue

Residents' Rights Month Begins This Week!

Calling All Advocates: Submit Comments on Proposed Nursing Home Regulations

News Documentary on Misuse of Psychotropic Drugs in Nursing Homes Wins Emmy

The Agenda is Packed for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference - Register Now!

Celebrating Our History and Honoring Our Gems - Partners

40 Words of Wisdom Will Ship Next Week - Order Your Copy Now!

Briefly Noted...

Spotlight on Giving: 40th Anniversary Special Gifts Campaign

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Workplace Giving Campaigns: A Great Way to Help Support Consumer Voice

Workplace giving, whether the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), United Way or other workplace campaigns, are great easy ways to give to Consumer Voice.  Our CFC number is: 10552.  In other workplace campaigns, you may be able to write in Consumer Voice or some may still recognize us as NCCNHR.  As long as you provide our address, the funds will get to us.

Consumer Voice
1001 Connecticut Ave., Ste. 425
Washington, DC 20036

Look for ways that you can give back to Consumer Voice through your workplace and please ask if your employer will match your contribution.  Thank you!

Get Your CARE Matters Buttons and Wristbands

October is quickly approaching. Order wristbands and buttons with the 2015 theme, CARE Matters, now to ensure you receive them by Residents' Rights Month!  Wristbands and buttons are sold in packs of 20, 50 and 100.  See the Consumer Voice online store for more information.

Calendar of Events

September: Sepsis Awareness Month

September: Emergency Preparedness Month

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

Remember to register and book your hotel room soon!  Regular registration ends October 9th and the discounted hotel room block ends October 5th.  Find more information on our website.

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 24:
We need your help! Fill out this survey to help us gather more information on the obstacles to a successful nursing home transition for a resident.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Sunday, September 27
#LTC Challenges: Connecting frail elders, seeing they access needed services, quality care, advocating their needs

Long-Term Care Resources & News

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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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