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October 7, 2015

New, Easy Way to Submit Comments on Federal Nursing Home Regulations

Great news! Consumer Voice now has a very easy way for you to submit comments on the proposed federal nursing home regulations by the October 14th deadline. Please take advantage of this new opportunity and add your voice if you have not yet done so.
We have prepared a shortened version of our sample comments that you can feel free to use as is or modify.

To submit comments, follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the sample comment letter. For individuals: Click here, and enter your information. For groups: Click here and enter your information.
  2. Personalize the comment letter if you can. Groups should add information about their organization.
  3. Hit "submit." Your comments will come to us and we will send them to CMS on your behalf  by the October 14th deadline! Please get us your comments no later than October 13th.

If you would like to submit your own comments, go here to access a short or longer sample comment letter and directions for how to send them to CMS.

This is one of the most important opportunities to improve care for nursng home residents. Thanks to all of you who have already commented. For those of you who haven't - take advantage of this new and easy way to do so! Nursing home residents need you to support quality care. Please feel free to reach out to us at info@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275 if you have any any questions or problems with comment submission - we will be happy to help in any way that we can.The final regulations will shape nursing home care for decades to come. Your advocacy is essential!

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Residents' Rights Month - Media Coverage Across the Country

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.

Residents' Rights Month events are being covered by multiple media outlets across the country.  Long-Term Care Ombudsman Mary Dalton published an article in The Missoulian encouraging individuals in the community to visit nursing homes.  Advocate Muriel Cole wrote an article for the Kent County News in Maryland entitled "Seniors Matter."  In North Carolina, Staff Ombudsman Sally Krall published an article in The Orange-Leader highlighting special events being held during October.  For information on even more Residents' Rights Month news and events, visit our website.

Want to get the word out about Residents' Rights Month? Use our easy tool to write a letter-to-the-editor of your local paper!

Let us know what's going on in your community by emailing info@theconsumervoice.org.  Remember to tweet us @ConsumerVoices using #CAREMatters.

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Department of Justice Announces Elder Justice AmeriCorps Program

The Department of Justice, through its Elder Justice Initiative and Office for Victims of Crime and the Corporation for National and Community Service, announced Elder Justice AmeriCorps, a new grant program to provide legal assistance and support services to victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and to promote pro bono capacity building in the field. “The Department of Justice is committed to continuing to investigate and prosecute those who prey on our nation’s elders and to support and empower victims through programs like Elder Justice AmeriCorps,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “As a prosecutor I have seen firsthand the devastating emotional, financial and physical consequences of elder abuse and exploitation.  Too often victims need legal assistance to help them address multiple issues, such as safe housing and medical care, but have trouble getting help at all, much less through one, comprehensive legal service provider.  This innovative program will offer the holistic delivery of comprehensive legal services for elder abuse victims.”  For more information, read the press release.

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USC Launches Training Resources on Elder Abuse Website

The University of Southern California has launched a new website, Training Resources on Elder Abuse.  The site offers a searchable database of elder abuse related training materials designed for professionals, caregivers and the community.  The tool allows you to search for self-directed material or material used to teach others and offers the ability to search by specific topics.  Visit the site at trea.usc.edu.

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Consumer Voice Conference Hotel Room Block Extended; Regular Registration Ends This Friday

Still need to reserve a room for the Consumer Voice Conference? You're in luck! The hotel room discount has been extended until Friday, October 9th!

Reserve now to ensure you get a discounted room.

You can book a room at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel or in the neighboring Residence Inn.  The two hotels are located in the same building, so no need to go outside to get from one to the other.  Plus, the Residence Inn offers larger rooms and is still a part of the Consumer Voice room block!

Plus, remember that regular registration ends Friday too!  Save $50 by registering before October 9th!

Register today! 

We have also updated the conference agenda on our website.  Conference highlights include:

  • Plenary: Listening Session with CMS - The Survey and Enforcement System: Experiences from the Field
  • Workshops on topics such as: illegal use of atypical antipsychotic drugs; family advocacy; arbitration agreements; culture change; financial exploitation; grassroots advocacy; staff stability; and nursing home transitions.
  • Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party
  • Friday night at the movies - screening of critically-acclaimed documentary Alive Inside: The Story of Music & Memory
  • ...and much more!

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Join us at the Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party

Celebrate Consumer Voice's 40 years of making quality care matter at our Anniversary Party Thursday, November 5th 6:30pm - 9:30pm at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.  Enjoy music and dancing from each of Consumer Voice's 40 years (come dressed as your favorite decade!), plenty of food, raffle, and a celebration of all Consumer Voice has achieved in the last 40 years!

Check out party and table sponsorship options here.

Registered to attend the Consumer Voice Conference? Great! You'll get free admission to the party.  Plus, make a $40 contribution and your congratulatory message will be displayed during the event!

Purchase additional $95 party tickets here.

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Dementia Action Alliance Releases Survey Summary on Resource Priorities & Preferences of Individuals Living with Dementia & Care Partners

The Dementia Action Alliance has released "National Survey Summary: Resource Priorities & Preferences of Individuals Living with Dementia & Care Partners."  Dementia Action Alliance conducted online surveys for people living with dementia and for care partners. The purpose of the surveys was to learn about the priorities and preferences of the two most important groups of people needing information about dementia care, services, and supports.  The Summary includes respondent demographics, survey questions, responses, and relevant findings. The Summary also outlines a Next Steps Implementation Process involving stakeholders' participation.  Read the Summary here.

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Briefly Noted...

  • Check out Issue 5 of the Ombudsman Outlook on the NORC website! Long-Term Care Ombudsmen - Subscribe to receive the Ombudsman Outlook directly by emailing info@theconsumervoice.org.

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:

Residents' Rights Month Events and Activities  - Residents' Rights Month is here!  This year's theme is CARE Matters.  The Consumer Voice website provides a variety of ideas for engaging residents and consumers and training ombudsmen and volunteers.

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In this Issue

New, Easy Way to Submit Comments on Federal Nursing Home Regulations

Residents' Rights Month - Media Coverage Across the Country

Department of Justice Announces Elder Justice AmeriCorps Program

USC Launches Training Resources on Elder Abuse Website

Consumer Voice Conference Room Block Extended; Regular Registration Ends This Friday

Join Us at Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party

Dementia Action Alliance Releases Survey Summary on Resource Priorities & Preferences of Individuals Living with Dementia & Care Partners

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

October: Residents' Rights Month, CARE Matters

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 and the discounteends October 9th and the discounted hotel room block ends October 9th.  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, October 1:
Today is the first day of Residents' Rights Month and this year's theme is CARE Matters.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Thursday, October 1
Thanks PHI for recognizing Residents' Rights Month, promoting the rights of all long-term care consumers!

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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