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March 13, 2018

Residents' Rights Month 2018: Speak Up

October is “Residents’ Rights Month,” an annual event designated by Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities and those receiving care in their home or community. It is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and the rights of every individual receiving long-term services and supports.

This year’s theme, “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them” emphasizes the importance of long-term care consumers being informed about their rights; being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life; and feeling confident in speaking up about what is important to them.  Residents’ Rights Month is an opportunity for staff, families, ombudsmen, residents and other advocates to highlight the rights of residents, hear from residents about how they exercise their rights, and refocus on residents' ability to speak up about their care.

Stay tuned for more information about Residents' Rights Month planning, products and this year's Resident's Voice Challenge!

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National Volunteer Appreciation Week: April 15-21

In 2015, 7,734 certified volunteer Ombudsman program representatives contributed 708,323 hours of service to Ombudsman programs across in the country (according to the NORS data). The Independent Sector determined the estimated value of a volunteer hour in 2015 was $23.56. For the Ombudsman program, that is over $16 million of assets due to volunteer service! Due to the dedicated service of these volunteers, resident access to the Ombudsman program is enhanced significantly and thousands of residents receive information about their rights and have assistance and support in resolving their concerns.

Thank your volunteers and recognize their work publicly by sending NORC brief messages of appreciation for their dedicated advocacy (e.g., examples of their advocacy, years of service, photos). We will post your message on our website and highlight the submissions on our home page. Email your submissions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

For more on volunteer recognition, visit:

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Webinar on Transitioning from the Nursing Home to the Community and Collaborative Advocacy

Join the National Center on Law & Elder Rights for "Nursing Home-to-Community Transitions: Success through Collaborative Advocacy" on Tuesday, March 27th at 2:00pm ET.  The webinar will explore the barriers and legal issues attorneys and Long-Term Care Ombudsmen encounter when assisting individuals transitioning from the nursing home to the community through the Money Follows the Person program.  Presenters will explore the challenges raised by residents with diminished capacities, how person-centered planning rules can empower residents in the transition process, and strategies to keep or acquire affordable housing while in a nursing home, particularly for residents with prior evictions or bad credit histories. The presenters will also discuss effective Medicaid waiver strategies that support nursing home transitions. The webinar will emphasize effective attorney and LTCO collaboration. 

Register here.

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Materials Available on Systems Advocacy

Materials are available from the NORC webinar "Systems Advocacy: It's More than Legislative Work."  Find the recording and slides here. Participants discussed what is required under the federal law and rule regarding systems advocacy. Presenters shared how they promote better care through systems advocacy at both the state and local level and how they coordinate their advocacy.

Attendees also viewed available NORC resources regarding systems advocacy such as the Role and Responsibilities of Ombudsman Programs Regarding Systems Advocacy for State Ombudsmen and Local Ombudsman Program Representatives. These guides briefly define systems advocacy, review the federal mandate and support for systems advocacy work by Ombudsman programs, define several systems advocacy strategies, share examples of Ombudsman program advocacy, and provide resources for additional information.

Additional information about systems advocacy is available on the NORC website and archived webinars are located here.

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Florida Legislature Passes Rules Requiring Generators in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

The Florida Legislature has passed proposed rules that will require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and 72 hours of fuel.  The new rules replace emergency rules that were put in place in September following the deaths of residents at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills when the facility lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma. The permanent rules passed this week will come into effect 15 days after the legislature submits the rules to the Governor or upon signature by the Governor.  The rules have not yet been submitted. 

For more information, click here.

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Spotlight on Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) 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:

Quality Care, No Matter Where: Successful Nursing Home Transitions - Consumer Voice's 2015 report looking at transitons nationwide from the perspective of both the individuals who had moved back into the community and the programs that assisted them.

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In this Issue

Residents' Rights Month 2018: Speak Up

National Volunteer Appreciation Week: April 15-21

Webinar on Transitioning from the Nursing Home to the Community and Collaborative Advocacy

Materials Available on Systems Advocacy

Florida Legislature Passes Rules Requiring Generators in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Spotlight on Resources

2018 Annual Conference Session Proposals Are Due Friday
More information here.

Having Trouble Receiving Our Emails?

If you or someone you know is having trouble receiving emails from the Consumer Voice or NORC, be sure to add info@theconsumervoice.org and ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org to your address book and/or mark them as safe with your email provider.

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, March 20: Dementia Care: Person-Centered Care Planning and Practice Recommendations Call, 1:30pm ET, Medicare Learning Network Call

Tuesday, March 27: Nursing Home-to-Community Transitions: Success through Collaborative Advocacy, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from National Center on Law & Elder Rights

April 8-14: National Crime Victims' Rights Week

April 15-21: National Volunteer Week

May: Older Americans Month

October: Residents' Rights Month, Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them

October 22-24: Consumer Voice Annual Conference, Alexandria, Virginia

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Tuesday, March 6:
Your actions in early February to ask the Senate to fund MFP made a big impact.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, March 5:

By passing the EMPOWER Care Act and funding MFP, Congress can help more long-term care consumers transition out of nursing homes and into the homes and communities of their choice.

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 © 2018.

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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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