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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

June 14, 2011

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - Join the "It Could Happen to Anyone" Postcard Campaign

The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, in conjunction with NAPSA and the Elder Justice Coalition, has created a postcard to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The postcard features pictures of Mickey Rooney as well as a quote from Rooney; the cards are part of a campaign entitled "It Could Happen to Anyone." This campaign is intended to urge Congress to fund the Elder Justice Act, which was passed last year and has not yet had funding appropriated.

The campaign hopes to receive 20,000 signed postcards from across the U.S. by July 15 - 10 days before mark up in the House. Celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and join the "It could happen to anyone" postcard campaign.

To learn more or order hard copies of the postcards (minimum order 15, maximum 250), e-mail centeronelderabuse@uci.edu.

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Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where Initiative Update

The Consumer Voice is pleased to announced its Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative continues to build its network of advocates. Since October 2010, the initiative has focused on identifying issues faced by consumers who receive long-term services and supports in non-nursing home settings in five states (California, Ohio, New Mexico, Virginia and Vermont).

State advisory council meetings were recently held in Ohio, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia, and the Consumer Voice continues to learn valuable information about home and community-based services and policies in those states. These meetings help create the foundation for each state's pilot project, and council members are providing input about the Consumer Perspectives on Quality Care report.

We are holding learning and planning days in the pilot states to teach the advisory councils to systematically conduct a policy issue campaign and to work together to select and develop an action plan to achieve a short-term goal. Ohio and New Mexico recently held their learning and planning days. The Ohio advisory council is working on increasing the visibility and awareness of the home care element of the long-term care ombudsman program. The New Mexico advisory council is conducting a short-term campaign to get a resolution to study a home care ombudsman program introduced in the state’s January legislative session. The Vermont learning and planning day is taking place this week; Virginia's is scheduled for later this summer.

In California, the selected focus for this initiative is on nursing home transitions and Money Follows the Person. Consumer Voice staff have met with numerous individuals in California and look forward to assembling and convening an advisory council.

Continue to check Consumer Voice website for more information on this initiative.

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Using Public Data to be an Effective Advocate

Martha Deaver, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Reform recently shared ways advocates can use public data. As a result, the Consumer Voice has developed a new webpage on using public data located in the Government Policy section of its website.

View the page to learn more about how to read two surveys that summarize the total number of deficiencies and their severity in long-term care settings (The ASPEN TAG Summary and the ASPEN Scope/Severity Summary). Also view a sample Freedom of Information request form and read more about Deaver's personal experience using data to stand up for consumers of long-term care.

The Consumer Voice plans to continue to expand this webpage. Examples of how you've used public data can be sent to Robyn Grant, director, advocacy & outreach, at rgrant@theconsumervoice.org.

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Washington State Ombudsman Louise Ryan Named to AoA Aging Program Specialist Position

The Consumer Voice and National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center would like to congratulate Louise Ryan on being named Aging Program Specialist at the Administration on Aging.

Ryan has been the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman after having served as the Assistant State Ombudsman for nine years. She has had responsibility for the statewide long-term care ombudsman program, all its staff and contractors including a corps of four hundred certified volunteer ombudsmen. As state ombudsman, she has established policy and systems advocacy efforts by working with state agencies and with the legislature in drafting and seeking sponsorship for legislation improving the quality of care/life for residents. Ryan also serves on the Consumer Voice's Leadership Council and as an advisory council member to Resident Councils of Washington. Read more.

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Miami Herald Investigates Florida's Assisted Living Facilities

A recent three-part series from The Miami Herald reveals many safeguards and laws designed to protect residents in Florida's assisted living facilities have largely been ignored by the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, which has the authority to fine and close negligent assisted living facilities in Florida.

In a year-long investigation, Miami Herald journalists found examples of abuse and neglect that were rarely investigated despite numerous complaints, injuries, hospitalizations and deaths. The investigation shows examples of abuse and neglect such as residents receiving the wrong medications, deprivation of food, unsanitary living conditions, confinement and physical abuse by staff members.

The series is available online, and each part can be accessed by selecting the below links.

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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 rlivesay@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

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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National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org