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April 9, 2019

Residents' Rights Month 2019: Stand for Quality

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, “Stand for Quality” emphasizes the importance of quality in all aspects of residents’ experiences – quality care, quality of life, quality services, and quality choices – to name a few.  Residents’ Rights Month is an opportunity for staff, families, ombudsmen, residents and other advocates to work together to stand for and promote quality.

Preliminary resources and promotional materials are available on our website now.  Stay tuned for more information and materials about Residents' Rights Month planning, products and this year's Resident's Voice Challenge!

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Joint Statement from Advocacy Organizations on Increasing Nursing Home Reimbursements

Consumer Voice, along with Long Term Care Community Coalition; Center for Medicare Advocacy; California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform; and Justice in Aging, have released a joint statement addressing the nursing home industry's claim that low Medicaid reimbursement is the reason for substandard care experienced by residents.  The industry's solution to poor care is to give more taxpayer dollars to nursing homes.  

Consumer Voice and the other advocacy organizations argue that before giving nursing homes more public money, greater oversight of public payments for care and stronger enforcement of the nursing home standards of care are needed.  Residents and taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going and that public funds are appropriately directed.  

Read the full statement here.

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Help Residents Live Life to the Fullest

You know that the millions of individuals in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other care settings are too often out of sight and out of the minds of society instead of receiving the care and respect they deserve.  Consumer Voice’s advocacy continues so that residents can live life to their fullest, as envisioned by the Nursing Home Reform Act. Consumer Voice fights for policies and standards that promote person-centered, individualized care; we work to educate and empower residents to direct their care and lives; and we work to equip ombudsmen and other advocates to support and empower residents to achieve their highest potential.

With your support Consumer Voice will continue to show up and STAND FOR QUALITY for your family member, your friend, your neighbor, and, should the time come, for YOU.

Donate today! Every amount helps! Learn more here.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16

Tuesday, April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).  NHDD exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.  The National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions.  For more information and resources, visit http://www.nhdd.org/.

In celebration of NHDD, Consumer Voice has partnered with MyDirectives, a digital emergency, critical and advance care planning service that is secure, easy to understand, and free to consumers to use.  Complete MyDirective's Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD) easily online to record your wishes.  The uADD includes sections on your values and treatment goals; who you want to represent you if you cannot communicate; messages, videos and photos to help caregivers know more about you; and key contact info for your circle of caregivers.  The uADD is free to use and can be updated or changed at any time.  Access Consumer Voice's MyDirectives partner page at https://mydirectives.com/NCVQLC_NHDD.

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2019 Revised Primer for State Agencies Now Available

The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: 2019 Revised Primer for State Agencies is now available.  The primer was prepared by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD).  It is intended to support State Agency Directors to understand the unique role of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

“We are pleased to share the revised Ombudsman program primer for State Agencies and are grateful for NASUAD’s work on this resource, " said Amity Overall-Laib, Director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.  "The primer was designed to assist State Agencies in quickly understanding the unique role of the Ombudsman program and State Agencies’ responsibilities for the program per the Older Americans Act and State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs Final Rule. We hope State Agency Directors will use this primer as an introduction to this one-of-a-kind advocacy program and to foster or further enrich communication with Ombudsmen."

Access the primer here.

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Update: H.R. 1839 Passes Senate

The Senate and House have passed H.R. 1839.  The bill will now go to the President to sign.  H.R. 1839 will extend spousal impoverishment protections through September 2019 and will provide an additional $20 million for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Thank you to all those who called their members of Congress regarding this bill!

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New Materials Available for Older Americans Month

New materials are available for Older Americans Month (OAM) in May.  The theme for OAM 2019 is Connect, Create, Contribute.  New materials include button and banner artwork; resource and activity lists for suggestions; and web ads/badges. 

Find all OAM materials here.

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Spotlight on Resources

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 and NORC websites to explore all the available resources.  Check out this week's highlighted resource:

NORC Volunteer Recognition and Retention Webpage

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In this Issue

Residents' Rights Month 2019: Stand for Quality

Joint Statement from Advocacy Organizations on Increasing Reimbursements

Help Residents Live Life to the Fullest

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th

2019 Revised Primer for State Agencies Now Available

Update: H.R. 1839 Passes Senate

New Materials Available for Older Americans Month

Spotlight on Resources

This Week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week

This year's theme is Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.  Find materials here.

Find materials from Consumer Voice on abuse, neglect and exploitation here.

This Week is National Volunteer Week

The theme for this year is Celebrate Service. In federal fiscal year 2017, 6,625 volunteers contributed 591,363 hours of service to Ombudsman programs across in the country.  National Volunteer Week, is a perfect time to reach out and say thanks for volunteering with your program and making a difference in the lives of the residents. Find more information on NORC's website.

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, April 16: National Healthcare Decisions Day

Wednesday, April 24: Navigating the National Ombudsman Resource Center Website, 3:00pm ET, NORC Webinar, Registration info forthcoming

May: Older Americans Month

Monday, May 20: National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day, 1:00-3:30pm ET, RSVP for the in person event in Washington, DC here or watch the livestream

Saturday, June 15: World Elder Abuse Awarness Day - Lifting Up Voices

October: Residents' Rights Month

November 3-6, 2019: Consumer Voice Annual Conference, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, Virginia

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Wednesday, April 3:
Update: The Senate has passed H.R. 1839!

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Thursday, April 4:

The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2019 in October is Stand for Quality!

Long-Term Care Resources & News

  • Texas House of Representatives hears testimony on HB 2285, a bill pertaining to improper discharge from nursing homes; Texas State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Patty Ducayet testified along with a family member of a resident and Darla Bower, staff ombudsman (Begins at 36:00 in linked video)

Read past issues of The Voice here.

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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 © 2019.

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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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