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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

July 13, 2011

Study Warns of Racial Disparities in Providing Home and Community-Based Care

A new study from Brown University says the number of elderly people from racial and ethnic minority groups has increased in nursing homes at the same time there has been an exodus of whites to home and community-based services. Policy makers should “bear in mind that although home and community-based services are preferred by older people needing long-term care, such services are unlikely to be equally available, accessible, and affordable for all subgroups of the population or across all communities. Ultimately, poor minority elders may be increasingly relegated to nursing homes, while whites with more financial resources are able to use various home and community-based alternatives.” See "Growth Of Racial And Ethnic Minorities In U.S. Nursing Homes Driven By Demographics And Possible Disparities In Options", a SCAN Foundation Care Span Series article in Health Affairs. Another Care Span article in the same issue, "Medicaid Savings Resulted When Community Health Workers Matched Those With Needs To Home And Community Care," discusses an Arkansas program that trained community health workers to identify people with unmet health needs who were at risk for nursing home admission and connect them to Medicaid home and community-based services. The result was a 23.8 percent average reduction in annual Medicaid spending per participant in three disadvantaged counties, or $2.619 million over the three years of the program.

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Florida Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Loosen Assisted Living Enforcement Standards

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently acted on behalf of consumers when he vetoed House Bill 4045 and ordered the formation of a task force to help improve the state’s assisted living facilities.

Governor Scott is believed to be prompted by a recent Miami Herald investigative report, which found many of the state’s facilities failed to meet statutory requirements. The investigation, which happened over the course of a year, discovered violations such as dirty and unhygienic conditions, physical neglect and other abusive practices. However, the assisted living industry supported the bill, which would have become lenient on deficiency reporting requirements, making it difficult for the public to acquire information about non-compliant facilities.

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Featured Resource: LBGT Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories From the Field Website

The website LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories From the Field provides information about the opinions and experiences of the LGBT community in long-term care settings. The website was developed from a survey and the report "LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field." Several organizations collaborated on this project, including National Senior Citizens Law Center, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and others.

The website includes video stories and personal comments from of LGBT older adults about a variety of experiences with long-term care, their loved ones, advocates and the providers. It also provides key findings from the report, including: fear of being out and vulnerable, restriction of visitors, failure to provide proper medical care, staff refusal to refer to use preferred name and more.

The website also lists nursing home residents’ rights, regardless of sexual preference or gender. There are also recommendations and resources for those who want legal assistance and to continue learning about issues about LGBT in long-term care facilities. Visit the website to learn more.

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NCEA Webinar Gives Overview of March 2011 GAO Report

On June 28, 2011, the National Center on Elder Abuse held a webinar entitled: “‘Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Enhance National Response to Elder Abuse’: GAO Report to the Chairman, Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate, March, 2011.” The webcast gave an overview of the March 2011 Government Accountability Office report, “Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Enhance National Response to Elder Abuse” highlighting the general findings regarding elder abuse, the challenges of state adult protective services (APS) programs, the federal role in addressing current and future challenges and the GAO recommendations to improve the country’s ability to prevent and respond to elder abuse.

Highlights of the GAO report, included the most recent elder abuse report, which estimated 14.1 percent of non-institutionalized elders have experienced some form of abuse (physical, psychological or sexual abuse, neglect or financial exploitation). Researchers from the report also believe the 14.1 percent estimate is lower than the actual rate of elder abuse since the research was a telephone interview. The report also found cognitive and physical impairment, mental health issues and low social support are the most common risks for an increased chance of becoming a victim of elder abuse. Research showed that having a supportive social network is a protective factor against elder abuse.

The GAO report also showed APS programs vary widely by statebut face similar challenges, such as,an increase in number of elder abuse cases; an increase in complex cases; a lack of adequate funding to support staff, training and data collection; and limited access to information on effective elder abuse interventions and best practices among other APS programs. The GAO report recommended creating a nationwide APS data system, and that Health and Human Services should consider providing guidance for APS and study the extent of elder abuse.

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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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