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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

October 11, 2011

Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where Initiative Marks One- Year Anniversary

The Consumers for Quality Care, No matter Where initiative, launched in October 2010, is now one year old and moving full steam ahead! The initiative is expanding the Consumer Voice’s national grassroots advocacy network to focus on issues faced by long-term care consumers who receive services and supports in non-nursing home settings and building a strong consumer voice to advocate for well-coordinated, accessible, quality long-term services and supports both at home and in the community (“home and community-based services” or new “HCBS”). A key component of the initiative is conducting pilot projects in five states, California, Ohio, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia.

Highlights of the initiative’s progress include:

  • Establishing a national advisory council and state advisory councils in each of the pilot states
  • Identifying an area of advocacy focus in each state
  • Preparing interview questions and a data collection tool to begin interviewing home care consumers in the five pilot states as part of our Consumer Perspective on Quality Care Report. The purpose of this report is to identify what consumers believe is quality home care. The final product will be a report presenting the consumer perspective and policy recommendations for each state and across the pilot states. Interviews will be conducted over the next couple of months.
  • Planning the first of five national training calls which will take place in December. The topic will be an overview of long-term services and supports in the home and community setting. Consumer education factsheets on home and community-based services will be created to accompany this call.
  • Developing and completing 365 home Care and Services surveys in each pilot state and nationally. This survey is designed to ask consumers and family caregivers about their experiences with home care and what they believe makes for good care and services. The survey is available online and in hard copy in English and Spanish.
  • Identifying current consumer education resources about home and community-based services in each state and beginning to determine what additional materials might be needed.

More information about the initiative and work in the pilot states is available online.

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Recording Available for Purchase: "10 No-Cost Ideas to Advance Your Culture Change Journey by Involving Residents and Families"

On October 4, the Consumer Voice hosted a conference call, “10 No-Cost Ideas to Advance Your Culture Change Journey by Involving Residents and Families” featuring Peter Reed, CEO, Pioneer Network, Mark Latham, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Pleasant View Center - Genesis Health Care, New Hampshire, Matthew Lysobey, MPH, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Arroyo Grande Care Center – Compass Health, California and Julie Ballard, Director of Culture Change, Health Systems, Inc. and Former Long-Term Care Ombudsman. One participant, Patty Ducayet, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services said of the opportunity, “The Consumer Voice hit a home run with this call. Speakers shared their personal experiences on how they initiated and are sustaining deep culture change. Experts described concrete and replicable methods anyone could put into action because the examples put residents at the heart of decision-making. From hiring and training staff, spreading culture change across multiple homes, and providing the support and leadership to help residents define a purposeful life, this call has all the ingredients to inspire culture change without cost to the care provider. I won’t forget to ask myself, ‘Would I want this in my home?’” Access a document with the 10 tips online. To purchase a recording of the full session, visit the Consumer Voice website.

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CMS Issues Letter on Use of Foods from Resident Gardens in Facility Kitchens

In September, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to State Survey Agency Directors regarding the use of produce from resident gardens in nursing homes’ kitchens. According to the letter, CMS and the Food and Drug Administration have received inquiries from facilities and state survey agencies about whether federal law permits the use of foods harvested from resident gardens. The letter provides additional information on the issue and states facilities may use produce for residents from on-site gardens in their kitchens as long as safe food handling practices are followed once foods are harvested and brought to the kitchen for preparation. Read CMS’s letter.

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AoA Announces National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging

Last week, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee announced the award of $350,000 to the Meals on Wheels Association of America to establish a National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging.

' “Nutrition is an essential ingredient for maintaining health, functionality and continued independence in the community,” said Greenlee in a press release. “The Center will be a new resource to enhance this critical community-based nutrition program targeted at older adults.”'

The new center will work with the Administration on Aging to meet the requirements of the Older Americans Act to build the capacity of the aging services network to provide nutrition services for adult adults and provide training and technical assistance to the aging network regarding nutrition services. It will also work to increase the aging service network’s knowledge regarding the role of nutrition services in health promotion and disease prevention. Read more information online.

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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 swells@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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