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September 2022 | Volume 9, Issue 1

In this issue:

Federal Updates

Since the last Ombudsman Outlook issue, there have been additional updates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The June issue included a summary of the revised surveyor guidance (effective October 24, 2022). In early July, Consumer Voice published a Reference Guide to help readers understand and access the updated guidance. Highlights of recent federal updates are available here.

Learn more »

New and Updated Resources

NEW! Virtual Office Hour

Virtual Office Hours Final.pngNORC is hosting a virtual office hour the last Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm ET. We will focus on volunteer management for the first few months. These Zoom calls do not include a structured presentation and are open to State Ombudsmen and their program representatives. It is an opportunity for Ombudsman program representatives to ask questions, share information, and have open conversations. These calls will not be recorded. We invite all State Ombudsmen and program representatives to attend and ask us your burning questions about volunteer management. The next call will be October 26 at 2:00 pm ET, use this Zoom link to join.

NEW! Technical Assistance (TA) Talk Materials on the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS)

To increase direct access to technical assistance (TA) and peer support, NORC hosts quarterly live technical assistance dialogues. The September 21 TA Talk discussed National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS), view the recording and materials here. The next TA Talk will be in December 2022. Have questions, an idea for a future topic, or examples of training, consumer education, or successful advocacy? Email NORC at

NOTE: We apologize for the limited capacity during the NORS Technical Assistance (TA) Talk on September 21st. For those unable to join the TA Talk, we are hosting a live NORS Q&A on Thursday, October 13, 2022 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET. Join NORC and Beverley Laubert, National Ombudsman Program Coordinator, ACL, for a live hour-long discussion to answer your NORS-related questions. To see if some of your questions were addressed, watch the TA Talk recording before tuning in for this Q&A. Register now!

NEW! Webinar Recording and Materials on Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and Adult Protective Services Collaboration

This webinar discussed how Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs (LTCOP) and Adult Protective Services (APS) can work together to better serve people living in long-term care facilities. Programs from three states shared how their collaboration enhanced staff and community partners' knowledge about each program, provided training regarding sexual abuse and exploitation of long-term care residents, and assisted individuals involuntarily discharged from facilities.

NEW! Webinar Recording and Materials on Advocating for LGBTQ+ Residents

This webinar served to equip attendees with an understanding of the challenges LGBTQ+ residents face, build familiarity with federal, state, and local policy, and help attendees walk away with resources on LGBTQ+ inclusion, such as the new Long-Term Care Equality index (LEI), a national LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool. Thanks to speakers, Dan Stewart, Associate Director, the Aging Equality Project, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and Sherill Wayland, Director, Special Initiatives, SAGE.

NEW! End of Grant Year Wrap-Up

As we finished the last grant year in June 2022, we would like to thank you for sharing your experiences, resources, expertise, and ideas with us. We are able to support Ombudsman programs thanks to funding from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA) for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (CV) to operate the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC). Read highlights of resources and activities completed by NORC over the past year.

TA Hot Topic: Residents' Right to Vote and Ombudsman Program Advocacy

What Rights Do Residents Have Regarding Voting and How Can the Ombudsman Program Support Their Right to Vote?

With election season quickly approaching, it is important for Ombudsman programs to promote residents’ right to participate in the election process as residents often experience barriers in voting. Below are resources to help raise awareness about residents’ right to vote, information about facility requirements to support residents’ right to vote, and tips for ensuring voting access.

Learn more »

National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) Corner

New Training PowerPoints

NORC created NORS Training PowerPoints to accompany the other training materials (e.g., Basic Principals, Quiz, Quiz Answers). Visit the NORS Training page to download the PowerPoints and other materials. The training materials were updated to be consistent with revisions in the NORS Tables (effective October 1, 2021), so check the NORS Training page frequently to ensure you are using the most recent version.

New NORS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

New and updated NORS FAQs have been added to the NORC website. Visit this page to help you find answers to common questions. Some of the new FAQs were shared during the recent Technical Assistance (TA) Talk. If you have an idea for a new FAQ, please email

Live NORS Q&A – Thursday, October 13, 2022 – 3 – 4 ET

We apologize for the limited capacity during the NORS Technical Assistance (TA) Talk on September 21st. For those unable to join the TA Talk, we are hosting a live NORS Q&A.

Join NORC and Beverley Laubert, National Ombudsman Program Coordinator, ACL, for a live hour-long discussion to answer your NORS-related questions. To see if some of your questions were addressed, watch the TA Talk recording before tuning in for the Q&A.

Join us for the NORS Q&A and register now!

Learn more »

News from the Network

Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are Interviewed on Reliable Transportation Needs for Residents

Arkansas State Ombudsman, Charlotte Bishop, Is Interviewed for a Q&A Article on the Ombudsman Program

Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Discuss Their Work on a Television Broadcast

The Maryland Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Worked with the Attorney General in the Sentencing of an Operator of Unlicensed Assisted Living Facilities

A Video on Louisiana's Program for Empowering Every Resident (PEER)

Rhode Island State Ombudsman, Kathy Heren, Writes a Blog on Voting Rights in Long-Term Care Facilities

Texas State Ombudsman, Patty Ducayet, is Quoted on Long-Term Care Staffing

Volunteer Management: Annual In-Service Hours


According to the minimum training standards established by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Ombudsman program representatives (paid and volunteer) are required to complete 18 hours of in-service training annually.

Do you need more in-service/continuing education training ideas to help your volunteer representatives obtain the minimum 18 hours? Visit the NORC training page and use the NORC resources mentioned in this list to help fill these requirements.

Learn more »

Quick Tips: Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness and response is even more important as the frequency and intensity of natural disasters increase. This article highlights the role of the  Ombudsman program in emergency preparedness.

Learn more »

Residents' Rights Month


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 the dignity and rights of every individual receiving long-term services and supports.

Being a part of a community is essential to our well-being. Throughout the pandemic, residents of long-term care facilities were disconnected from the resident and staff communities within their facilities when activities and group dining were limited. Residents were disconnected from the broader local community when visitation was restricted, and many residents were unable to leave their facilities to participate in outside activities.

This year's Residents’ Rights Month theme - Inspiring Unity within Our Community - emphasizes the importance of fostering meaningful community within the facility and encouraging residents’ connection to their local community. Visit the Consumer Voice website for activity ideas, promotional materials, resources, and products.

Resident's Voice Challenge

For this year's Resident’s Voice Challenge, residents were encouraged to submit essays, poems, artwork, drawings, or videos related to the theme. See the 2022 resident submissions.



October 2022: Residents' Rights Month - Learn more »

October 13, 2022: NORS Q&A | 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET - Learn more »

November 14-16, 2022: Consumer Voice In-Person Conference at the Lord Baltimore Hotel - Learn more »

December 8-9, 2022: Consumer Voice Virtual Conference - Learn more »

December 14, 2022: Save the Date - Quarterly Technical Assistance (TA) Talk – Topic TBD | 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

Last Wednesday of Each Month: Virtual Office Hour - Learn more »

Featured Resource

Consumer Voice Voting Issue Page


Read past issues of the Ombudsman Outlook on the NORC website. If you did not receive this email directly and would like to sign-up to receive NORC emails please fill out the form on our website. If you would like to receive The Voice (the Consumer Voice weekly e-newsletter) automatically sign-up on the Consumer Voice website. If you have any questions, challenges, or article suggestions related to long-term care Ombudsman advocacy and program management, please let us know.

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