November 29, 2022
In this Issue:
- Spending Time with Loved Ones During the Holidays
- New Guidance from CDC to Reduce Spread of COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities
- Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging Edwin Walker Receives Presidential Rank Award
- There's Still Time to Register for the Consumer Voice Virtual Conference
- Support Residents on #GivingTuesday
Spending Time with Loved Ones During the Holidays
The holiday season is quickly approaching and nursing home residents will soon be welcoming an increased number of loved ones visiting their facilities. With a little planning and preparation, residents can visit with their loved ones and stay safe during their holiday visits!
Remember: Residents have the right to see visitors of their choosing when they choose, and residents can leave their facilities to visit with family, participate in community activities, or for any other reason.
- Protect yourself and those around you by ensuring you and your family members are fully vaccinated.
- During times of peak visitation and large gatherings, be aware that facilities may encourage physical distancing between families and groups to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses.
- Unvaccinated visitors, or visitors who refuse to disclose their vaccination status, should be masked at all times.
- Residents may choose to leave their facilities and visit their loved ones in their homes or go out to dinner or to an event. Residents who leave should follow all recommended infection prevention control measures.
Scheduling Your Visit
Even though the holidays are a special time, there are situations where it may make sense to delay your visit and celebrate later.
- If the resident has COVID-19 or is in quarantine, CMS recommends that visitors delay their visit.
- Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19 symptoms should wait to visit a nursing home until at least 10 days have passed since their first symptoms or positive test.
- If a facility is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, visitation is discouraged.
New Guidance from CDC to Reduce Spread of COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within congregate settings, including assisted living facilities. Importantly, this guidance does not apply to skilled nursing facilities and does not apply to healthcare services being provided in congregate settings, both of which are governed by: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html. The CDC is encouraging facilities to balance COVID-19 prevention with the impact of reducing access to daily services and programing.
To assess COVID-19 risk in assisted livings and group homes, facilities should monitor COVID-19 community levels and consider: the vulnerability of their residents, facility characteristics that could accelerate COVID-19 spread such as poor ventilation and high volumes of visitation, and whether COVID-19 is actively spreading in the facility.
To mitigate risks, facilities can consider several strategies including: increasing and improving ventilation, expanding the use of masks, implementing screening testing, moving activities outdoors, creating physical distance, and enhancing cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging Edwin Walker Receives Presidential Rank Award
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration on Aging Edwin L. Walker has received a Meritorious Rank as a part of the Presidential Rank Awards. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 established the Presidential Rank Awards Program to recognize a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for exceptional performance over an extended period of time. Later, the Rank Award statute was amended to extend eligibility to senior career employees with a sustained record of exceptional professional, technical, and/or scientific achievement recognized on a national or international level.
As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, leading the Admnistration on Aging, Mr. Walker guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life.
There's Still Time to Register for the Consumer Voice Virtual Conference
A newly updated agenda, including session titles and descriptions, is available for the Consumer Voice Virtual Conference. Join us online next week, December 8-9, for live sessions plus select recorded programs from the in-person conference. Listen to key experts, hear the voice of long-term care consumers and connect with advocates nationwide during this virtual event.
There is still time to register!
Did you attend the in-person conference in Baltimore? You also have access to the virtual conference. No need to register again. Check your email for instructions on how to participate next week.
Support Residents on #GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is the international day of generosity happening today, November 29, 2022. Over the past 10 years, GivingTuesday has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
GivingTuesday is a time to give back to the causes you care about and share your support of their mission. With your support, Consumer Voice will continue to carry the voices of long-term care residents and their families to policymakers to achieve critical reforms in the long-term care system.
How Can You Participate?
- Donate on our website or by mailing a check to Consumer Voice at 1025 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036; or
- Donate via Paypal Giving Fund. (Search NCCNHR) Paypal Giving Fund doesn't collect any transaction fees, meaning your full donation goes to Consumer Voice.
- Support Consumer Voice while you shop this holiday season. Visit our website to learn about how you can support Consumer Voice when you shop via AmazonSmile or Giving Assistant.
- Share your support of Consumer Voice with family, friends, and colleagues. On social media, tag us @theconsumervoice on Facebook and @ConsumerVoices on Twitter and use #GivingTuesday
Thank You for Your Support! Learn more about the difference your contribution can make.