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May 28, 2024

In this Issue:

  1. Advocacy Tips from Residents; How to Find Staffing Levels in Your Facility
  2. GAO Publishes Report on Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
  3. Intensives and Roundtable Discussions at the 2024 Conference
  4. Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Olmstead
  5. Resources and Promotional Products Available in Consumer Voice Store

Advocacy Tips from Residents; How to Find Staffing Levels in Your Facility

Earlier this month, we highlighted the power of long-term care resident advocacy featuring a dialogue between residents. If you weren't able to watch the dialogue via Facebook Live, you can still watch it (even if you don't have a Facebook account). During the conversation, our Consumer Advisory Council members discussed several advocacy steps for residents and families to take to advocate for better conditions and better staffing in their facilities. They included making sure residents understand their rights, getting the family and resident councils more involved, and using those councils to advocate together.

They suggested empowering your advocacy on the new minimum staffing standard by educating the resident and family councils on CMS' new staffing rule.

Follow these steps to find the staffing levels in your own facility:

  1. Go to
  2. On the sidebar, click “Nursing Homes Including Rehab Services."
  3. Enter your state and the name of your facility in the search boxes and click “Search.”
  4. Below the overall rating, you’ll see 3 categories: Health Inspections, Staffing, and Quality Measures. Click “View Staffing Information.”
  5. Scroll down to see the nursing hours per resident per day.

GAO Publishes Report on Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The General Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP), sharing findings from interviews with five selected state LTC Ombudsman Programs, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and various stakeholders.  The GAO reviewers also looked at ombudsman data from the National Ombudsman Reporting System for fiscal years 2019 - 2022.  The report found that LTCOPs served more than 3 million residents of 76,000 LTC facilities in FY2022, and provided a range of services including resolving complaints and advocating for improvements to the LTC system.  LTCOP representatives and stakeholders interviewed described challenges that make it difficult for state LTCOPs to provide the full extent of services to residents, including increasingly complex cases, increasing numbers of facilities, and limitations in resources, such as staffing and funding.

Intensives and Roundtable Discussions at the 2024 Conference

2024 ConferenceThe 48th Annual Consumer Voice Conference will be held September 23-26 in San Francisco. Join us for pre-conference meetings, two full days of expert content, and a half-day of special programming.  On Thursday, September 26th from 9:00am - 12:00pm, in-person conference attendees can select to attend two different types of focused sessions - an intensive session or roundtable discussion.

Participants in the intensives can dive deeper into some of the most crucial long-term care issues, presented by experts in the field. These optional 3-hour intensives, available for $75, will allow in-person participants to fully engage in skill building, group discussions, and practical exercises. Two topics are available:

  1. Winning Strategies for Common Nursing Facility Problems - Eric Carlson and Gelila Selassie from Justice in Aging will lead a session focusing on the common problems that every resident and advocate have seen. Evictions. Meaningless care plans. Hospital dumping. Overuse of psychotropic medication. Unfair admission agreements. And the list goes on, unfortunately. For each problem, the session will explain the relevant law and explore advocacy strategies. The session will include roleplaying scenarios so that attendees are better able to recognize how these situations arise in their own work, and be better equipped to push back against a facility’s entrenched practices.
  2. The Good, the Bad and the...WHAT? Volunteer Management for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs - This 3-hour intensive, presented by State Ombudsman and Ombudsman representatives from Alaska, Texas, and Pennsylvania, will provide an opportunity for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs to concentrate on various aspects of volunteer management. This highly interactive session will cover topics such as the vetting process, realistic expectations of the job, and exploring why people leave the program. Participants will discuss recruitment ideas, consistent interaction and volunteer appreciation efforts.

Roundtable Discussions
Roundtable discussions, included free of charge with an in-person conference registration, provide participants with an opportunity to engage with other attendees regarding hot-button issues in long-term care. Participants can choose from the following topics:

  • Advocating for financial transparency in nursing home
  • Strategies for promoting diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and accessibility in advocacy
  • Celebrating state and federal advocacy initiatives
  • Help us build a LTCOP playbook! Strategies for responding to common complaints

REMINDER - Make Hotel Reservations ASAP
The conference will be held at Hotel Nikko, a 2023 TripAdvisor "Travelers Choice Hotel" located in the heart of downtown San Francisco. A room block has been reserved at the hotel with a room rate of $239/night plus taxes and fees (the hotel's resort fee is waived for all rooms reserved in our block). Rooms are available in the block through August 31, 2024 or when the room block is full, whichever happens first.  The room block is filling very quickly. We recommend making a reservation as soon as possible.

Learn more about the conference.

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Olmstead

Join the the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living and Office for Civil Rights for an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead v. L.C. Supreme Court decision. On June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Olmstead decision required states to ensure that people with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, opening the doors to community inclusion and integration for even more people with disabilities. In observance of the anniversary of this landmark decision, guests will hear from people with disabilities, federal leaders, and national experts about the impact of Olmstead, barriers to community living and true inclusion that people with disabilities still face 25 years later, and what is needed to fully realize the promise of this landmark decision. Attend in-person in Washington, DC or participate online June 20th at 2:00pm ET.

Resources and Promotional Products Available in Consumer Voice Store

Shop Consumer Voice's store for printed resources, materials for long-term care Ombudsman programs, and products promoting residents' rights.

2023 Enrichment BookletThe Staying Engaged enrichment booklet ($8 plus shipping and handling) has a variety of activities aiming to keep long-term care residents mentally engaged, prompt self-reflection, and facilitate meeting and getting to people in their community. Included in the activities are tic-tac-toe, word searches, crosswords, sudoku, trivia, self-reflection prompts, an ice breaker scavenger hunt, and art pages.

Ombudsman bagOmbudsman Resource Bags ($20 plus shipping and handling) equip long-term care Ombudsman program representatives with a variety of products and resources, including:

  • NORC Pens
  • Residents' Rights Fact Sheet
  • LTCOP What You Must Know Fact Sheet
  • "What does the resident want?" Lanyard
  • What is a Routine Access Visit? Pocket Guide
  • LTCOP Postcards
  • Consumer Voice and NORC Brochures
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