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September 15, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. New Resources to Help Families of Nursing Home Residents Now Available
  2. Update on Nursing Home Immunity
  3. Taking Care of You - New Resources for Residents and Family Caregivers
  4. Compassion Fatigue Training for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen
  5. IRS Deadlines for Stimulus Payments
  6. Videos from AMDA on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

New Resources to Help Families of Nursing Home Residents Now Available
Families are facing many new issues as they support and care for their loved ones in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help family members in this effort, Consumer Voice is pleased to announce the release of two new fact sheets, Family Advocacy for Nursing Home Residents During COVID-19  and Family Councils and Advocacy During COVID-19. These resources provide information and tips on how to advocate individually and through family councils for quality care. The fact sheets are designed to accompany the Consumer Voice webinar, Family Advocacy for Residents During COVID-19 (6/18/2020).

Find more information for residents and families on our COVID-19 webpage.

Update on Nursing Home Immunity
In July, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, introduced the Safe to Work Act, which he stated must be included as part of any additional COVID-19 relief legislation.  The Act would grant nursing homes immunity from civil liability for virtually all COVID-related care that harms, or even kills, nursing home residents until 2024.  COVID-related care is defined very broadly to mean that COVID has impacted the facility.  Consumer Voice, along with other advocates for nursing home residents, sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing opposition to the bill.  Additionally, 1,344 of you  responded to Consumer Voice’s action alert by contacting your Congressmembers to express your opposition to the bill. 

In August, negotiations on proposed COVID-19 relief legislation stalled.  However, on September 8, 2020, Senator McConnell introduced a new “skinny” COVID-19 relief bill, which incorporated the Safe to Work Act in its entirety.  On September 10, 2020, the new “skinny” bill failed to advance in the Senate.  It is now unclear whether Congress will pass any COVID-19 relief legislation. 

Nevertheless, Consumer Voice continues to be extremely concerned that if Congress does reach an agreement on COVID-19 relief, immunity for nursing homes could be part of the legislation.  In response to Senator McConnell’s new “skinny bill," Consumer Voice, along with a coalition of other advocates released the following statement.  We have also written an issue brief on immunity, and why it would be devastating for nursing home residents.  We will continue to monitor any developments around immunity for nursing homes and update you when we have more information.

Taking Care of You - New Resources for Residents and Family Caregivers
COVID-19 has caused major life disruptions. In our lifetime, we have never dealt with so many variables impacting ourselves and our families. For residents of long-term care facilities, restrictions have been imposed on visitation and on some daily activities.  For family caregivers, it’s important to take care of yourself so you can be your best for others. As difficult as this pandemic is, it is important for all of us to take care of ourselves.

Two new fact sheets from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Center on Elder Abuse – “Taking Care of You: Tips for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities” and “Taking Care of You: Tips for Family Caregivers” - provide a reference to emotions you may experience, reminders for practicing self-care, and guidance for seeking assistance.  The fact sheets provide self-care tips specifically for residents of long-term care facilities and for family caregivers.

Please read and share widely!

Compassion Fatigue Training for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen

During the month of September, NORC will release four training topics for three audiences as part of the training series, Understanding Trauma and Ensuring Person-Centered Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For this series, Dr. Sheri Gibson (see bio) provides training on the following topics: person-centered care, trauma-informed care, compassion fatigue, and anxiety and grief in a time of COVID-19. Each topic will include one webinar recording and slides for facility administrators, direct care staff, and family members of individuals living in long-term care facilities.

This week’s topic is compassion fatigue. 

Learn More »

IRS Deadlines for Stimulus Payments

Most people have already received their family’s full economic impact payment (EIP), also known as a stimulus payment, especially those who filed a tax return in 2019 or 2018. The IRS sent out over 160 million payments between April and June 2020. For those who have not yet received their full EIP, it’s not too late, but important deadlines are coming up! See the Practice Tip, "IRS Deadlines for Stimulus Payments," from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights.

Videos from AMDA on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine created two short videos—one for assisted living communities and one for nursing homes—that highlight the ways that facilities are working to prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19. Watch the video for assisted living facilities and the video for nursing homes.

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