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March 2, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Register for the Virtual Rally to Lift the Lockdown, Plus Other Opportunities to Take Action
  2. Save the Date: Consumer Voice Annual Conference - November 3-5, 2021
  3. Sign the Petition to Reunite Nursing Home Residents with Their Loved Ones
  4. House Approves $276 Million in Elder Justice Funding As Part of COVID-19 Relief Bill
  5. ACL Blog on Visitation in Congregate Settings
  6. U.S. Access Board Virtual Forum on Autonomous Vehicle Accessibility

Register for the Virtual Rally to Lift the Lockdown, Plus Other Opportunities to Take Action

Lift the Lockdown RallyJoin Consumer Voice for a rally Friday, March 12th at 12:00pm ET commemorating the one year anniversary of the nursing home visitation ban.  

At the rally, we'll:

  • Honor those we’ve lost;
  • Hear directly from residents and family members about their experiences during the lockdown; and
  • Mobilize family members, residents of long-term care, and advocates to ask their state and federal policymakers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to safely "open nursing home doors."

Register Now

Remembering Those Lost - At the rally, we will have a moment of silence with a remembrance collage of pictures of those who passed away in a nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know, has lost a loved one since the visitation lockdown began in March 2020 and would like them to be included in this special collage, please send a photo of your loved one to info@theconsumervoice.org by March 9th, 2021, along with their name, your name, your relationship, and anything else you'd like to include. Thank you so much for helping us pay tribute to and show our respect for those who have died over the course of this tragic year.



Other Ways to Participate

Organizations across the country are holding events to commemorate the one year anniversary of locking down nursing homes:
  • Participate in the Yellow Envelope Campaign by mailing letters to federal, state, and local officials urging them to lift the lockdown in nursing homes.
  • Join the group "Isolation Kills, Too!" for their free webinar - Family Caregiving, Residents' Rights and Visitation Guidance - Wednesday, March 10th at 7:00pm ET with speakers Dr. Candace Kemp, Professor, Georgia State University and Fellow, Gerontological Society of America; Toby Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy; and Evan Shulman, Director, Division of Nursing Homes, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Watch for free at: caregivingandresidentsrights.com
  • Find out about other events in your state.

Save the Date: Consumer Voice Annual Conference, November 3-5, 2021

We are going virtual again for the 2021 Consumer Voice Annual Conference - November 3-5, 2021! Our virtual conference will feature expert speakers, the most up-to-date policy information, best practices shared from across the country, and networking with a community of other long-term care advocates - plus unique opportunites to connect online.

Stay tuned for more information. Hope to see you there!

Sign the Petition to Reunite Nursing Home Residents with Their Loved Ones

On March 13, 2021, it will be one year since state and federal officials banned visits in nursing homes. Initially put in place to protect residents from COVID-19, the visitation ban has resulted in tens of thousands of residents suffering and dying from isolation, loneliness, and poor care. It is time to stop the suffering and open the doors.  Safe visitation and support for residents are possible through proper infection control procedures. Importantly, residents will be reunited with their loved ones after a year of being isolated alone without proper care.

Tell officials of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congress, your state legislators, and your Governor to lift the visitation ban now and open nursing home doors.

Sign the Petition Now

If you have already signed the petition, thank you! Please share it with your friends and family.

House Approves $276 Million in Elder Justice Funding as Part of COVID-19 Relief Bill

The House has passed the American Rescue Plan which includes $276 million in new funding for the Elder Justice Act.  The bill is the first pandemic relief package under President Biden.  Previously, Congress approved $100 million in elder justice funding in the last COVID-19 bill in 2020.  The bill will now move to the Senate.

For more information, read the alert from the Elder Justice Coalition.

ACL Blog on Visitation in Congregate Settings

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) published a blog regarding visitation in congregate settings.  The blog reviews the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)'s February 10th guidance on visitation in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and psychiatric residential treatment facilities, which complements CMS' September guidance for visitation in nursing homes.  The new guidance highlights provisions including that facilities may not restrict visitation without a reasonable clinical or safety cause; and that a facility which is otherwise limiting in-person visitation, should allow visits with appropriate safety measures.

Read ACL's Blog

U.S. Access Board Virtual Forum on Autonomous Vehicle Accessibility

The U.S. Access Board in partnership with the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Administration for Community Living, and other agencies has launched a virtual public forum on autonomous vehicle accessibility to promote accessibility for people with disabilities in the design of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Share your thoughts, ideas and comments on considerations for the future design of AVs that will accommodate the needs of people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.  The dialogue is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Access Board's series of four virtual meetings on making AVs accessible to passengers with disabilities. The meetings are open to the general public and will focus on considerations, challenges, and solutions in designing accessible AVs.

Visit the Forum

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