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Touching the Spirit Through Music: The Wisconsin Music & Memory Program
Long-Term Services and Supports
Technical assistance for culturally competent care
February 2016
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Video: A Gathering of Tribal Leaders
Native people have a long tradition of meeting the needs of elders and those with disabilities, so who better than the tribes themselves to create and operate long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs for their people?
Several tribal leaders gathered recently to discuss how Native communities are serving elders and people with disabilities in ways that are as varied as the communities themselves. A video of the tribal leaders’ discussion about LTSS is now available for you to watch. It features:
W. Ron Allen, Tribal Council Chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council
Michell Hicks, former Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Marilyn “Lynn” Malerba, Chief of the Mohegan Tribe
Cyndi Nation, former Director of Community Health Outreach Programs of Tanana Chiefs Conference
  LTSS Across Indian Country
  Tribes across the nation operate LTSS programs ranging from in-home care services, like meal delivery and chore assistance, to day-site senior centers and full-time residential care.
  If you are thinking about starting a new LTSS program or making changes to existing programs, chances are another tribe can share its wisdom and experience regarding the provision of similar types of LTSS.
  The LTSS Technical Assistance Center offers a directory of IHS, Tribal, and Urban Programs, including types, services provided, affiliated tribes, and contact information.
Speaking the Same Language about Elder Abuse
The field of elder justice has long struggled with the challenge of comparing data from different jurisdictions or sources, each of which uses their own definition of "abuse" or "neglect."
Now, in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling a critical component in the fight against elder abuse, it has published new definitions and data elements. By establishing and normalizing consistent definitions and data elements, it should become easier to compare apples to apples to better understand, and more effectively combat elder abuse, according to CDC.
The CDC worked with stakeholders including the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to develop these definitions.
Read it: Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Core Data Elements (PDF).
New CMS Guide Helps Hospitals Tackle Readmissions
American Indian Health and Nursing Minority populations, such as American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), often encounter post-discharge barriers that send them back into the hospital within 30 days. As a matter of fact, AI/AN readmission rates for diabetes (15.9%) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (11%) are higher than those of any other population group.

Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals receive lower levels of Medicare reimbursement if they cannot reduce their readmission rates for certain conditions. Just last month, CMS published a new guide to help hospitals meet target readmission levels. The guide analyzes post-discharge issues, sets out recommendations, and features case studies of three hospitals serving high minority populations that successfully reduced readmissions.

Read it: Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries (PDF).
Administration Reports Back about Conference on Aging

The final report from last summer’s White House Conference on Aging is now available for download. The well-organized read offers a summary of findings and recommendations. It also provides a national snapshot about programs, grants, and emerging technologies to help elders. The report spotlights the need for caregiver support, a dominant theme at nationwide forums and listening sessions.

Participants in the once-a-decade, many-faceted White House conference focused on policy initiatives for retirement security, healthy aging, elder justice, and LTSS. Their LTSS recommendations include:

Promote person-centered care that maximizes independence and choice
Provide greater support for paid and family caregivers
Address the patchwork of services and funding streams
American Indian Disability Summit: Gathering Native Voices to Celebrate the Spirit of Resilience

Join people from across the country for the 12th Annual American Indian Disability Summit—an event where people with disabilities, their families, and professionals who work on disability issues gather to network, learn, and support one another.

The summit focuses on facilitating training, technical assistance, and outreach to connect American Indians with disabilities to support services in rural and urban settings.

March 17, 2016
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Desert Willow Conference Center
Phoenix, AZ

For more information and to register, visit

Promoting Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for AI/ANs, and they are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than their white counterparts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 8.1% of AI/AN adults have coronary heart disease compared to 6.2% of White adults. Risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking.

February is American Heart Month—a great time to encourage heart-healthy behaviors. The American Heart Association has many resources to help seniors, including tips on:

Managing blood pressure
Controlling cholesterol
Reducing blood sugar
Quitting Smoking
Getting active
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Join the conversation on LinkedIn
The CMS Tribal Affairs Group on LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity to connect with others working on LTSS in Indian Country. Join the group and join the conversation
Upcoming Webinar
Touching the Spirit Through Music:
The Wisconsin Music & Memory Program
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Learn how music reignites the spirit of elders with dementia through the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program.
This webinar will provide a brief history of the program and spotlight a short video demonstrating how powerful the music and memory connection is.
So far, Wisconsin has successfully assisted 250 nursing homes with certification in the Music & Memory Program, and now Wisconsin tribal and dementia care specialists are working to promote the use of the program in non-institutional settings, where it can benefit even more people.
Erin Long, M.S.W. Aging Services Program Specialist, Administration on Aging Administration for Community Living
Image of Lynn Gall Lynn Gall
Alzheimer’s and Family Caregiver Coordinator & Tribal Dementia Care Specialist Project Manager, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources
Image of Katelyn Marschall Katelyn Marschall ADI-SSS Project Manager, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources
Learn More
Conference number:
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location's call-in time:

 9 a.m. Hawaii
10 a.m. Alaska
11 a.m. Pacific
12 p.m. Mountain
 1 p.m. Central
 2 p.m. Eastern
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Do you have news to share about LTSS in Indian Country? Send it to, and we’ll include it in a newsletter. Contact us with other comments or feedback, too.
About the Newsletter
Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions is published monthly by the Tribal Affairs Division of CMS to share information, funding opportunities, and resources with LTSS planners, tribal leaders, and supporters.
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