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CANHR News & Notes is a monthly e-newsletter published by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR).

Governor Brown signed AB 1572 (Eggman) Into Law


AB 1572 significantly strengthens the rights of Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) residents and their families to form resident and family councils. Resident and family councils are a powerful tool to improve quality of life and care. Some of the most important features of the legislation are two or more residents can now form a resident council where it use to take a majority; providers must inform both residents and families of their right to form councils; providers must respond to written requests or concerns of councils within 14 days and are prohibited from interfering in the formation, maintenance or promotion of councils, interference that could result in a violation with a citation and a civil penalty of $250 per day. This law will become effective January 1, 2015.

This is the first bill of the RCFE Reform Campaign that will become law! Thank you for your support to pass AB 1572 but we still need your support to pass the rest of the RCFE Reform Act.
 

Help Get RCFE Reform to the Governor!


We need your help to get the RCFE Reform Act bills to the Governor. Although they are near the legislative finish line, some of the bills are meeting strong resistance from the California Department of Social Services, the Appropriations Committees and the assisted living industry. 
A few operators of small RCFEs have recently opened attacks on all of the RCFE Reform bills based on a misunderstanding of how their business will be affected. For more information, see our factsheet "RCFE: Fiction and Facts"
Please take 5 minutes and urge your legislators to support RCFE Reform. To identify your representative in the Assembly and the Senate, go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
For talking points to guide your call to your legislator, please review our factsheet.
 

AARP Wins Class Action Against Over-drugging of Seniors


A California nursing home has settled with AARP in an unprecedented class-action lawsuit against the facility for using inappropriate kinds and amounts of psychiatric drugs on elderly residents without the consent of the residents or their families, according to AARP Bulletin. University of California nursing professor Charlene Harrington told AARP Bulletin that the use of “unnecessary” and “extremely dangerous” antipsychotics as chemical restraints in US long-term care facilities is widespread. AARP lawyer Kelly Bagby said of the successful legal action, “It is the first case of its kind in the country, and hopefully we can replicate this nationwide.”
 
AARP Bulletin says over-medicating of seniors in long-term care facilities “stems from inadequate training and chronic understaffing, as well as an aggressive push by pharmaceutical companies to market their products.”
 
Attorney Toby Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy told AARP Bulletin, “The misuse of antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraints is one of the most common and long-standing, but preventable, practices causing serious harm to nursing home residents today. When nursing facilities divert funds from the care of residents to corporate overhead and profits, the human toll is enormous.”
Read the AARP Bulletin article.
 

The University Mound Ladies Home Appears to be Saved


University Mound, a home for seniors “of moderate means” since the 1880s, was pending sale to the Alta Vista School, a private elementary school. University Mound’s board of directors had previously signed a contract to sell the two-story brick building to Alta Vista for $5.7 million. Instead, assisted-living company AgeSong will take over the home and continue to operate it as a home for seniors. “Hopefully, we can get in there in the next few days to reduce anxiety and give people peace of mind that they don’t have to worry about where they’re going to be living,” said Nader Shabahangi, AgeSong’s cofounder and CEO. About 53 seniors lived at University Mound as of May. About 20 remain there today.
Read the SF Examiner article.
 

Tell Us Your Story - Readmission to a Nursing Home After a Hospital Stay


Nursing home residents have the right to be readmitted after a hospital stay. Recently, CANHR received reports of several nursing homes that are violating the law and refusing to readmit residents. For information on resident readmission and appeal rights, see our factsheet "Transfer and Discharge Rights".
 
CANHR is investigating readmission problems to determine solutions.  If you or someone you know has been refused readmission to a nursing home, please tell us your story.
 

Donate to CANHR When You Shop on Amazon.com


Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon purchases to California Advocates For Nursing Home Reform whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know - same products, prices, and service. Support us by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.
Click here to visit Amazon Smile.

 

Upcoming Events

"Alive inside" at Opera Plaza, SF


Winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival audience award, "Alive Inside" follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.
Screening, Filmmaker Q&A and Reception - August 8, 2014 7pm Opera Plaza Cinema, SF, CA
$20 with advanced purchase tickets. 100% proceeds go to Music and Memory.
 

KQED Reports 'Down to the Wire: Lawmakers Have 4 Weeks to Act on Assisted Living Reforms'


The stories begin airing on The California Report on Monday, August 4th. They run August 4th and 5th and then again the following Monday and Tuesday, August 11th and 12th.
Click here to read the article.
 

Online Training for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, Geriatric Case Managers, and other Professionals: Changes to Medi-Cal Under the Coordinated Care Initiative


Learn about the changes to the delivery of Medi-Cal through managed care plans. This presentation will give an overview of the Coordinated Care initiative with a focus on helping nursing facility residents evaluate their health plan options.
 
Presenter: Amber Cutler, National Senior Citizens Law Center
Price - $25
(1 CEU credit)
*SWAP members receive a 10% discount.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Register online here.
 

'Comfort Care as the New Medicine' Moves to LA


CANHR is bringing its comfort-focused dementia care training back to Los Angeles on August 29th to focus on implementation of comfort care principles in lieu of chemical restraints. The training will be led by Tena Alonzo, the fantastic comfort care teacher from the Beatitudes Campus, in Phoenix, AZ. Lunch and CEUs will be provided.
Click here to learn more and/or register.
Click here to view the event flyer.
 
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