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The Champion

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									                                         The Champion                A Newsletter from the Vermont Health Care Association
                                                         Serving the Nursing, Residential Care, and Assisted Living Homes of Vermont




                                        Living Well Care Home Receives State Honors
                                        L    ast Tuesday Vermont's Governor Jim Douglas recognized the Living Well Care
                                             Home of Bristol by awarding them with the "2008 Governor’s Excellence Award,
                                        Program Champion." This award is part of the Healthy Aging Initiative sponsored by
                                        the Governor's Commission on Healthy Aging.
                                                  Governor Douglas presented the award in a standing room only Cedar Creek
                                        room at the State House in Montpelier and he commented that Living Well's ability to
                                        connect residents with the community, to make gardening, music and parades part of
                                        everyday life allows for the best kind of healthy aging.
                                                  "It’s all part of the ongoing program of activities orchestrated by the staff at
                                        Living Well care home in Bristol," says Paul Kervick, Board member at Living Well.
                                        "Whether it’s the organic, made-from-scratch nutritious meals, the homelike atmo-
                                        sphere and friendly staff, or the unique activities and opportunities, the people behind
                                        Living Well have developed a program of assisted living for seniors that is benefiting
                                        everyone they come into contact with."
                                                  Their drumming circle, the Living Well Family Band, originally began as an-
                                        other fun, engaging activity for the residents but soon evolved into a major focus and
                                        an avenue for outreach. Living Well’s Activities Director, Dechen Rheault who has a
                                        background in voice and drumming, initially organized the drumming circle when their
                                        Administrator presented the idea after watching a drummer working with patients in a
                                        VA Hospital.
                                                  Everything from inexpensive shaker eggs to an authentic tribal drum played
                                        with fingers, palms, or drumsticks, allow even elders crippled by arthritis to join in as
                                        part of the group and make music. No matter what their stage of cognitive ability or
In this Issue:                          physical impairment, all of the residents that have wanted to participate (which is most
                                        of them), are welcome and have been able to contribute equally. At first, the elders
                                        practiced weekly at the care home, then the group soon began voicing simple one- and
                                        two-syllable sounds to the drumming. The results were so inspiring that they’re now
Mobile Polling Changes Election         writing songs to go with their music. As more and more community members learned
Process for Residential Care ... 2      about the drumming circle, performance opportunities began pouring in.
                                                  The Living Well Family Band has now performed at a number of public ven-
Red Flag Rule Postponed ... 3           ues, including the 4th of July parade in Bristol during which they drummed for three
                                        hours while riding on a float and at a recent Body-Mind-Spirit festival in Milton. When
Digital Television Coming This Fall,    the “band” travels for performances, they bring extra instruments and encourage the
Be Sure You Have Enough Con-            audience to join in. Music is always better when shared and that’s one of the goals at
verter Boxes ... 3                      Living Well—to perform at elder care facilities across the state and teach others about
                                        the joy of drumming.
AALNA Elections Scheduled for                     Living Well emphasizes organic nutrition, whole life care and sustainability,
January ... 4                           and their management is based on a dynamic, self-governance model known as
                                        sociocracy. They are the first nonprofit health care facility in the country to use this
Annual Meeting to be Held in            model. Living Well’s ultimate vision is to create models of residential elder care that
Woodstock ... 4                         involve good nutrition, medication management and conscious business practices
                                        that contribute to individual well being and vital, sustainable communities.
Education On End of Life and                      The awards ceremony was concluded with a performance by the Living Well
Palliative Care Offered to be Offered   family band. The Governor and members of the Executive Branch played along on
in Northern New Hampshire,              hand drums, maracas and tambourines.
Vermont Caregivers Encouraged to
Attend... 4
Election Day Starts Early for Some Member Homes

B     eginning this fall the state of Vermont will begin a
      new practice of allowing and encouraging seniors living
in long term care communities to vote early at their place of
                                                                                  “We participated and residents voted on a Sunday in
                                                                       mid- October,” says Michele Ruggiero at the Village at Filmore
                                                                       Pond, in Bennington. “The number of participants was terrific.
residence. Last spring Vermont’s General Assembly passed a             Many of those who voted would not have been able to do so
bill empowering the Secretary of State to set up Mobile Polling        had they not come. Voting went very smoothly. Sample forms,
locations at her discretion to improve voter access and turnout.       in very large print, were available ahead of time. Because voting
She chose to use long term care facilities in this pilot project.      was held on Sunday, residents were able to complete the forms
The results will be reviewed by the state and reported to the          with the help of family. They set up three areas that were private
Assembly next January.                                                 for the residents to complete forms. I think more people voted
          “Our goal is to find out if this is effective and what       this year than ever.”
the issues are,” says Vermont Secretary of State Deborah L.                       Seniors living at the Gazebo Apartments and Pillsbury
Markowitz.                                                             Manor in South Burlington cast their votes for president and
                                                                        candidates in the Vermont races on a Tuesday two weeks prior
                                                                        to the general election. To help them vote, South Burlington
                                                                        City Clerk Donna Kinville and a few election officials brought
                                                                        the ballots as part of the statewide mobile voting initiative.
                                                                                  About two dozen municipal clerks statewide
                                                                        volunteered to participate in the pilot project, Markowitz said.
                                                                        Mobile voting requires less initiative on the part of the voter
                                                                        than absentee voting, for which the voter must ask for and mail
                                                                        in a ballot, she said.
                                                                                  Some have raised concern about those with cognitive
                                                                        impairments being exploited in the process. The key issues are
                                                                        how best to assess a person’s “capacity to vote” and what kind
                                                                        of assistance is appropriate to help that person cast a ballot.
                                                                                  “There are many people who have some form of
                                                                        dementia who very much want to participate,” says Markowitz.
                                                                        This project is really focusing on whether we can train election
                                                                        workers to assist people so that those who have cognitive
                                                                        impairment but are capable of voting have an opportunity to do
          This October teams of trained, nonpartisan local             so.” Markowitz is optimistic that the system will work and hopeful
election volunteers visited a handful of Residential Care facilities   that it may eventually serve as a national model. “The fact is
and nursing homes to help residents register and vote. They            that on a good day many people with cognitive impairment know
worked from a script that was designed to elicit from residents        very clearly whom they want to vote for,” she says. “We
an interest in the election and voting. Residents who cannot           shouldn’t be holding elders and those with disabilities to a higher
vote on their own were offered help from bipartisan teams              standard than we hold others,” she says.
specially trained to work with all older voters, including those                  After the election, state officials will analyze whether
with some dementia. The completed ballots were then returned           mobile polling boosted voter participation by comparing the
to election headquarters to be counted as any other votes.             percentage of older residents who cast ballots in facilities with
          "We participated in the mobile voting," says Steven          the program compared to those without the program.
Dunklee, Administrator at Vernon Green in Vernon. “The                             “In the past those residents voting have completed
[volunteer poll workers] set up voting booths in our snack area        the absentee ballots in the privacy of their rooms. The mobile
and 29 people voted. Most were residents at Vernon Hall                voting program generated much more excitement and provided
Assisted Living, some were from “The Birches,” our                     and increased sense of community,” says Steve Dunklee of
independent living on campus, and one person was from the              Vernon Green. “I believe this is a great avenue to help our
Nursing Home community. Everyone who participated seemed               seniors remain connected to the community as our town clerk
to appreciate and enjoy this format as it gave them the                Sandra Harris, a member of the town select board Janet Reardon,
opportunity to get more of a feeling of being engaged in the           our state representative Patricia O’Donnell and a local volunteer,
voting process.”                                                       Phil Nelson were all here to set up and facilitate the voting
          Federal regulations oblige all types of residential care     process.”
communities to respect residents’ voting rights, but they do                                By federal law voters can request assistance
not provide any guidance on how to satisfy that obligation.            from anyone they wish except for their employer or a union
Twenty-nine states have no standards for accommodating                 official; even voters under guardianship are not limited to
residents of long-term care facilities who want to cast ballots.       assistance from their guardians. “As for those that are
Many seniors rely on the absentee ballots if they can’t make it        cognitively impaired," say Ruggiero, “We didn’t push. We
to the polls, but some states have seen that system is vulnerable      allowed the family to be the guide.”
to fraud and abuse.
Feds Rule to Prevent Identity Theft Delayed
Be Complient: the Red Flag Rule Does Apply to Res. Care and Assisted Living

T    he Federal Trade Commission will grant a six-month delay
      of enforcement of the ‘Red Flags’ Rule requiring creditors
to have identity theft prevention programs in place. Residen-
                                                                     tion of what types of entities are covered by the Rule – http://
                                                                     www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt050.shtm.
                                                                                During the course of these efforts, Commission staff
tial Care, Assisted Living and Nursing Homes are expected to         learned that some industries and entities within the FTC’s juris-
adhere to the new rule.                                              diction were uncertain about their coverage under the Rule.
           The FTC will suspend enforcement of the new “Red          These entities indicated that they were not aware that they were
Flags Rule” until May 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial       engaged in activities that would cause them to fall under the
institutions additional time in which to develop and implement       FACT Act’s definition of creditor or financial institution. Many
written identity theft prevention programs. Last week’s an-          entities also noted that, because they generally are not required
nouncement and the release of an Enforcement Policy State-           to comply with FTC rules in other contexts, they had not fol-
ment do not affect other federal agencies’ enforcement of the        lowed or even been aware of the rule making, and therefore
original November 1, 2008 deadline for institutions subject to       learned of the Rule’s requirements too late to be able to come
their oversight to be in compliance.                                 into compliance by November 1, 2008.
           The Red Flags Rule was developed pursuant to the                     The delay of enforcement will enable these entities
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003.            sufficient time to establish and implement appropriate identity
Under the Rule, financial institutions and creditors with cov-       theft prevention programs, in compliance with the Rule.
ered accounts must have identity theft prevention programs to                   The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers
identify, detect, and respond to patterns, practices, or specific    to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices
activities that could indicate identity theft.                       and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.
           The Rule applies to creditors and financial institu-      See our website, or call the VHCA office for more detailed infor-
tions. Federal law defines a creditor to be: any entity that regu-   mation regarding how to Identify Red Flags and how to set up
larly extends, renews, or continues credit; any entity that regu-    your billing process to be in compliance with the Feds.
larly arranges for the extension, renewal, or continuation of
credit; or any assignee of an original creditor who is involved
in the decision to extend, renew, or continue credit. Some ex-
amples of creditors are finance companies, automobile dealers,         Red Flag Rule Booklet Available
mortgage brokers, utility companies, telecommunications com-
panies, and nonprofit and government entities that defer pay-
ment for goods or services. Financial institutions include enti-       VHCA has developed a full report detailing
ties that offer accounts that enable consumers to write checks         how you can be sure you are in compliance
or to make payments to third parties through other means, such         with the "Red Flag Rule." The report is
as other negotiable instruments or telephone transfers.                available now and free for members.
           The Commission staff launched outreach efforts last
year to explain the Rule to the many different types of entities
that are covered by the Rule. The agency published a general           Call 229-5700 to receive your copy today.
alert on what the Rule requires, and, in particular, an explana-


Countdown to Digital Television Is On
Local TV Stations Encourage Viewers to Go Digital Now

D      igital television is on the air,
      and traditional analog broadcast-
ing will end Feb. 17, 2009.
                                              retail stores and online. The govern-
                                              ment makes coupons available that
                                                                                            cover $40 of the cost of a box. Cou-
                                                                                            pons are available at www.dtv2009.gov
                                                                                            or 1-888-388-2009.
           Viewers with cable or satellite                                                             Local broadcasters encourage
will continue to receive local channels                                                     viewers who need converter boxes to
seamlessly. However, people with older                                                      get them connected now, in order to
analog TV sets not connected to a pay                                                       test their systems. Digital reception can
service — people whose sets use rabbit                                                      be tricky, in our mountainous part of the
ears or other type of antenna — will                                                        world, and people who have had poor
need to buy and connect digital                                                             reception of analog channels may need
converter boxes, or their TVs won’t                                                         a better antenna to receive digital
receive signals after February.                                                             channels.
           The boxes are available in
                                           Vermont's Nurses Network Gains Strength
  Upcoming                                 with Upcoming Elections
  Events
                                           I  t started with a mur-
                                              mur. Vermont’s nurses
                                           working in Residential
  Annual Meeting                           Care and Assisted Living
                                           were tired of practicing in
  Thurs. Nov 20, 2008                      a vacuum.           Many
  Woodstock Inn                            buildings have only one
  9:00am to 3:00pm                         professional, others shared their nurse with other buildings or with the local Home
  Let your vote REALLY count!              Health Agency. Most buildings are owned, operated and staffed by that same over
  Attend the Annual Meeting of the         worked professional. The murmur grew. Nurses wanted a platform to exchange ideas,
  Vermont Health Care Association.         to have focused educational offerings, to collaborate on projects, and to make a
  Residential Care and Assisted Living     positive step in their professional development. To begin to answer the need, the
  Owners, Administrators and Managers
                                           Vermont Health Care Association began a pilot chapter of the American Assisted
  are encouraged to attend.                Living Nurses’ Association, AALNA, last June. The Vermont Chapter of AALNA has
                                           been meeting for nearly six months, on the Third Thursday of each month, at a
                                           different location each time. Twenty different nurses have participated either in person
  AALNA Meeting                            or by phone. We have been hosted in six different counties and continue our tour of
  Thurs., Nov 20                           the state’s best Residential and Assisted Living Communities.
  Woodstock Inn, 1pm.                                 At the November meeting we will ask for a slate of candidates to act as
  The monthly meeting of the Nurses’       President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the fledging organization.
  Network known as AALNA will take         Elections will be carried out at the January meeting. Please consider helping this
  place at the Annual Mtg., after lunch.   organization grow by offering to serve as one of these director positions, hosting an
                                           upcoming meeting, or simply participating at the November meeting.
  Education oppertunity:
                                           November AALNA meeting
  Caring Well for                          Open to all nurses, administrators and owners, Woodstock Inn, 1:00 P.M.
  Rural Residents with                     14 The Green, Woodstock, VT. Conference call available, 1-800-977-8002, ext 240678#
  Advanced Illness
  Friday, November 21
  Maplewood Country Club
  Bethleham, NH, 8:30 to 4:30
                                           Res Care Day '09
  Contact Yvonne Corbeil,                  Planning now underway for Vermont's Residential Care and Assisted Living Day.
  yvonne.corbeil@hitchcock.org             What would you like to see at this year's conference? Ideas for education and focus
  or 603-650-5402 for details              topics now being accepted. Please e-mail your suggestions to lhammond@vhca.net.



The Champion
Vermont Health Care Association
617 Comstock Rd., Suite 8
L
Berlin, VT 05602

								
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