National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

From Resident’s Voice Door Hangers – Pack of 50 (10 of each design): For Complete Post, click here…

Long-term care consumers from across the country submitted artwork for this year’s Resident’s Voice Challenge, a part of Residents’ Rights Month held every October. Several pieces of art were selected to display on door hangers. These door hangers remind anyone who enters a resident’s room that this is their home and assert residents’ rights. The pack includes 50 door hangers (10 of each design), printed in sharp, full-color on sturdy card stock with glossy UV coating on one side.

Featured artwork by: Carole Luker in Fulton, KY; Matthew Blackwood in Okemah, OK; Residents at Hackensack Meridian Nursing & Rehabilitation in Ocean Grove, NJ; J. Wick in Fort Thomas, KY; and Residents at Waterview Hills in Purdys, NY.

Available for pre-order. Will ship in two weeks.

Why Do We Wake Around 3am and Dwell On Our Fears and Shortcomings?

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, click here…

ummary: Researchers investigate why many of us wake in the middle of the night and dwell on our fears.

Source: The Conversation

When I wake at 3am or so, I’m prone to picking on myself. And I know I’m not the only one who does this. A friend of mine calls 3am thoughts “barbed-wire thinking”, because you can get caught in it.

The thoughts are often distressing and punitive. Strikingly, these concerns vaporise in the daylight, proving that the 3am thinking was completely irrational and unproductive.

So, what’s going on?

I’m a psychology researcher with expertise in mood, sleep, and the circadian system (the internal clock regulating sleep). Here’s what the research says about what may be behind this common experience.

What’s happening in your body at 3am?

In a normal night’s sleep, our neurobiology reaches a turning point around 3 or 4am.

Core body temperature starts to rise, sleep drive is reducing (because we’ve had a chunk of sleep), secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone) has peaked, and levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) are increasing as the body prepares to launch us into the day.

Remarkably, all this activity happens independent of cues from the environment such as dawn light – nature decided long ago that sunrise and sunset are so important that they must be predicted (hence the circadian system).

We actually wake up many times each night, and light sleep is more common in the second half of the night. When sleep is going well for us, we are simply unaware of these awakenings. But add a bit of stress and there is a good chance that waking will become a fully self-aware state.

It’s Time the Behavioral Health Field Expand Their Definition of Lived Experience

From #CrisisTalk: For Complete Post, click here…

In anticipation of 988—the three-digit number for mental health, substance use, and suicidal crisis telecom companies must make live by July 16, 2022—communities throughout the United States are examining their crisis systems. “They want to ensure there are rapid and appropriate responses in place that match people’s needs,” says Amy Watson, Ph.D., professor of social work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin. She’s also the president of CIT International. The Crisis Intervention Team model is a first-responder, police-based crisis intervention designed to reduce the role of law enforcement in behavioral health crisis response. 

However, as leaders tighten their lens on behavioral health and quality of life crises in their community, there’s a glaring concern they must also simultaneously address: workforce shortages. Dr. Watson says the solution isn’t simply to increase staff in existing positions but rather to develop a community behavioral health crisis responder role. “That means identifying the skills needed to best resolve crises,” she notes, “and make sure there’s an accessible career path for people with a diversity of lived experience.” 

In behavioral health, the term “lived experience” is often synonymous with people who have faced mental health or substance use challenges. “That’s a vital but narrow perspective,” says Dr. Watson. “There are many additional experiences—like being from a disadvantaged or marginalized population—that would be valuable to this role and can help provide a better, more culturally competent crisis response.” This includes the need for crisis responders who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, have been incarcerated, experienced houselessness, identity as LGBTQ, are veterans, or have developmental disabilities.

Non-law enforcement responses to behavioral health and quality of life concerns—like the need for food and shelter—are critical for diverting people from the emergency department and jail. And because interactions are with civilian responders and not police, it can be far safer for people in crisis, especially among marginalized populations at risk of a police interaction turning deadly. Of people killed in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since January 1, 2015, 24% were Black, 16% were Hispanic, and 23% were identified as having a mental illness. 

House Panel Unhappy With VA Official’s Answers During Hearing on EHR System

by Joyce Frieden: For Complete Post, click here…

Several House members weren’t very happy with the answers they got Thursday at a hearing on progress with the new electronic health record (EHR) system being implemented at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“I can appreciate that you inherited a mess, and that you are in the middle of sorting through the morass, but unfortunately your responses to our questions about patient safety really aren’t detailed enough,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, said to VA deputy secretary Donald Remy, who was confirmed by the Senate in July. “I realize you’re doing the best you can to answer, but we’re just not really getting enough detail in your answers.”

Service dogs navigate the challenges of covid: ‘The dog doesn’t understand social distancing’

By Jenna Portnoy: For Complete Post, click here…

The pandemic has complicated life for everyone, but social distancing, mask-wearing and other practices to reduce the spread of coronavirus present particular challenges for people with disabilities who rely on service animals.

Organizations that train dogs — often Labrador and golden retrievers, among other breeds — are just beginning to see what the first classes of pandemic puppies can do after 18 months of diminished socialization and exposure to public places.

Dog-handler teams have had to adapt to virtual training, different commands and new ways to keep their skills sharp in order to avoid uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.

This is especially important, trainers and people with disabilities say, as more people return to their pre-pandemic routines of taking public transportation and attending in-person work and school.

Simon’s Law – Now in Congress – Would Prohibit Unilateral DNR Orders

From MFB: For Complete Post, click here…

A growing number of states have been enacting Simon’s Law, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota. These laws typically prohibit medical providers from adding a DNR to a minor’s medical chart without parental consent. 

Now a bill (H.R. 5656) has been introduced in Congress. This bill:

Requires providers to inform at least one parent or legal guardian of a physician’s intent to institute a DNR both orally and in writing.

Provides either parent with authority to refuse consent for a DNR.

Allows parents a 48-hour period after notification is provided before a decision is required to consent to a DNR.

Authorizes parents to request a transfer for their child to another hospital and requires providers to provide care until the transfer is completed.

Accessibility Happy Hour with Rooted in Rights!

From Rooted in Rights: For Complete Post, click here…

Rooted in Rights will be hosting a casual meet up on Wednesday, October 27 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST. Join us to chat about accessibility, share your latest project, or just hang out! Bring your questions about how to make your content accessible!

Accessibility Happy Hour will be a Zoom Meeting that will also be live-streamed to our Facebook page.

Access Information:
ASL interpreting and CART will be provided by Linguabee, a Deaf-owned service provider. Closed captions will be available in Zoom and a StreamText live transcript link will be pinned as a comment in the Facebook Live video. Active speakers and signers (including interpreters) will be spotlit in the Zoom Meeting.

Zoom Meeting information:

Meeting ID: 947 6251 4849

Passcode: 823587

Dial by your location:
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

If you are calling in by phone:
Press *9 to toggle Raise and Lower Hand
Press *6 to toggle Mute and Unmute

Congress Must Care for Care Workers

BY KARLA J STRAND: For Complete Post, click here…

The U.S. Congress is at a critical juncture in the negotiations on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. The original proposal was for $3.5 trillion in new spending—paid for by tax increases on corporations and those making more than $400,000 annually—aimed at improving infrastructure. Of this, $450 billion was earmarked for an increase in Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). 

These services, such as meal delivery, respite, and other care services, are essential to improving the lives of people with disabilities, those who are aging, and their care providers. But after mostly leaving the fray to moderate and progressive Democrats to battle out a compromise, President Joe Biden unveiled an updated outline for the bill on October 19. Bowing to centrist concerns, Biden’s version of the plan is now down to between $1.75 trillion and $1.9 trillion, and the cuts have caregivers (and receivers) concerned. 

Since February, progressive Democratic legislators have been pushing Biden to make good on his campaign promise to increase Medicaid funding for HCBS. In March, Senators Maggie Hassan, Democrat of New Hampshire; Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio; and Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania; and Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, introduced the Home and Community-Based Services Access Act.

Within weeks, Representatives Dingell; Ayanna Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts; Conor Lamb, Democrat of Pennsylvania; and Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, sent Biden a letter signed by 107 of their colleagues calling for the $450 billion investment in these service to be added to the Build Back Better infrastructure package.

Following the Senate vote, more than forty-five national disability organizations sent a plea to House and Senate leadership further explaining the imperative of full funding. Unfortunately, last month the House committees with purview over Medicare—Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce—endorsed increasing Medicaid HCBS funding by only $190 billion instead of the $400 billion advocated by caregivers and progressive legislators. 

That proposed $210 billion cut is not inconsequential: It could be the difference between whether more people are able to receive life-saving medical treatment or not.  

Spooky, Not Scary: Staying Safe this Halloween

By Kathrine C: For Complete Post, click here…

COVID-19 restrictions have made maintaining our social lives a challenging effort over the course of the past half year, but with one of the first social holidays of autumn approaching, many are wondering how it can be enjoyed while staying safe. Where It’s AT is here to help, with a few tricks and treats of our own.

In-Person Celebrating

If giving out candy or taking little ones to trick-or-treat, please remember that a costume mask is not the same as a medical face mask; costume masks do not provide any protection against COVID-19. To make your little ghouls excited to wear their face mask, you can try decorating their mask to match their costume, using fabric markers, iron on patterns (Etsy has great creators) or premade masks to match any theme, whether it be: sugar skulls, vampires or clowns.

If you are still feeling concerned about the bag of candy that your little one has worked so hard to collect, think ahead and buy an assortment of big bars of their favorite candy, so that their collected candy bag can have time to quarantine to your degree of comfort, while they have an exciting treat to tide them over.

On that note, please only hand out candy if you and everyone in your household is feeling well. If you decide to hand out goodies, be sure to wash hands properly and frequently, while also sanitizing regularly. There are a variety of ways for you to hand out treats in a socially distant fashion. NPR is reporting that people have even gone so far as to create candy chutes out of PVC pipes in order to keep themselves and their visitors safe. You could also set up a table on your lawn with little piles of candy or disposable paper cups of treats, or hang baggies along bushes, fences or trees for little ones to take as they pass your home.

If you feel more comfortable keeping the festivities to your household, you can decorate the inside of your home like a haunted house and have household members trick-or-treat from room to room in the fun ambiance. You can also organize a candy hunt at night using flashlights and plastic eggs filled with candy. To accommodate households with participants who have a range of ability to hunt for well-hidden eggs, add glow sticks or glow bracelets to some eggs to help them stand out.

Coordinate with your neighbors through social media groups or neighborhood apps like Nextdoor and Patch to organize a drive-by reverse trick-or-treat where you can drive by all of the costumed kids on their lawns and gently toss candy to them while honking and cheering-on their awesome costumes. You could also coordinate a decoration theme for your neighborhood and/or organize a drive-by Halloween experience for others, kind of in the fashion of neighborhoods who decorate over the top with Christmas lights. You can even coordinate music with any light decorations or play a spooky ambiance to fit your neighborhood’s Halloween theme by using an FM audio transmitter, simply put a sign in your yard to let your viewers know which station to tune into.

Setting up a projector to play a movie against the side of your house or garage door creates a great opportunity to have a mini, socially distanced “drive-in” movie theater experience. People can bring snacks and blankets and stay socially distant, together, for the holiday. This is a particularly good option if you live in a cul-de-sac, as you can include the neighborhood in on the fun. If there are small kids that you worry about keeping socially distant for such a long event, it can truly be arranged like a drive-in, with people parking and watching and simply playing the audio to the movie over an FM transmitter, like the one described in the above paragraph. Remember to keep it family-friendly if it will be being broadcast against the front of your house though, as you never know whose eyes may be watching.

Have a Halloween make-up tutorial party. Figure out which tutorial you wish to try (beware, some videos are on the gory side of special effects, so search without any kiddos nearby) and buy supplies to follow along to YouTube makeup tutorials from inspiring special effects artists like Madeyewlook who has made herself into an old school tattoostorybook Alice in Wonderland, and a Beetlejuice inspired lookdope2111 has done ElsaCorpse Bride, and Edward Scissor Hands. While Kandee Johnson has done Betty BoopAsh from Pokémon, and a Barbie Doll.

Virtual Celebrating

You can schedule a Zoom Halloween party. People can dress up, the participants can mail treats to each other like secret Santa, and everyone can nosh and hang out. Hold contests for participants like costume contests, pumpkin carving/painting contests and scavenger hunts. Play Pictionary with Zoom’s whiteboard feature with spooky Halloween themed topics or simply hang out and enjoy each other’s company with a Halloween themed virtual background.

Set up a virtual Halloween/Scary movie marathon on Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party). By using the Teleparty extension on a chrome browser on your desktop or laptop, you have the ability to watch programing in sync with other Netflix, Disney, Hulu and HBO subscribers. There is a chat feature so everyone can comment about the streamed program to one another.

Free Training Opportunity: Empowerment Education Training Initiative

From DDI: For Complete Post, click here…

Wednesday October 27th, 2021 9:00 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.

Webinar Training Topic Conflict Resolution
9:00 a.m. − 10:30 a.m.
Presented by Elizabeth Janks, LMSW & Nia Anderson, LLMSW
This training is designed to help you understand what causes conflict and learn ways you can respond to conflict in a constructive manner. Individuals attending this training will have the opportunity to:
• Learn about attitude and self-image
• Learn how to achieve control through self-talk
• Understand conflict and criticism
• Learn how to control emotions
• Learn how to resolve conflict

Ten Successful & Assertive Steps for Working with Professionals
10:30 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Kristen Columbus, LLMSW
This training is designed to give you practical ideas on how to increase your own level of assertiveness when working with professionals in service to people with disabilities. Individuals attending this training will have the opportunity to: • Assess our current level of assertiveness
• Identify characteristics of aggressive, passive and assertive behavior
• Understand the concept of personal assertive rights
• Identify the 5 Ps of successful change
• Practice to construct and use person anchors
• Assess our problem areas of assertiveness and develop an action plan

Registration Information Wednesday October 27th, 2021 9:00 a.m. − 12:00 p.m.
Target Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Professionals working with Individuals with I/DD, Peer Mentors, Individuals receiving services, and Advocates.
Requirements This training webinar is FREE, however, to participate you must REGISTER.
Questions? If you have any questions, please contact: Elizabeth Janks, LMSW Email: Nia Anderson, LLMSW Email:
Each training module carries 2 Hours of Social Work CEUs and 2 Hours of QIDP.
To attend this webinar all participants must register.
The deadline to register is Monday, October 25, 2021.
To register please visit: