LTSS Newsletter – December 2018


News, events, funding opportunities, and resources for tribal LTSS programs


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See you in January for our next webinar.
Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
December 2018
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WSU partners with tribes on Alzheimer’s initiatives

Through education and outreach, Washington State University (WSU) is addressing Alzheimer's disease-related health disparities in Native populations.

Through its Natives Care (PDF, 247 KB, 1 p) project, Partnerships for Native Health—a unit at Washington State University (WSU)—works with tribes and tribal organizations to help Native communities understand that Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.

Partnerships for Native Health logo. Natives Care: Understanding Alzheimer;s Disease and Dementia

Prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's among American Indians and Alaska Natives will require national data regarding the disease's basic patterns in Native populations. In this effort, Partnerships for Native Health is working with Native elders to explore cultural values that might prevent or promote participation in Alzheimer's disease-related research.


Alzheimer’s and Native health


The following resources can help increase awareness of Alzheimer's disease in your community:


Funding to address Alzheimer’s disease-related disparities

Deadline: January 8, 2019

Apply: PAR-15-349 Research Project Grant and PAR-15-350 Small Grant Program


The National Institutes of Health are funding research on Alzheimer's disease-related health disparities. One specific area of interest is disparities in access to and use of formal LTSS. Tribal governments and tribal organizations are eligible to apply.


Holidays in assisted living and home-based care

Help elders celebrate their traditions this holiday season. The holidays can leave many elders feeling lonely and isolated, which can put their mental and physical health at risk, according to a study in The Journal of Primary Prevention. But there are many ways to help them connect with their culture and community throughout the holidays.

  • Ask the elders. To start, ask elders about their traditions and involve them or their loved ones in the planning process. Then consider how to bring their traditions to their homes, care facilities, and the general festivities.
  • Plan visits near and far. Invite over family members who live nearby or organize virtual video chats for those who live far away. (Popular video chat platforms include Apple Facetime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger.)
  • Party. Plan activity-based parties, such as baking cookies, decorating, or writing holiday cards. Invite local school students to help elders enjoy and complete these activities.
  • Include the community. Bring elders to community events, such as holiday programs and lighting ceremonies, or invite the community to bring these traditions to the elders.
  • Box it up. Lastly, invite people to help the elders clean up after the holidays.

A male and female elder wearing party crowns

Elders participating in Native American Heritage Month celebrations at MorningStar Senior Living (Photo courtesy of Tami Reed)


New year's resolution: Smoking cessation for 60+

SmokeFree60+ logo: Think. Prepare. Quit.

It's never too late to quit.
Quitting has benefits at all ages."

– SmokeFree60+

The new year can open up conversations to help people quit smoking. SmokeFree60+ provides information, support, and strategies to help smokers quit in ways that work for them.

In preparation for the new year's resolution, the website recommends first exploring what drives the person's habit to better understand how to help them break it.

15th Annual American Indian Disability Summot

Save the date: American Indian Disability Summit

March 29, 2019
Phoenix, AZ


The 15th Annual American Indian Disability Summit's theme is "Gathering Native Voices to Address Collective Trauma." The summit aims to bridge rural and urban education, networking, and support opportunities and resources for American Indians with disabilities and their families.


Blackfeet Tribe to build new long-term care facility

Blackfeet Tribe is building a 47-bed long-term care facility on its northwest Montana reservation with the help of an $8-million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Community Facilities direct loan program.

This new facility will replace the tribe's 47-year-old facility and offer more space to house additional residents, some of whom live in facilities more than 60 miles from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

The project is one of 60 projects USDA is investing in to expand access to rural health care.


The high value of informal caregiving

Many American Indians and Alaska Natives benefit from informal caregivers. CMS's report, Caregiver Training in Indian Country (PDF, 757 KB, 14 pp), defines an informal caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care without payment or formal training for someone who needs help with their activities of daily living. For people with dementia, informal caregiving has a high economic value, as summarized in the following graphic.


Infographic: The economics of informal caregiving hours


Upcoming webinar

Please join us January 23, 2019, for our next webinar, which will be presented by members of the National Council on Aging.

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About the Newsletter

Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions is published monthly by the CMS Division of Tribal Affairs to share information, funding opportunities, and resources with LTSS planners, tribal leaders, and supporters.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Indian Health Service Administration for Community Living