LTSS Newsletter—January 2020

Funding opportunities, news, events, and resources for tribal and urban Indian LTSS programs
Upcoming webinar: Panel discussion—Money Follows the Person – Tribal Initiative
Wednesday, January 22
Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
January 2020
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LTSS Technical Assistance Center

Visit the online LTSS TA Center for videos, best practices, toolkits, a resource library, and a step-by-step planning roadmap.

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Music and memory

A study in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease explores the effects of music on the brain (PDF, 606 KB, 7 pp). The researchers found that music increases activity in the brain for people with Alzheimer's disease.

During the study, areas of the brain related to music memory lit up when people listened to music they liked. Though Alzheimer's disease does not typically affect these areas, this activity can help people with Alzheimer's access other memories that are affected.

Listening to preferred music can help reduce Alzheimer's symptoms like confusion, stress, anxiety, depression, and agitation. Care programs across the United States use personalized music playlists as an element of person-centered care.


Using music to rekindle the spirit


The Music & Memory program certifies care organizations throughout the United States on how to use personalized music to help rekindle the spirits of their elders with Alzheimer's.


The LTSS webinar recording, Touching the Spirit Through Music, features Wisconsin's Music & Memory Program, which was the first program to launch statewide.


In the recording, program staff provide a brief history of the program and explain how it connects patients to personalized music to support the goals of the Wisconsin Tribal/Aging and Disability Resource Center.


Hospice or palliative care: Choosing the right one

Hospice and palliative care are often described as being the same, but they are different services. Understanding the differences and similarities can help an elder make the right care decision.

An infographic showing the differences between hospice and palliative care.

For more information, visit the LTSS TA Center's page on hospice and palliative care in tribal communities and the National Institute on Aging's page about palliative and hospice care.

Impact of opioid use on older adults

In an assessment of the effects of the opioid crisis on elders, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) found that only about 1 in 4 (or 28%) of the care providers who responded routinely screen for substance misuse among the elders they serve.

An elderly woman in a wheelchair and a toddler play with a large parachute in an image on the cover of the Connecting Generations toolkit

In their assessment report, The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on the Aging Services Network and the Older Adults They Serve, NCOA explores the impact of the opioid crisis for elders based on survey results from over 200 community-based organizations that serve elders.


They found that the opioid crisis significantly affects elders' quality of life through related health and financial challenges. In the report, NCOA reviews:

  • current efforts to address these challenges
  • resources to help elders through these challenges
  • recommendations for screening elders for opioid misuse

Addressing elder abuse

In the National Assessment on Abuse of Tribal Elders, the International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) reviews findings on challenges to identifying and addressing abuse of tribal elders. The report also describes possible ways to address abuse, such as encouraging health care providers to screen for elder abuse. IA2 provides 3 ways to review the report:

  • The full report (PDF, 5.31 MB, 110 pp) shares findings from 23 interviews and 90 survey responses within an AI/AN context, followed by policy and practice recommendations.
  • The research in brief (PDF, 1.3 MB, 21 pp) summarizes these findings.
  • The 2-page summary (PDF, 396 KB, 2 pp) provides noteworthy findings in an easy-to-share format.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) fact sheet, Elder Abuse Screening Tools for Healthcare Professionals (PDF, 211 KB, 5 pp), lists elder abuse screening tools and when to provide them, such as during primary care visits, in home health settings, and in long-term care settings.

Upcoming webinar 

Money Follows the Person – Tribal Initiative, Part 1

Wednesday, January 22

For the January LTSS webinar, hear from tribal nations in Washington state and Oklahoma on the Money Follows the Person – Tribal Initiative (MFP-TI).

Panelists will share an overview of MFP-TI and their efforts to expand the availability of home- and community-based services in tribal communities. Additionally, the panelists will include information about health equity, tribal sovereignty, and the importance of establishing government-to-government relationships.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:


Please note your
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

  • describe the goals and purpose of MFP-TI
  • discuss the importance of culturally specific services and tribal sovereignty
  • summarize at least 3 successful strategies and challenges when establishing long-term services and supports in Indian Country

Do you have an LTSS topic you would like these webinars to cover? Email

Register for the LTSS webinar.

Terri Parton

Terri Parton
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Oklahoma

Maureen Woods

Maureen Woods
Makah Seniors Program Manager,
Makah Tribe, Washington

Eve Austin

Eve Austin 
Director, Muckleshoot Elders in Home Support Services,
Muckleshoot Tribe

Russell Coker

Russell Coker 
MFP/Living Choice Project Director,
Oklahoma Health Care Authority,
Seminole Nation, Oklahoma

Join the conversation on LinkedIn

Want to learn more about or discuss LTSS in Indian Country? Looking to connect with others working in the same field? Join the Tribal Affairs Group on LinkedIn and join the conversation.

Caregiver's corner

Tribally based guidance for caregivers of elders

The National Resource Center on Native American Aging developed its Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum based on traditional tribal values and the strengths of tribal communities. The second edition of this curriculum covers a wide range of considerations for helping elders age comfortably. Topics include adaptations for elders who are losing their vision or hearing, ways to provide comfort for chronic health conditions, information to increase awareness about elder abuse, and much more

Thumbnail image of the cover page of the Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum
Funding opportunities

Programs to improve behavioral health and address chronic pain

Applications due: January 29, 2020

Funding opportunity number: HHS-2020-ACL-AOA-CSSG-0365

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is offering funds to develop, deliver, and sustain evidence-based self-management education and support programs to address behavioral health concerns and/or chronic pain among elders and adults with disabilities. ACL anticipates awarding 7 grantees up to $300,000 each.

Affordable supportive rental housing for people with disabilities

Applications due: March 10, 2020

Funding opportunity number: FR-6300-N-49

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is offering grants to expand the supply of permanent supportive rental housing for very low-income adults with disabilities. Grants cover construction, as well as subsidies to maintain affordability over the next 40 years. Award recipients must demonstrate best practices or innovation in both housing design and supportive services.

About the TA Center

The LTSS Technical Assistance Center provides a roadmap for American Indian and Alaska Native communities who are planning and implementing LTSS programs to care for their elders and people with disabilities.

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.

Send us your news

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.

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