LTSS Newsletter—December 2020

Funding opportunities, news, events, and resources for tribal and urban Indian LTSS programs
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Stay tuned for the January 2021 LTSS webinar

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
December 2020
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Promoting flu vaccination

Flu shots help prevent hospitalizations for flu-related complications. And this flu season, preventing hospitalizations is critical, given COVID-19’s strain on our health care system.

Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at high risk for these complications, which is why annual flu shots are recommended for elders and anyone who cares for them.

Several resources are available to encourage flu vaccination among staff and residents of long-term care facilities:

filler img      
    Flu shots for caregivers
    Keeping caregivers healthy is an important part of supporting the health of elders and others who receive LTSS.
As noted in the LTSS webinar recording, Caring for Caregivers, people can spread the flu to others before they feel sick.
For that reason, flu vaccination is recommended for anyone who provides care for or spends time with an older adult, including:
  • caregivers
  • household members
  • visitors
  • medical professionals
  • long-term care facility staff who work in housekeeping, security, or other service areas

Promoting success for AI/AN nursing students

An image from the toolkit: A Navajo girl wearing a mask

Medical care provided by others from the same community helps ensure patients’ comfort and culturally appropriate care, so it is important to strengthen opportunities for tribal community members to join these careers.

A new toolkit from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action aims to help AI/AN nursing students succeed by guiding nursing faculty in improving recruitment and retention.

The toolkit, A Pathway to Promote Academic Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Nursing Students, focuses on the unique values and health perspectives of AI/AN nursing students and encourages a diverse nursing workforce.

Countering social isolation and loneliness for elders

As part of their Focus on Aging: Federal Partners’ Webinar Series, the National Institute on Aging presented the webinar, "Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults."

This webinar focused on social isolation and loneliness among elders during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special focus on elders with dementia. Check out the webinar recording to learn more about:

  • loneliness in the context of dementia
  • possible solutions for social isolation
  • the I-CONECT project, which studies the effects of social interaction on memory for people with dementia

Hopi Tribe’s Community-Focused COVID-19 Surveillance Program

5 teams = 1 community health representative and 1 volunteer from the village, Hopi Tribe DHHS, or CDC field team; Canvassed 2 villages within 5 hours; Approached 101 households; Received basic information from 78 households on 259 persons; Screened 141 people

In the face of a challenging pandemic, Hopi Tribe took a different approach to COVID-19 testing, monitoring, and community education. They engaged tribal community health representatives (CHRs).

By enlisting trusted CHRs, Hopi Tribe provided education and patient follow-up to help community members understand and follow safety guidelines. Additionally, teams led by CHRs monitored cases through home visits in two of the tribe’s villages. Details of how the CHRs conducted this monitoring are included in the infographic to the right.

Nursing Home Resource Center

A new Nursing Home Resource Center from CMS pulls together the latest information on nursing homes for health care providers, CMS partners, patients, and caregivers.

For providers and CMS partners

Find regulations and guidance, trainings and resources, COVID-19 data and updates, and payment policies.

For patients and caregivers

Locate a nursing home, learn about residents’ rights and quality of care, and stay current on COVID-19 information and resources.

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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. If you are a member of the group already, you can access it by clicking the group name under Groups on the left side of your LinkedIn landing page.
Upcoming webinar

Stay tuned for the January LTSS webinar

Check back next month for the January LTSS webinar, “Fraud Watch,” on Wednesday, January 27. Kathy Stokes, AARP's Director of Fraud Prevention Programs, will present on helping elders avoid scams and fraud.

Caregiver’s corner

Virtual holidays

The holiday season will continue to look different this year amid the public health emergency, since hosting people outside of your household is not recommended. However, there are options to celebrate virtually.

Many fun holiday traditions can be hosted virtually, such as opening cards from card exchanges, holding ugly sweater contests, or singing songs together. How can caregivers help? They can create a list of ideas for virtual celebrations and help the people they care for set up these calls with their loved ones through virtual platforms, like Zoom.

See CDC guidance on how to celebrate the holidays as safely as possible.

Funding opportunities

Statewide Consumer Network Program

Application Due Date: Monday, January 4, 2021

Apply for the Statewide Consumer Network Program

The Statewide Consumer Network Program develops or expands peer support services, peer leadership, and peer engagement strategies to address the needs of adults with serious mental illness (SMI).

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for the program for fiscal year 2021.

At least 3 of the 12 awards will be made to tribes or tribal organizations. Award amounts will be up to $95,000 per year for up to 3 years.

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.

About the Newsletter

American Indian/Alaska Native 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