LTSS Newsletter—June 2021

Next LTSS webinar: AARP Driver Safety, June 23, 2021

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
June 2021
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Aging without injury

Protecting against injury helps elders continue the activities they enjoy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Still Going Strong campaign helps elders learn how to minimize the risk of injury.

The campaign features information for elders, caregivers, and health care providers. It discusses injuries that commonly happen with aging, such as falls, motor vehicle crashes, and traumatic brain injuries.

Each topic includes additional resources that explain the risks associated with these injuries, symptoms to look out for if they happen, recovery considerations, and tips for staying safe.

Resources, such as social media images and brief videos, are also available. You can use these resources to highlight the campaign and share this information with those who need it.

A social media graphic from ACL that reads "Stronger Connected. #OlderAmericansMonth"
    Fall prevention for Native elders

“More than 1 in 4 older adults report falling each year—this results in about 36 million falls.”

– CDC, Still Going Strong campaign

Initiatives like the Still Going Strong Campaign and fall prevention courses for elders are working to reduce falls and related injuries. Some of these courses include STEADI, A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention, EnhanceFitness, and Go4Life.

View the recent CMS webinar recording, Fall Prevention for Native Elders, for an overview of these five programs and how the Albuquerque Area Tribal Injury Prevention Coalition incorporates these courses into its programming to help keep elders safe.

Also watch Preventing elder falls with Tai Ji Quan for an in-depth look at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ fall prevention program.

In addition to falls, automobile accidents are a common cause of injury among older adults. For the June 23 CMS LTSS webinar, AARP will discuss driver safety. Learn more about the June webinar below.

Upcoming webinar

CMS LTSS webinar: AARP Driver Safety – How AARP Helps You Keep Up With Changes on the Road

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Safe driving and transportation has been one of AARP’s longest standing initiatives. AARP provides educational programs led by trained volunteers to help people across the country stay safe on the road.

Learning objectives:

  • Find out about AARP programs and volunteer opportunities to help drivers (and riders) on the road
  • Learn how to benefit from these programs, including increasing road safety and saving on auto insurance

Please note your
location's call-in time:

8 am Hawaii
10 am Alaska
11 am Pacific
11 am Arizona
12 pm Mountain
1 pm Central
2 pm Eastern

Have questions for our presenters? Let us know before the webinar by emailing

Xavier Villamarzo

Xavier Villarmarzo
Communications Manager
AARP Driver Safety

Long-term care resources

Updated CDC guidance for the fully vaccinated

In May, CDC updated their guidance for fully vaccinated people. Those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, except when required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws. Local businesses and workplaces may set their own guidance.

Many people have expressed concern that people who are not fully vaccinated will choose to not wear masks. To help protect communities, it is important to continue encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. Consider sharing these resources with your community:

  • CDC’s fact sheet, What Tribal Communities Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines, addresses what people can expect from vaccines and why it is important to get them.
  • A new website,, helps people find nearby vaccine locations no matter where they are. CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Boston Children’s Hospital partnered to create this resource.
an illustration of a woman and a man wearing masks

Elders’ top needs from evidence-based health programs

A series of reports from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) discuss how evidence-based health programming can adapt to meet the needs of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian elders.

Insights from Title VI directors and staff

Banner image from the report, Perspectives from Older Americans Act Title VI Directors and Staff on Health Promotion Programs in Indigenous Communities

NCOA’s report, Perspectives from Older Americans Act Title VI Directors and Staff on Health Promotion Programs in Indigenous Communities, summarizes findings from a survey of Title VI directors and staff to promote understanding about elders’ top needs, program interests and funding sources, partnerships, how programs increase participation, and other program considerations.

Notably, every survey respondent reported that the social engagement aspect of Title VI congregate meals is appealing for tribal elders. They also said elders’ needs most commonly relate to diabetes and chronic disease management and transportation.

Insights from elders

NCOA’s second report, The Voices of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders, lists findings from listening sessions with elders, which gathered recommendations for evidence-based health promotion programs. During the listening sessions, elders described what it means to age well, how community programs can support them in aging well, why they participate in community-based programs, and what types of health information they need and where they get it.

banner image from the report, The Voices of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders

The elders echoed many of the findings from the Title VI survey. For example, they raised the topic of socialization several times as a means to support aging well, such as through connections to family, helping others, and group activities. They also said they need education on diabetes and other chronic conditions and would appreciate healthy food demonstrations.

More NCOA resources on evidence-based programs

Findings from the survey and listening sessions are covered in more detail in NCOA’s full report, Evidence-Based Health Promotion Programs Among American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Communities: A Call to Action to Improve Cultural Relevance and Accessibility. This report reviews the need for evidence-based programs in Indian Country and how to improve their effectiveness.

Further, NCOA’s report, Successful Strategies and Lessons Learned from Implementing Evidence-Based Programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Communities, covers strategies for implementing and adapting evidence-based programs for tribal communities. It also features several success stories from tribal programs throughout Indian Country.

Road to equity: Addressing structural racism in health care

The cover slide for the Road to Equity virtual forum

The CMS Office of Minority Health recently held a virtual forum called Road to Equity. The forum participants discussed health equity, how to address structural racism in health care, and the role of federal agencies as equity partners. Recordings and transcripts from the forum are now available.

Caregiver's corner

Helping elders avoid fall-related injuries

As part of its Still Going Strong campaign, CDC provides guidance to caregivers on how they can help elders reduce their risk of falling.

The first tip seems obvious but is sometimes overlooked: open communication with elders and their health care providers about the potential for falls and injuries is important so all parties can work together to reduce the risks.

For example, if an elder starts taking a new medication, it is important to be aware of side effects like dizziness or fatigue that could increase their likelihood of falling. Caregivers should monitor the elder’s reaction to the medication and notify a care provider of any side effects, such as dizziness or feeling unsteady. Caregivers should also alert the elder’s health care provider if the elder falls, even if they are not injured, so the provider can help address any issues that might have led to the fall.

Other tips range from ensuring elders get routine eye exams to helping them choose an exercise program for improving their balance to removing tripping hazards from their homes.

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Upcoming events

23rd biennial NICOA conference

Conference dates: August 1–6

Registration is open for the 23rd National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) conference, to be held in Reno, NV, in August 1–6, in conjunction with the National Title VI Training & Technical Assistance Conference.

The NICOA conference’s theme is “Resilience for Tomorrow... Together.” Workshop sessions will cover LTSS, elder abuse prevention, caregiver support, and more.

Funding opportunities

Improving Type 2 Diabetes control and prevention

Deadline: July 13, 6 pm eastern
Apply for the diabetes control and prevention funding opportunity.

The U.S. Department if Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) are seeking programs dedicated to improving health and racial equity for minority populations. Through this funding opportunity, programs will identify family-centered factors that promote the self-management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes for family members ages 12 and older. OASH and OMH plan to award 4 programs up to $500,000 each.

Community Care Corps innovative models for volunteer caregiver support

Deadline: July 9
Apply for the Community Care Corps funding opportunity.

Community Care Corps, through the Administration for Community Living, is requesting proposals for innovative models using volunteers to assist family caregivers, older adults, or adults with disabilities in maintaining their independence. Community Care Corps will award between $30,000 and $150,000 to new applicants and up to $100,000 for second-year applicants. All grantees must contribute to at least 21% of the total program budget through cash and/or in-kind contributions.

Accessing social determinants of health data

Deadline: July 28 at 6 pm eastern
Apply for the social determinants of health data funding opportunity.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is requesting proposals for the Accessing Social Determinants of Health Data through Local Data Intermediaries funding opportunity. Projects will use local data intermediaries to facilitate access to data between local partners and improve their ability to apply the data to address health disparities among minority populations. OMH plans to award up to $250,000 each to 2 organizations through this opportunity.

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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