LTSS Newsletter— April 2023

LTSS webinar, April 26 – My Advance Care Plan & Guide for Native Americans and Other Resources

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
April 2023
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Recognizing early signs of dementia in different contexts

Ideally, conversations about caregiving options should take place when the person who will require care is in the early stages of dementia.

However, early signs of dementia can be difficult to recognize, especially in the people we love. That's why the International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) created the Dementia Friends Rooms Experience.

Available on the IA2 website, this interactive resource presents a series of images depicting an office, public transit, and other common scenarios where people with dementia may struggle.

Click on each scenario to learn more about:

  • Common challenges that many people with dementia face in that context
  • Tips on how to help someone experiencing thinking or memory changes

Supporting families affected by dementia


As the number of Native people with dementia increases, so does the need for resources to improve diagnosis and help families plan for future caregiving needs.


Recognizing that need, the LTSS TA Center offers:




Improving transportation for elders with vision loss

Guidance to improve transportation for elders with vision loss (PDF, 17 MB, 16 pp) is available online.


Published by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center and the American Foundation for the Blind, the guide describes transportation challenges that blind or visually impaired elders often face.


It also recommends steps that transportation programs can take to make sure their services are fully accessible to the entire community. Those steps include:


  • Using an 18-point font for all printed materials
  • Relying on public service announcements or radio advertisements to keep the community informed about transportation services
  • Inviting elders with vision loss to participate in focus groups and transit boards
  • Connecting with programs that serve elders and people with disabilities


Call for NICOA workshop proposals

The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) invites you to submit workshop proposals for this year's American Indian Elders Conference, to be held September 25–29 in Cherokee, North Carolina. Workshop tracks include:


  • Politics and legislation
  • Research and studies
  • Culture preservation
  • Education, outreach, and collaborations


If your workshop proposal is accepted, you will have until July 28 to pay the conference registration fee.


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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.

Upcoming webinar

My Advance Care Plan & Guide for Native Americans and Other Resources

Wednesday, April 26

My Advance Care Plan & Guide for Native Americans is a culturally adapted tool to help elders make decisions about the types of health care they want in the future and for the end of life. An advance care plan enables elders to identify what is important to them and which types of treatments they want. It also provides guidance so that the health care team, family members, and loved ones can make decisions about care if an elder can no longer tell them what is preferred.




  • Discuss the benefits of an advance care plan
  • Use an advance care plan to address the needs of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians

Please note your

location's call-in time:


8 a.m. Hawaii

10 a.m. Alaska

11 a.m. Pacific

12 p.m. Mountain

1 p.m. Central

2 p.m. Eastern


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

Register now.


Bill Benson

Bill Benson
President, International Association for Indigenous Aging
Native American Elder Justice Initiative/
National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative

Peggy Jo Archer

Peggy Jo Archer
Project Coordinator, International Association for Indigenous Aging
Native American Elder Justice Initiative/
National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative


Caregiver's corner

Tips for communicating with people who have dementia

Communicating with people who have dementia can be stressful, especially when they are confused about where they live or what stage of life they are in.


To decrease stress for all involved, some experts recommend:


  • Accepting that people with dementia experience reality differently
  • Focusing on the feelings behind the words or sounds expressed by the person with dementia
  • Distracting the care recipient with an activity, a story, or music
  • Redirecting conversations in ways that makes the care recipient feel safe and loved


For examples of how to implement these recommendations in specific situations, visit the Help for Alzheimer’s Families website.


Funding opportunities

Eldercare Locator cooperative agreement


Deadline: May 8
Learn more about the Eldercare Locator funding opportunity

The Administration for Community Living is offering funds to operate the Eldercare Locator, a call center that connects elders and caregivers with home- and community-based services.


One cooperative agreement will be awarded for a five-year performance period. Tribes and tribal organizations are encouraged to apply.


Upcoming events

Webinar series on addressing ageism


The American Society on Aging will host a two-part webinar series on how negative stereotypes about aging can impact care professionals' work with elders:



The series will highlight opportunities to reinforce positive views of aging when helping elders navigate health care.


Symposium on elders' mental health

May 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern

Register for the May 11 symposium


Plan to attend the sixth annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium, which will be hosted online by the National Council on Aging. Breakout session topics will include:


  • Supporting caregivers
  • Chronic pain and mental health
  • Suicide prevention


Workshop on communication and dementia

Alzheimer's Foundation of America logo

May 17 at 11 a.m. Eastern

Register for the May 17 workshop


Dementia care professionals are encouraged to attend an interactive virtual workshop on recognizing and responding to distressing behaviors as expressions of unmet needs.


Hosted by Alzheimer's Foundation of America, Understanding Behaviors as Forms of Communication will cover strategies for:


  • Communicating with care recipients who have dementia
  • De-escalating situations that may occur


Webinar on life after a TBI

North Dakota Brain Injury Network logo

May 17 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern

Register for the May 17 webinar


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in lifelong disabilities. Join the North Dakota Brain Injury Network for a webinar on the resources available to help people adapt to life after a TBI.


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 ServiceAdministration for Community Living