LTSS Newsletter— May 2023

LTSS webinar, May 23 – Historical Trauma and Its Relation to COVID

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
May 2023
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Disabilities in AI/AN communities

A newly updated guide to understanding disabilities in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities (PDF, 4.3 MB, 241 pp) is now available.

Spanning a wide range of topics, the guide includes information about Medicaid coverage of tribally administered home- and community-based services.

It also references programs funded by the Administration of Community Living to help AI/AN people with disabilities live independently.

Additionally, the guide includes a chapter on the key elements of effective AI/AN programs for people with disabilities. Within the chapter, you’ll find a quote from Dr. Crystal Hernandez, co-host of the Black Feathers podcast series, which focuses on disability-related topics of interest to tribal communities.


HCBS in Indian Country


Culturally appropriate home- and community-based services (HCBS) make it possible for adults with disabilities to age in place.


To learn more, visit the LTSS TA Center and download:


  • A report (PDF, 1 MB, 9 pp) showcasing the success of three programs that serve Native people with disabilities
  • A literature review (PDF, 1.1 MB, 10 pp) highlighting the importance of person-centered, trauma-informed approaches to HCBS



Improving access to transportation for elders and people with disabilities

Access to public transit for elders and people with disabilities is often limited by barriers such as limited hours of operation.


That's why the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center convened a series of focus groups and meetings to further explore issues that had previously emerged from a national survey of diverse elders, people with disabilities, and caregivers.


Findings from those events are summarized in Listening to Riders and Providers (PDF, 400 KB, 20 pp). Released earlier this year, the report highlights the:


  • Need for well-maintained sidewalks, safer bus stops, and shorter wait times
  • Importance of communicating with potential transportation users and their caregivers when developing and implementing transportation programs
  • Potential benefits of partnerships between rural transportation providers and social service agencies or community organizations


Emergency preparedness resources for elders

Older Americans Month logo

May is Older Americans Month, an ideal time to share emergency preparedness resources for elders.


Available on the American Red Cross website, the resources include:


  • An emergency kit supplies checklist
  • Downloadable emergency contact cards
  • Tips for assessing needs and building a support network


The website also includes suggestions for how to respond during and after a disaster.


Call for LeadingAge award nominations

June 16 is the deadline to submit nominations for two annual LeadingAge awards.


Nominees for the Award of Honor should be people who have provided nationally significant leadership and made exceptional contributions to the field of aging services.


Nominees for the Joan Anne McHugh Award for Leadership in Long-Term Services and Supports Nursing should be directors or assistant directors of nursing who have:


  • Demonstrated creative and innovative approaches to leadership in LTSS nursing
  • Facilitated teamwork
  • Created a positive workplace environment for nursing and direct care professionals
  • Improved recruitment and retention of nursing and direct care professionals


Award recipients will be recognized at the 2023 LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO, to be held November 5–8, in Chicago.


LinkedIn Tribal Affairs Group
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

Historical Trauma and Its Relation to COVID

Tuesday, May 23

As Native elders reflect on their early years, historical events of isolation and depression resurface the trauma they experienced at boarding schools. Join UNITE (Uniting Nursing Homes in Tribal Excellence) for a discussion of historical trauma and its relation to COVID.




  • Highlight the importance of giving elders a voice as they deal with feelings of helplessness and isolation
  • Discuss Native American ways of fostering community engagement and togetherness
  • Adopt a consistent approach to building trust

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.


Brandi Hodges

Brandi Hodges
UNITE Secretary
White River Health Care Center

Tiffany Shangreau

Tiffany Shangreau
UNITE Board Member
Oglala Sioux Lakota Nursing Home

Melissa Martinez

Melissa Martinez
UNITE Board Member
Executive Director
Laguna Rainbow Corporation

Ina Weed

Ina Weed
UNITE Vice President
Human Resource Manager
Morning Star Care Center

Joseph Ray

Joseph Ray
UNITE President and Elder Care Advocate
Former Board Member
Laguna Rainbow Corporation

Caregiver's corner

Handbook for caregivers

Front cover of The Caregiver's Handbook

A comprehensive caregiver's handbook (PDF, 26 MB, 72 pp) is now available online.


Published by the National Institute on Aging, the handbook offers guidance on topics such as finding home- and community-based services, choosing a long-term care facility, and managing caregiving costs.


It also includes:


  • A home safety checklist
  • Worksheets to help manage medications and coordinate caregiving responsibilities
  • Lists of questions to ask before hiring a care provider or moving a care recipient into one’s home


Although the handbook focuses on the needs of elders, it is intended for anyone providing care to a friend or family member who needs help with daily living.


Funding opportunities

Disability and rehabilitation projects


Deadline: June 16
Learn more about the disability and rehabilitation projects funding opportunity

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is offering funds to enhance health and employment outcomes among people with disabilities. Award recipients must translate findings from NIDILRR-sponsored research or development activities into practice.


NIDILRR expects to award six discretionary grants for a five-year performance period. Tribes and tribal organizations are encouraged to apply.


Public transportation on Indian reservations


Deadline: June 26
Learn more about the public transportation funding opportunity

The Federal Transit Administration is offering $8.9 million in grants for the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations (Tribal Transit) Program.


Tribes that provide transit service in a rural area with a population of fewer than 50,000 people are encouraged to apply.


Dementia care models


Deadline: June 27
Learn more about the dementia care models funding opportunity

Indian Health Service (IHS) funds are available to support the development of care models that address the needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers in tribal and urban Indian communities. Grantees will:


  • Plan and implement a comprehensive approach to services
  • Collaborate with the IHS Alzheimer's Grant Program to develop best and promising practices
  • Identify and implement reimbursement and funding streams that will support service delivery and facilitate sustainability


IHS expects to award six cooperative agreements for a two-year performance period. Tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations are encouraged to apply.

Upcoming events

Webinar on HCBS for Veterans

May 25 at 3 p.m. Eastern

Register for the May 25 webinar


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers home and community-based services (HCBS) to help Veterans age in place. Join the National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center for a webinar featuring a presenter from VHA who will discuss:


  • HCBS that are available to Veterans
  • Resources to assist Veterans with decisions regarding long-term care


2023 Nutrition & Aging Services Conference

NANASP logo and the words 'National voice. Local action.'

June 21–23, Philadelphia

Register for the conference


The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) will host its annual training conference this summer.


The conference agenda includes sessions on marketing of nutrition programs; issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders; and more.


NANASP members receive a discount on registration, but all professionals who serve elders are welcome.


Webinar on prolonged grief disorder

June 22 at 1 p.m. Eastern

Register for the June 22 webinar


Losing loved ones is never easy. However, some people experience grief so severe that it interferes with daily life and requires treatment.


Plan to attend an American Society on Aging webinar on prolonged grief disorder and how it differs from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.


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