LTSS Newsletter—September 2023

LTSS webinar, September 27 – Tribal Outreach and Advocacy

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
September 2023
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Helping caregivers cope with grief

Caregivers for people with dementia typically experience feelings of loss and grief, sometimes as soon as their loved one is diagnosed.

Grieving is an individual process, as no two people go through it the same way. Caregivers may experience denial, anger, guilt, sadness and acceptance, in no specific order. Such feelings are valid, and seeking support to help sort through them is crucial.

Discussing one’s emotions with a friend, joining a support group, and making time for enjoyable activities can help ease the pain. Other ways of coping with grief are discussed on the Alzheimer’s Association website.


Supporting caregivers


Throughout Indian Country, paid and unpaid caregivers make it possible for elders and people with disabilities to age in place.


Caregiving can be exhausting and lead to burnout and or compassion fatigue. That’s why addressing caregivers’ physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs is so important.


To learn more, watch CMS’s LTSS webinar titled Caregiver Support.



NADONA seeks conference presentation topics

October 1 is the deadline to submit presentation topics for the 37th national conference of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA).


The conference will be held June 23–26, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri. Topic areas include nurse leadership, infection prevention, quality metrics, and more.


ASA’s call for conference exhibits and volunteers

Consider reserving an exhibit or volunteering at next year’s On Aging conference, to be held March 25–28, 2024, in San Francisco.


Hosted by the American Society on Aging (ASA), the multidisciplinary conference is intended for professionals working to improve the lives of elders.


Exhibitors will have opportunities to network and attend ASA’s 70th anniversary celebration. Volunteers will be offered a discounted registration rate to attend the On Aging conference.


September is Healthy Aging Month

Infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) often results in severe illness for people ages 60 and older.


In observance of Healthy Aging Month, please encourage elders and their families to talk with a health care professional about the newly available RSV vaccines to help prevent hospitalization and death.


Also, urge all LTSS providers ages 60 and older to get vaccinated against RSV to help protect themselves and those they care for.


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

Tribal Outreach and Advocacy

Wednesday, September 27

The Northwest Regional Council (NWRC) is an Area Agency on Aging that provides human services to improve quality of life for elders and caregivers. This webinar will focus on NWRC’s Tribal Program, which connects six local tribes in Whatcom and Skagit Counties with information and assistance.




  • Highlight the culturally appropriate services that NWRC’s Tribal Program provides to elders who require personal care and other assistance at home
  • Describe the technical assistance that NWRC offers to help tribes plan and coordinate services and resources that address the need for LTSS, Medicaid, and dementia support
  • Explain how NWRC provides support to elders and caregivers in tribal communities
  • Discuss the information and statistics that NWRC shares with tribal leadership to help enhance policies and programs and better serve the aging population

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 presenter? Let us know before the webinar by emailing

Register now.


Katherine Romero

Katherine Romero (she/her)
Nooksack Tribal Member
Tribal Programs Specialist
Northwest Regional Council

Caregiver's corner

Tips for more relaxed mealtimes

Mealtimes can be stressful for caregivers of people with middle- to late-stage Alzheimer’s.


That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association website provides tips to make mealtimes more relaxed for both caregivers and care recipients. Those tips include:


  • Serving meals in a quiet room away from the television
  • Offering one food at a time
  • Making sure items are not too hot to consume safely
  • Allowing plenty of time for the care recipient to eat


Funding opportunities

Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program


Deadline: September 28
Learn more about the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods funding opportunity

Capital construction, community planning, and regional partnerships challenge grants are available to advance community-centered transportation connection projects.


To help streamline the grant application process, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a notice of funding opportunity that combines the following two programs:


  • Reconnecting Communities Pilot, which supports planning and capital construction to address infrastructure barriers and restore community connectivity
  • Neighborhood Access and Equity, which supports context-sensitive strategies to improve walkability, safety, and affordable transportation accesss


Tribes are encouraged to apply. The recording of an informational webinar with a tribal focus is archived on the DOT website.


Upcoming events

Webinar on smoking and dementia

October 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern

Register for the webinar on smoking and dementia


People who smoke are at increased risk for dementia. Join the American Society on Aging for a webinar that will cover strategies to address smoking and build cognitive resilience.


Banner Health conference and pre-conference on dementia

October 18–19 in Tucson

Learn more about the conference and pre-conference on dementia


On October 19, Banner Health will host the 17th Annual Caregiver Conference on Dementia in Native Americans. The full-day conference is intended for family caregivers, professional caregivers, health care providers, educators, and tribal leaders. Conference topics will include:


  • Having productive conversations with the care recipient’s medical provider
  • Recognizing and managing stigma related to dementia
  • Appreciating the need for self-care
  • Acknowledging and understanding grief


The day before the conference, Banner Health will host a pre-conference for professionals who work with people affected by dementia. The pre-conference will cover safety at home, options for help with caregiving, and more.


OLTCA conference on long-term care

Ontario Long Term Care Association logo

October 22–24 in Toronto

Register for the OLTCA conference on long-term care


Consider joining the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) for their annual conference, which will:


  • Highlight emerging research and quality improvement initiatives
  • Provide practical strategies to improve quality of life for elders in care facilities


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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