LTSS Newsletter—October 2023

LTSS webinar, October 25 – Protection and Advocacy for Native Americans with Disabilities

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
October 2023
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Improving QOL for people with disabilities

Last month, people with disabilities were formally designated as a population experiencing health disparities.

The designation, which paves the way for more research to help improve that population’s quality of life (QOL), was based in part on a federal working group’s recently published report (PDF, 662 KB, 21 pp).

The report highlights the need for research into interventions that address how disabilities may intersect with co-existing chronic conditions, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

It also acknowledges the disproportionate impact of disabilities on American Indian and Alaska Native people and on rural area residents.


HCBS for AI/AN adults with disabilities


Many American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults with disabilities are able to age in place, thanks to the availability of culturally appropriate home- and community-based services (HCBS).


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 AI/AN people with disabilities
  • A literature review (PDF, 1.1 MB, 10 pp) highlighting the importance of person-centered, trauma-informed approaches to HCBS



CMS seeks public comments on a proposed rule

November 6 is the deadline for submitting public comments to CMS on a proposed rule that would establish minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes.


Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail. CMS’s fact sheet about the proposed rule is available online.


Call for symposium presentations

You have until November 6 to submit presentation proposals for next year’s Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium.


Hosted by the National Council on Aging, the virtual event will be held May 2, 2024.


The symposium will highlight resources and case studies to help attendees better address issues surrounding mental health and substance use disorders in adults ages 50 and older.


Strategies to address workforce challenges at AAAs

Most Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) face similar workforce challenges. However, as noted in recently published research findings (PDF, 320 KB, 4 pp), the strategies used to address those challenges often vary in accordance with an AAA’s structure or size.


For example, stand-alone nonprofits are more likely to provide wage increases or bonuses, compared with AAAs based in city government, county government, a council of governments (COG), or a regional planning development agency (RPDA).


Additionally, stand-alone nonprofits and COG- or RPDA-based AAAs are more likely than city or county government-based AAAs to allow flexible schedules or remote work.


Also, small AAAs are more likely than medium or large AAAs to partner with public health agencies for wellness checks or assessments.


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

Protection and Advocacy for Native Americans with Disabilities

Wednesday, October 25

This webinar will provide an overview of the Native American Disability Law Center’s efforts to make sure Native people with disabilities have access to the services and resources they need to live as independently as possible.




  • Help webinar attendees understand and acknowledge disability from a Native perspective
  • Explain how congregate facilities are monitored for abuse and neglect
  • Share outreach and advocacy success stories

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.


Benita McKerry

Benita McKerry (Diné)
Native American Disability Law Center

Hoskie Benally

Hoskie Benally (Diné)
Community and Government Liaison
Native American Disability Law Center

Caregiver's corner

Dementia-themed bingo game

Creating opportunities for meaningful, positive engagement between people with dementia and their caregivers can be challenging.


To help address that challenge, the International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA²) offers Dementia Bingo, which can provide caregivers with emotional respite and care recipients with cognitive stimulation.


A set of 50 Dementia Bingo cards and a page of game instructions can be downloaded from the IA² website.


Funding opportunities

Thriving Communities Program

Letters of interest due: November 15 at 4:59 p.m. Eastern
Applications due: November 28 at 4:59 p.m. Eastern

Learn more about the Thriving Communities Program funding opportunity

Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Thriving Communities Program will provide teams of community partners with technical assistance to plan and develop a pipeline of comprehensive transportation, housing, and community revitalization activities.


Each team must include a lead applicant and at least two key community partners.


Tribes interested in receiving technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support are encouraged to submit letters of interest by November 15 at 4:59 p.m. Eastern.


Tribes interested in providing support as capacity builders are invited to submit applications by November 28 at 4:59 p.m. Eastern.


Upcoming events

American Society on Aging webinars

The American Society on Aging hosts webinars to improve quality of life for elders and their families. Upcoming webinars are listed below. Each webinar will start at 1 p.m. Eastern.



LeadingAge Annual Meeting + EXPO

November 5–8, Chicago

Register for the LeadingAge event


Leaders in aging services are encouraged to attend this year’s LeadingAge Annual Meeting + EXPO for opportunities to learn about topics such as:


  • Coverage of home- and community-based services
  • Person-centered care
  • Employee recruitment and retention


Alzheimer's Foundation of America logo

Webinar on family dynamics in dementia care

November 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern

Register for the November 15 webinar


Join Alzheimer’s Foundation of America for an interactive webinar on the different types of family relationships that may be present in the life of someone with dementia.


The webinar will describe dementia’s potential impact on those relationships. It will also cover communication strategies that can help support people with dementia and their families.


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