Author: Julia Evans Starr

NCLC’s statement regarding CMS’ proposed rule

Federal Government Strips Legal Rights of Older Consumers in Nursing Homes



National Consumer Law Center contact: Jan Kruse ([email protected]) or (617) 542-8010

Washington – Late yesterday, the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final nursing home arbitration rule, allowing nursing homes to force residents into arbitration and depriving them of access to the courts in case of a dispute. In 2017, National Consumer Law Center and dozens of other advocates filed comments with CMS condemning the proposed move to strip legal rights from residents in long-term care facilities.

The following statement is provided by National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders.

“It is outrageous that the federal government has rolled back this key protection that gave nursing home residents and their families the right to hold nursing homes accountable for abuse, neglect, and failure to safeguard loved ones.

“Forcing disputes into a secretive system before a private arbitrator, often chosen by the nursing home, with no appeal if the arbitrator ignores the facts or gets the law wrong, is deplorable. The previous rule prohibiting forced arbitration in contracts was adopted in 2016 after CMS examined years of data showing abuse and neglect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. CMS also concluded that forced arbitration clauses contribute to a lack of accountability and shield wrongdoing from the public spotlight. CMS conducted a literature review and also reviewed court opinions involving arbitration in long-term care facilities. Many of the articles reviewed provided evidence that pre-dispute arbitration agreements were detrimental to the health and safety of LTC facility residents.

“Everyone should be outraged at this injustice which gives a “get out of jail” card to nursing homes that neglect or cause the death of some of our nation’s most vulnerable and fragile people.”

TEARS Annual Elder Abuse Conference Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Agency on Aging of South Central CT is looking for partners for the annual TEARS Conference.  Go here for more information.

 Sponsorship, exhibitor tables and resource guide ads are available.

Your Organization Benefits

  • You will have direct contact with the over 600 professionals attending.
  • These professionals have direct contact with thousands of consumers.

Older Adults Benefit

  • Your support allows this conference to provide invaluable training and support for aging industry professionals (and free continuing education credits).

Reserve your table by July 15 & receive a $100 discount.

Free Webcast: Legal Helpline Technology: Automated Workflow

July 25th

Legal helplines and hotlines receive many calls each day that have to be screened for urgency and eligibility. Helpline providers also have to keep information organized for facilitating return calls and case management system input. Systems like automated workflow can improve the experience for both callers and helpline providers. This webcast will present a legal helpline case study to explore how a dynamic case management system allows legal aid providers to automate workflow (with no coding required), integrate with other software, collaborate with internal and external partners, and improve analytics through artificial intelligence embedded applications.

To register go here.

Sponsored by The National Center on Law and Elder Rights

Free webcast: Protecting Older Adults Against Telemarketing Scams

Protecting Older Adults Against Abusive Telemarketing Scams

When: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law that helps consumers challenge abusive solicitation methods. This webcast will provide a full introduction to this underutilized federal law and highlight methods advocates can use to challenge abusive debt collection and telemarketing scams aimed at older adults. Experienced litigators will provide an overview of the TCPA, offer tips on how to bring cases under the statute, and provide practice tips. This is an advanced webcast aimed at advocates representing older adults on a variety of consumer law issues.


·         Margot Saunders, National Consumer Law Center

·         Amanda J. Allen, The Consumer Protection Firm

·         Justin T. Holcombe, Partner, Skaar & Feagle LLP

To register click here  

Closed captioning will be available on this webcast. A link with access to the captions will be shared through GoToWebinar’s chat box shortly before the webcast start time.

NOTE: This training will be presented in a WEBCAST format to accommodate more participants. Due to the high volume of participants, computer audio will be the only option to listen to the presentation. No telephone call-in number will be provided. Please plan accordingly. Thank you.

Free Elder Justice Training via Lifestream on August 20th

2019 Elder Justice Training

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, State Unit on Aging is co-sponsoring a training for professionals in the aging network, attorneys, bankers, social workers, healthcare professional, APS staff and long-term care ombudsmen and their volunteers.  Kathy Greenlee, President & CEO, Greenlee Global, LLC and former Assistant Secretary of Aging, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the featured speaker.  Topics covered will include advance directives, frauds and scams, the aging network and legal services for the elderly and pharmacy-related issues for seniors. This training will take place via live-stream on August 20. Participants may view the live-stream on their individual computers, or go to any of the ten physical locations in Nebraska showing the stream. Participation is free, but registration is required.

The agenda and registration details are posted at

Co-sponsors include AARP Nebraska, University of Nebraska Omaha Department of Gerontology, Creighton University School of Law, Nebraska Bankers Association and Legal Aid of Nebraska

Free Webcast: When the Guardian is an Abuser

When: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET. by the National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER)

Courts name guardians to protect adults from abuse, neglect, or exploitation; however, in some circumstances, guardians are perpetrators of such actions. Guardians wield immense power over adults in their care. More information is needed on the extent and consequences of abuse by guardians. However, recent media reports, as well as reports by the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Background Briefs by the National Center for State Courts, highlight egregious cases in which guardians have taken advantage of their positions.

In this webcast, NCLER will cover the following on abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation by family or nonprofessional and professional guardians:

  • Case examples
  • Detection
  • Reporting
  • Court response and intervention
  • Finding systemic solutions

This webcast is  part of the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) Elder Justice Toolkit, and builds on previous Toolkit webcasts, including Elder Abuse: Mandatory and Permissive Reporting For Lawyers and Signs of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation.

To Register: Click on this link.


Cross-Cultural Communications Symposium: Moving from Empathy to Action

Cross-Cultural Communications Symposium: Moving from Empathy to Action

A statewide one-day symposium for anyone
seeking to communicate more effectively

Thursday, June 6th | 8:30am to 4:30pm
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Connecticut

Registration is Now Open! 

“People make decisions based on shared cultural values.”  Nat Kendall-Taylor. CEO, Frameworks Institute

We instinctively know that telling the right story can help us educate the public and our constituencies, and move our issues into public dialog. But few of us who work in government, education, law enforcement, criminal justice, disability rights, and other nonprofits are able to generate the primary research that would help us re-frame our message and develop the most effective communication strategies.

At this year’s symposium, we will have conversations about:

  • The importance of research,
  • Understanding how applied data can help us in our communities,
  • The strategies of successfully re-framing challenging issues,
  • The synergistic relationship between us and our government and how to best develop that relationship in order to serve constituencies, and
  • The changing nature and opportunities of a fluid media landscape, including traditional, ethnic and social media.

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Moira O’Neil, Director of Research Interpretation and Application at FrameWorks Institute.

Congrats to our colleague Kevin Brophy honoree 2019 Carlson Forum

2019 CARLSON FORUM: The Aging Experience: Discrimination in the Workplace

June 6, 2019 ~ 8:30am -11:30am

Il Monticello Banquet Facility, 577 S Broad St, Meriden, CT 06450 (Wallingford/Meriden town line)

Keynote Speakers:  Attorney Kimberly Jacobsen, Attorney Cheryl A. Sharp, Deputy Director of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO)

Carlson Award Honoree:  Attorney Kevin Brophy, Director of Elder Law, CT Legal Services

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the CT Coalition on Aging with support from the Harold Carlson Fund

RSVP by May 29 to:  Beverly Kidder ([email protected])

CT Conference ~ “Aging Matters: Creating My Bucket List”

This Aging Matters conference will be held on May 3, 2019 from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Keeney Center in Wethersfield, CT.

Presented by:  Connecticut Coalition on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, The CT Department of Developmental Services. DORS CT State Unit on Aging, The CT Chapter of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

For more information about the dynamic speakers and topics and to register see this conference brochure.


Call for artists: The Road to Elder Justice -WEAAD Virtual Art Gallery

The Road to Elder Justice – WEAAD Virtual Art Gallery

The Elder Justice Roadmap helped prioritize how to address and prevent elder abuse. Now the aim is to celebrate and build on all of its accomplishments in the WEAAD (World Elder Abuse Awareness Day) Virtual Art Gallery. You are invited to create and submit art that provides an artistic representation of the aging process with one or all of the following themes: equality and justice, respect, empowerment, connections, engagement, community, healing, hope and happiness. All entries will be displayed in a virtual gallery with links to National websites and will receive National recognition as determined appropriate.

Who may enter?  Creative adults 18+ from around the country.

Submissions are due by June 1, 2019.

Go here to learn more and to submit your artwork 

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