Author: Lara Stauning

CMS Responds to Visitation Questions

CMS Responds to Visitation Questions

Consumer Voice recently asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for clarification of guidance addressing specific issues around visitation during a COVID-19 outbreak (defined as 1 positive test).   CMS responded via email on September 1, 2021.  While the responses we received are not official guidance, they do provide information that may be useful in your advocacy.

Question 1:  Do residents in the section of the facility where an outbreak occurs have to quarantine in their room?  Can they have visitors outdoors?  (assuming the resident’s COVID-19 tests are negative)

CMS response: Yes, but they can have visitors based on the results of the first round of outbreak testing. According to CMS and CDC guidance, when there is a new infection among staff or residents, outbreak testing should be immediately initiated for all residents and staff.  Indoor visitation is suspended until the results of this first round of outbreak testing are known.  During outbreak testing, residents should generally be restricted to their rooms, however outdoor visitation may still occur. Residents who are infected, symptomatic or had close contact (per CDC definition) with someone infected with COVID-19 should not participate in outdoor visits. Visitors should be informed about the outbreak in order to make informed decisions about visitation. Compassion care visits must be permitted even during an outbreak. Also, after the first round of outbreak testing is compete, indoor visits may occur on unaffected units/areas.

Question 2:  Even if subsequent COVID-19 testing for all affected in the outbreak area comes back negative, do they have to stay under precautions for the full 14 days? CMS response: Not completely. According to CDC guidance, “Residents should generally be restricted to their rooms and serial SARS-CoV-2 testing performed.”  CDC guidance for Responding to a Newly Identified COVID-19 Infection in HCP or Resident, states:  “recommended precautions should be continued for residents until no new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been identified for at least 14 days” (  However, “Residents could leave their rooms to permit visitation; visitors should be informed about the outbreak in order to make informed decisions about visitation” (

Question 3:  A common scenario we hear about regards a staff person who “is all over the facility” (could be a direct care staff person, or, for example, from housekeeping or dietary) tests positive.  The entire facility is shut down under precautions for at least 14 days.  Is there a better way to assess the exposure that would require a full shut down for the minimum 14-day period?

CMS response:  A full shut down of the facility may not be necessary. The memo states that facilities should, “suspend all visitation (except that required under federal disability rights law), until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed,” and if there are, “no additional COVID-19 cases in other areas (e.g., units) of the facility, then visitation can resume for residents in areas/units with no COVID-19 cases.”

For the situation you describe, if the original case is with an employee who is now out of the building and there are no additional positive cases among residents and staff after the first round of testing, then visitation may resume for all residents. Outbreak testing should continue for all staff and residents that tested negative every 3 days to 7 days, residents should generally be restricted to their rooms, and recommended precautions should be continued for residents until the facility identifies no new cases of COVID-19 infection among staff or residents for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. PDF Version
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CEJC “Lunch and Learn” Webinar Series for Professional Conservators Continues on 10/20/21 @ 12 PM.

Nursing Home Advocacy 101: Defending Involuntary Nursing Home Discharges

When: Wednesday, October 20th @ 12 PM, Free!!


Have you ever been told your client “needs to leave” a nursing home because they are “difficult” or that the nursing home can no longer care for them? Attorneys Kevin Brophy and Jean Mills Aranha from CT Legal Services will discuss involuntary nursing home discharges and how Conservators can respond to involuntary discharges and advocate for the client’s rights. They will discuss the legally valid reasons for an involuntary discharge, notice requirements, the appeals process, how to effectively defend an involuntary discharge, and what a proper discharge plan should include if discharge cannot be avoided.

This session has been approved for 1 CEC by NASW and 1 CLE by CT Bar Association.

ACL: Aging Network’s Role in Identifying Malnutrition and Abuse

Nutrition and Aging Resource Center

Aging Network’s Role in Identifying Malnutrition and Abuse

Nutrition plays a critical role in community living as we age. Good nutrition can help older adults stave off many illnesses, avoid or shorten hospital stays, and remain active and independent. It is critical to prevent malnutrition before it occurs and identify potential causes, including abuse and neglect. Aging network organizations should recognize the warning signs of malnutrition and elder abuse among the seniors they serve, as they may be the first to identify these situations.

This year for Malnutrition Awareness Week,™ we take a look at the unique nutrition challenges that may arise for older adults, including malnutrition related to elder abuse and/or neglect. Look for the new resource, Identifying Malnutrition and Abuseon the  Nutrition and Aging Resource Center website. This resource shares guidance for senior nutrition program providers to help them identify and respond to malnutrition, and to refer appropriately when signs of abuse or neglect are present, in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of at-risk older individuals.

 Learn more about the Nutrition and Aging Resource Center

AARP CT: Virtual U: Faith in the Neighborhood Series: How We Make Sense of the World

In this series with the Hartford Seminary, we will deepen connections to community through exploration of the different religions and cultures that make up our neighborhoods. Whether you are interested in broadening your professional toolkit or broadening your understanding of our world, this series will illuminate the creation of livable communities in your neighborhood and beyond. This program is approved for (1.0) Continuing Education Units for each session in this series by NASW/CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.  This approval is also applicable for license renewals for CT LPCs, LMFTs, and licensed psychologists.

10/14 @ 12PM – Religious Manyness – Registration:

10/26 @ 7PM – Clothing, Cuisine, and Calendars – Registration:

11/9 @ 7PM – What Goes on In There? – REGISTRATION:

ACL: Webinar on HIV & Aging 10/22 @ 1 PM

ACL & HRSA Webinar on HIV & Aging in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Friday, October 22, 2021, 1:00-2:15 PM ET
Join ACL and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for their webinar,  Leveraging Collaboration between the RWHAP and Aging Agencies: Enhancing Support Services for Older Adults with HIV. Learn about ACL’s network of programs and services available to support the health care and psychosocial needs of older adults with HIV who are aging in the RWHAP, and opportunities to connect with this network at state and local levels.

Presenters: Edwin Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration on Aging, ACL Keri Lipperini, Director, Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs, ACL Rebecca Kinney, Director, Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling, ACL Amy Gotwals, Chief, Public Policy and External Affairs, USAging For questions and comments, contact R. Chris Redwood and Kelli Abbott of the HAB HIV & Aging Workgroup.

CFPB: Guide to Prevent Financial Exploitation in Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities

Good afternoon,

Today, during Residents’ Rights Month, we released an updated version of Preventing elder financial abuse: A guide for nursing homes and assisted living communities to help long-term care staff prevent and respond to financial exploitation of the people in their care.

The updated guide walks team members through the four steps to fighting elder financial abuse: Prevent, Recognize, Record, and Report. The update includes new information on using technology to stay connected and informed, along with new scenarios and resources found during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guide is for assisted living community and nursing home managers and staff who can step in to help people who are experiencing financial abuse. You can download the updated guide, or order free copies for you and your team to reference when needed.

Save the date for a webinar at 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 27 to learn more about the guide, including what changes were made in the update, and how to use it in your community. We will send another email later this month with the link to register for the webinar. Thank you, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

Senate Special Committee on Aging: Fraud Book Released, Resources to Protect Older Adults from Scams

Sen. Bob Casey released the following announcement:

Dear Friends:

Last week, I held a hearing entitled, “Frauds, Scams and COVID-19: How Con Artists Have Targeted Older Americans During the Pandemic.” The hearing examined the exploitation of older Americans during the coronavirus pandemic by scammers. Ms. Kate Kleinert of Glenolden, Pennsylvania shared her  story as a survivor of a scam.  Stories like Kate’s make clear why we must continue to raise awareness about frauds and scams and protect all Americans from these predatory schemes. Alongside Ranking Member Scott, I released the Committee’s annual Fraud Book to arm older adults, their families and caregivers with tools and tips to prevent and respond to scams.  No one should experience the shame and loss that comes with having been exploited by a criminal. We have a sacred duty to protect seniors against these con artists.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator
Chairman, Senate Special Committee on Aging

NCAAA: 2021 Statewide CHOICES Medicare Open Enrollment Events

2021 Statewide CHOICES
Medicare Open Enrollment Events

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15 – December 7, 2021
Changes take effect Jan 1, 2022   During Open Enrollment, you can:  

·        Join a new Medicare Advantage Plan or stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) plan
·        Switch between Original Medicare with or without a Part D plan and Medicare Advantage

Appointments are required!
Appointments slots are generally 1 hour.
If you are having trouble getting an appointment,
or these events are full,
please call 1-800-994-9422 and CHOICES staff
will schedule a separate appointment with you ASAP!
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0068, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

ABA Hosts 4th Annual Ombudsman Day Celebration Virtual Event 10/14 @ 11 AM

On Thursday, October 14, 2021, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee is hosting the 4th annual celebration of a profession that has existed for centuries yet remains relatively unknown: ombuds/ombudsman. This year’s theme is “Ombuds: Exploring Options to Resolve Conflict Together.”

Nora Duncan, AARP CT State Director & Mairead Painter, CT Long Term Care Ombudsman will be featured speakers and as a result, you are invited to attend at no cost (usually $50), courtesy of the ABA Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee.  The event will feature informative fireside chats with ombuds/ombudsman and leaders from the technology, immigration, K-12 education, and long-term care sectors discussing the value of ombuds/ombudsman programs. They will share their unique perspectives about the operations and benefits of their programs.

You may use code CT21 at registration if you are interested in attending. The direct link to register for the virtual event is You will not get to enter the code until the very end, where it is applied & the cost zeros out. For more information about ombuds/ombudsman and Ombuds Day, please visit