August 2023 KY State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program E-Newsletter

August 2023

What’s New?

Kentucky LTC Ombudsman Program Annual Report

The Federal Fiscal Year annual report for the Kentucky LTC Ombudsman Program is now available on our website.

Thank you to all our staff, volunteers and supporters who have helped us serve and protect the rights of residents of long-term care facilities in Kentucky!

Kentucky Inspections

On August 22 the Health & Human Services Delivery System Task Force heard a report from Cabinet Secretary Eric C. Friedlander and Inspector General Adam Mather about the backlog of nursing home inspections and the surveyor staffing shortage in Kentucky. You can view the live stream coverage on the Legislative Research Commission’s YouTube.

The Lexington Herald-Leader featured an article on August 23 summarizing the update ‘We’re way behind.’ KY nursing home inspections won’t be fixed quickly, officials say

CMS Increases Medicare Rates

In a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule set to be published on August 7, nursing homes will receive a 4% increase in Medicare Part A payments in fiscal year 2024, higher than the expected 3.7% noted in the proposed rule from April 2023.

CMS issues memo to hospitals about discharge

When a patient is discharged from a hospital, it is important to provide their post-acute provider and caregivers with the appropriate patient information related to a patient’s treatment and condition in order to decrease the risk of readmission or an adverse event. Providers must receive accurate and complete information related to the patient’s condition and treatment in order to protect and improve the patient’s health and safety.

CMS has identified areas of concern related to missing or inaccurate patient information when a patient is discharged from a hospital. These areas of concerns include missing or inaccurate information related to: Serious mental illness; Medications; skin tears, pressure ulcers, bruising, or lacerations (e.g., surgical site(s), skin conditions; Durable Medical Equipment; A patient’s preferences and goals for care, such as their choices for treatment or their advance directives for end-of-life care; and communication with providers and/or caregivers about a patient’s needs at home, or how their home environment may impact their ability to maintain their health and safety after discharge from the Skilled Nursing Facility.

Read the full memo click here.

The Value of Being Heard

Learn more about loneliness and social isolation in long-term care by reviewing the fact sheet below from the National Center on Elder Abuse and The National Consumer Voice. Social isolation can be a choice that people make.

There are people who choose to be socially isolated and remain content and happy. But when it’s not a choice, it can lead to loneliness and have negative psychosocial and physical effects. It can also lead to neglect and abuse, including for individuals living in long-term care settings.

Having meaningful conversations, visiting often, and integrating residents with community activities is vital for residents who do not want to be isolated. There are ways the entire community can help combat loneliness and isolation in the long-term care community. Examples include building habits to facilitate human connection (e.g., opportunities for active listening), even a few minutes at a time; promoting individual and institutional action to help people connect; and by advocating for adequate staffing levels so that residents have the care and support they need.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, please email or call us today 859-277-9215.

Volunteer Spotlights

Ackie George of Lebanon is a volunteer ombudsman with the Lincoln Trail LTC Ombudsman Program at Catholic Charities of Louisville. George saw an advertisement for volunteers and called right away.

“I love working with the elderly,” George said. “I feel so good by the time I leave the nursing home. I experience so much joy from visiting.”

George’s work with Catholic Charities intersects with her work with the Lebanese American Country Club, where she serves as a board member, in support of the capital campaign and Immigration Legal Services.

Outside of Catholic Charities, George was actively involved with St. Augustine School in Lebanon for nearly 30 years, serving as athletic director, cheerleading coach and choir director. She’s also actively involved with St. Augustine Church, previously serving as a parish council member and in many areas of the church.

George has worked as a real estate broker since 1985 and currently serves on the City of Lebanon Planning and Zoning Commission.

Students to the rescue

As the fall semester begins, we welcome new students performing practicums and internships with our state and local programs. Learn more about Sunny Lin below.

Thank you to our staff and volunteers.

You make a difference!

Community Education and Engagement

If you are hosting a community event, please invite your local ombudsman program. For a full listing of all District LTC Ombudsman Programs and the counties they serve, visit our website.

State LTC Ombudsman Sherry Culp talked with residents and community members at Dominion Senior Living of Frankfort Celebrating Our Seniors Event.

Lincoln Trail District LTC Ombudsman Beverly Broadus, President of the Resident Council Lynn Crockett, Dr. Scott and Regional LTC Ombudsman Mark Burress met with the full Resident Council of the Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center. Residents invited Dr. Scott to talk with them about alcohol use and medications. Beverly and Mark provided additional information to residents about their rights.


Concerns that RSV, Flu and Covid-19 seasons are coming mean it is time to refresh your knowledge about vaccines and be vaccinated at the appropriate times this fall. Vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way to protect against harmful diseases. Check out resources provided on the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) website.

The adult vaccination schedule above is available on the KDPH website. To view the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Schedule: Immunocompromised click here.

Learn more about this year’s theme Amplify Our Voices

Residents’ Rights Month

October is “Residents’ Rights Month,” a national annual event designated by Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities. It is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect, and rights of each resident. Residents’ Rights Month is a time for staff, families, ombudsmen, residents and other advocates to focus on resident-directed care and emphasizing the self-determination, choice, and quality of life of each resident. Let us know if you have any questions and how you plan to celebrate email us.

Resident Voice Challenge

This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme – Amplify Our Voices – emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. Amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices and sharing who you are and your experiences. Residents’ voices are the most important at the decision-making table – your story deserves to be told!

Creative writing and artistic expression are meaningful and compelling ways to highlight the importance of residents’ rights and how these rights can be carried out in all long-term care settings. The Resident’s Voice Challenge encourages residents to submit essays, poems, artwork, drawings, or videos related to the theme. Learn more about how residents can participate in the challenge visit The National Consumer Voice. Submissions are due September 1, 2023

Learning Opportunities

Mental Health and Aging Conference

The Barren River Mental Health and Aging Coalition is hosting a Mental Health and Aging Conference on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green. For more information visit EventBright.

What’s an Ombudsman?

Ombudsmen advocate for residents of long-term care facilities at no charge to residents or families.

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen

Regularly make unannounced visits to long-term care facilities to visit residents.
Protect the special legal rights of residents.
Identify, investigate, and resolve residents’ problems and concerns.
Empower residents to make informed choices.
Work to monitor laws/policies to protect residents.
Long-term care ombudsmen serve residents in all counties in Kentucky. Visit our website!

The Kentucky State LTC Ombudsman Program is housed within the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass.

The KLTCOP is funded in part by state and federal funding provided by the Department for Aging and Independent Living.