TennCare Seeks Public Comments on Block Grant Proposal

The Tennessee Division of TennCare is seeking feedback on Amendment 42, regarding its Block Grant Proposal, prior to its submission to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Members of the public are invited to offer comments regarding Amendment 42 until Oct. 18, 2019. You can view more information, including the proposal using this link. Comments can be submitted by email or by mail to:

Gabe Roberts, Director
Division of TennCare
310 Great Circle Road
Nashville, TN 37243

Individuals who prefer to make their comments in person may attend one of the following public hearings:

East Tennessee
When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2:30 p.m., EDT
Where: Burlington Branch of the Knox County Library, Community Meeting Room, 4614 Asheville Highway, Knoxville
West Tennessee
When: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2:30 p.m., CDT
Where: Jackson-Madison County Library, Program Center, 433 East Lafayette Street, Jackson
Additional Public Hearings
TennCare is in the process of scheduling two additional hearings on Amendment 42, to take place in Chattanooga and in Memphis. Details of these hearings will be announced when finalized.
Individuals with disabilities or individuals with limited English proficiency who wish to participate in one of the hearings and who may require language or communication assistance to do so should contact Talley Olson of TennCare’s Office of Civil Rights Compliance by phone at 855-857-1673, or by email prior to the date of the hearing.
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Elder Law Basics in Jamestown

The Elder Law Basics Forum this year will hit the road, taking place in Jamestown on Nov. 22. An annual favorite of attorneys in the field, the program will feature timely topics such as the ins and outs of public benefits as pertaining to seniors, special needs trusts, veteran's benefits, general practice tips and more. Don't miss this opportunity to obtain necessary CLE credits while learning important skills and networking with attorneys of a similar focus. Here are the key details.

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Adult Children Describe the Life of a Caregiver

The New York Times today published an article featuring personal comments from readers describing the unique challenges of adult children who have put their lives on hold to assist aging parents. The piece details not only the financial strains and sacrifices made by some of these children, but also the joy and enrichment of caring for a loved one through this stage in their life. The readers’ comments came in response to two recent NYT stories regarding a Connecticut home health aide and another about women forgoing careers to care for older relatives.

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How Financial Planners Can Combat Elder Abuse

Financial planners who assist elderly clients might be a first line of defense in recognizing elder abuse, which makes spotting these signs of abuse and knowing how to assist abused seniors by these professionals imperative, according to a recent piece in Financial Planning. In fact, 23 states — including Tennessee — have adopted model legislation by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) that addresses such issues because of advisors’ distinct ability to notice early warning signs of abuse. Tennessee codified its version of NASAA’s model legislation in 2017.

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Report: Tennessee Ranks 49th for Support of Family Caregivers

The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee recently released a report regarding its study on supporting working caregivers, offering an overview of issues faced by relatives and others who assist older adults, and insight on how the state might assist with the needs of these individuals. The study, The Case for Care Giving: Why Middle Tennessee Employers Should Support Employee Caregivers, shows that Tennessee ranks 49th for support of family caregivers and 32nd for support of working caregivers. Another highlighted concern is the lack of preparation in providing care for aging persons. You can read the report in its entirety using this link.

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TBA Public Education Committee Teams Up with Elder Law Section on Aging Matters Series

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Public Education Committee and Elder Law Section recently teamed-up to participate in a screening of the Nashville Public Television (NPT) Aging Matters legal help documentary at the Lee Chapel AME in Nashville. Aging Matters provides information on resources available to seniors in the state and identifies where to turn when legal help is needed. Public Education Committee Chair Amy Bryant hosted the event, with Elder Law Section members Sonya Bellafant, Karl Walden, Adam Hill and Travenia Holden taking part in a panel to discuss the film and answer general legal questions for the 50 plus attendees. Stay tuned for future Aging Matters screenings, including one this fall in Memphis. You can view photos of the most recent event here.

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Office of Conservatorship Management Offers Free Training Program

The Davidson County Office of Conservatorship Management (OCM) introduced its OCM Conservatorship School this year that consists of a series of videos and quizzes that detail the statutorily required fiduciary duties of a conservator. This online training program allows a conservator to receive a certificate of completion after successfully passing the quiz associated with each training video. OCM is offering this service free of charge to all conservators and potential conservators in the state of Tennessee, and the entire program can be completed in one hour. To learn more and access the Conservatorship School visit the OCM website.

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Deadline Extended: Elder Law Section Lunch at Annual Forum

The TBA Elder Law Section will host its annual lunch business meeting at the Elder Law Forum in Nashville on July 12. In this meeting we will discuss current and future initiatives, while allowing section members to meet and plan with section leadership. Lunch will only be provided for TBA Elder Law Section members who respond that they will attend this event.

Please RSVP with Section Coordinator Jarod Word by July 9, 5 p.m., CDT  if you would like to attend this annual lunch business meeting.

When: Friday, July 12, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., CDT
Where: AT&T Building, 333 Commerce Street, Nashville
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LGBT Seniors Face Unique Aging Challenges

As cities across America celebrate diversity, AARP brings to attention unique problems faced by seniors of the “Stonewall generation.” In addition to practical problems such as lack of social and familial support and being three to four times less likely to have kids, these older adults may also face abuse, harassment and isolation in long-term care settings. There are an estimated three million LGBTQ Americans age 50 and older, with that number expected to reach seven million by 2030.

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DOJ Launches Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this month introduced a new initiative that will incorporate law enforcement efforts with other federal agencies to address fraud schemes that target the elderly. The Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will feature an amalgamation between the DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for six federal districts, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and several other organizations. In addition to this partnership, each U.S. Attorney’s Office will have an Elder Justice Coordinator to assist with operations. FBI Director Christopher Wray said of the strike force: “We’re committed to keeping our elderly citizens safe, whether they’re being targeted door-to-door, over the phone, or online … Our new Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will give us additional resources and tools to identify and stop those who are targeting our senior communities.”

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