A Conversation with Dr. Candace Kemp, Toby Edelman, and Evan Shulman

Residents in long-term care communities have been living in isolation, without customary social interaction, and are separated from their families since March, 2020. This webinar reviewed academic research results on why family members are “more than visitors” and serve a critical role in formal and informal caregiving. Second, the webinar addressed the current state of Residents’ Right, including an historical perspective and an explanation of industry lingo that can be confusing to families. And finally, the webinar was meant to provide an updated perspective on the views from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) on visitation guidance. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the speaker had to cancel at the last minute due to a "pressing issue" which we now know was the release of updated CMS guidelines on March 10, 2021.

Evan Shulman was unable to make the webinar due to a last minute "pressing issue". We now know that pressing issue was the release of updated CMS guidance on March 10, 2021.

About our Guest Speakers:

Dr. Candace Kemp is a professor at Georgia State University. She joined the university’s Gerontology Institute in 2005 as a visiting professor after completing postdoctoral research fellowship. She holds a joint appointment in the Gerontology Institute and the Department of Sociology. 

Dr. Kemp is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Her specializations include aging, family, formal and informal care partnerships, dementia care, and gender, sexuality and aging (and more). Dr. Kemp authored the article #MoreThanAVisitor:  Families as “Essential Care Partners During Covid 19” published December 2020 in a special issue of The Gerontologist, called “Gerontology in a Time of Pandemic.” This study addresses the critical contributions and care families provide to loved ones in long term care and, without which, has negative consequences for residents.


Toby S. Edelman is a Senior Policy Attorney with the Center for Medicare Advisory (since January 2000). She has been a steadfast force, working to advance the rights of long-term care residents, since 1977. Her expertise informs advocacy groups at the national, state and local level, she has testified before Congress and served on federal task forces and technical expert panels.


Ms. Edelman was the lead attorney for a statewide class of nursing facility residents who successfully challenged the state of California's refusal to implement the federal Nursing Home Reform Law.


Evan Shulman serves as the Director for the Division of Nursing Homes in the Quality, Safety, and Oversight Group within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, Evan is responsible for overseeing programs that aim to improve and protect the health and safety of residents in our nation’s nursing homes – inclusive of “Visitation Guidance.” Evan ensures compliance with federal requirements for long-term care facilities through the long-term care survey process and policies for imposing enforcement actions to remediate and deter noncompliance.