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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

May 7, 2013

Consumer Voice Founder Elma Holder Included in AARP's "Champions of Aging"

The Consumer Voice’s founder Elma Holder was included in a gallery of “10 Champions of Aging” published by AARP on May 1st. The “Champions of Aging” project is one of the ways in which AARP will be commemorating Older Americans Month. From the mid-1970s until her retirement in the early 2000s, Elma Holder fought to protect older nursing home residents from neglect and abuse. As the founder of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (now Consumer Voice), Holder fought tirelessly to improve conditions in, and increase of oversight of, long-term care facilities. The effort culminated in the passage of the landmark Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987.

Read more about Elma Holder’s work on AARP’s website.

From Caring Across Generations: It's time to secure the quality care we need

Yesterday our coalition partners convened in Washington D.C. to tell Congress that it’s time to create a long-term care system that actually works, for everyone.

 For the last two years, the Consumer Voice has been a part of a coalition called Caring Across Generations. Caring Across Generations has developed a plan to create a care system that is good for consumers, workers, and people with disabilities. This plan is supported by nearly a million care consumers, home care workers, and seniors from all over the country. They have a plan, now they need your help to take action.

 Please join us in starting the conversation by reading Kimi Lee's story below and sharing this video with the people in your life who you think deserve access to a quality long-term care system.

 Kimi Lee’s story:

 “Five years ago, I was thrust into caring for both my newborn and my mother when my mom suffered a stroke just two days after I gave birth. My daughter is almost six now and we’re still trying to figure it all out. Balancing the needs of my mom’s care with family and work is a tremendous challenge, but it’s our everyday reality.

 So many of us have parents who need more and more care as they get older, but our current systems don’t meet their needs. That’s why my daughter Lucy and I are going to Washington D.C. today to urge decision-makers to make our family’s care needs a priority. We’ve struggled enough to make ends meet, balancing care for our children and parents.

 Will you share this video and stand with us as we push for quality, dignified care for our loved ones? caringacross.org/join

 With my mom in need of full-time care, traveling to D.C. is not easy, but our country needs to have this conversation. Our story isn’t unique – millions of families across the country are asking themselves how they will provide long-term care for their loved ones. If we stand together, we can make our stories heard, and we can begin to build a system that ensures everyone receives the quality, dignified care they deserve.

 My daughter and I are going to D.C. because we need to get Congress talking about solutions – solutions for the millions of us who know we need a better system to ensure that our loved ones can get the care, independence and support they deserve.

 We need to make sure Congress hears our stories. That’s why it is so important to join the movement and share this video: caringacross.org/join

 It can feel so lonely sometimes. For a while after my mom’s stroke, my sister and I felt like we had no support while we shuttled between different agencies and offices, wading through rolls of red tape trying to find a home care worker for our mom. But the truth is, there are millions of us straining to care for both our parents and our kids at the same time. Together, we can create the care system our families deserve.

 Every 8 seconds another American turns 65, aging into a system that is not prepared to meet their needs. We can build solutions, but it’s going to take all of us doing our part. I’m going to Capitol Hill with Caring Across Generations to talk to our Senators, and right now I need your help to get their attention. If you agree that we need to solutions, take 30 seconds to share this video and join us in calling on our country to create a better long-term care system. Our families can’t wait.

 It’s time to start caring across generations. caringacross.org/join

 Please watch and share this message. Join us in spreading a conversation to call attention to the solutions for building a system of quality, dignified care that works for all of us.”

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Consumer Voice Webinar on How Immigration Reform Can Improve Care

Consumer Voice is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, May 23rd (new date!) from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM ET entitled Improving Care by Strengthening the Direct Care Workforce: Why Immigration Reform is Important to Home Care Consumers. In this webinar, participants will learn how changing our immigration system would strengthen the direct care workforce and how a stronger workforce would improve access to, and the quality of, home care services for consumers.

 This webinar will cover:

  • Immigration reform, long-term care, and the home care workforce
  • How immigration reform benefits home care consumers
  • How immigration reform can be achieved
  • Marybeth Williams, Public Policy Associate, Consumer Voice
  • Robin Shaffert, Policy Director, Caring Across Generations
  • Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Consumer Voice

 Registration for this webinar is required - click HERE to register by May 20th. Also, please feel free to contact Marybeth Williams of the Consumer Voice at mwilliams@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275 x225 if you have any additional questions.

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Administration on Aging Participated in Last Week's Facebook First Friday

During last week’s online chat, we celebrated Older Americans Month and discussed the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. We also had a very special guest! Louise Ryan, Ombudsman Program Specialist at the Administration on Aging, chatted with us live from 10-12 pm ET. She provided great information about the Ombudsman Program and also took questions from Facebook First Friday participants about ombudsman and the services they provide. If you were unable to participate in last Friday’s discussion, we’d encourage you to check out the great information that was given on our Facebook page and add your own comments as well! For June, our topic will focus on financial exploitation of older adults. Make sure to check back in on June 7th!

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Library of Congress Survey for Those with Visual/Physical Impairments that Make Reading Difficult

The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) provides free talking books and braille materials to eligible individuals (those with visual or physical impairments that preclude them from reading standard print books) and organizations through a national network of regional libraries. Services include reading materials that can be downloaded online and sent through the mail and free equipment to play the materials. NLS is currently conducting a survey to understand how to better serve the needs of readers of talking books and braille.

NLS is looking for participants who do not currently use the NLS program. The 25 minute survey is designed to learn more about participants’ experiences with talking books and braille, what types of talking book and braille materials and services they are looking for, and what NLS can do to get them interested in the free Library of Congress NLS talking book and braille program. Answers to the survey questions will be kept confidential. If you know of patients, friends, family members, or colleagues who may be eligible for the NLS program but do not use the program, please ask them to go to www.LibraryOfCongressSurvey.com to take the survey online or to learn more about it. Or, have them call 1-866-545-1618 to schedule a time to take the survey over the phone. The survey ends on May 10. Share the survey now to help Library of Congress NLS better serve all readers who use talking books and braille!

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Video Camera Surveillance in Nursing Homes: What's Happening in OK

Under legislation approved unanimously by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, families of nursing home residents will be able to monitor the care of their loved ones. Senate Bill 587 would require nursing homes to allow cameras to be placed in the rooms of residents without penalty or retribution. The consent of the resident or a family member would be required for the placement of the camera to ensure the protection of resident privacy rights. Senate Bill 587 will return to the Oklahoma Senate, where they can choose whether or not to accept House amendments. If amendments are accepted, it will proceed to the governor’s desk. For more information, click here.

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Many Americans Are in Denial About Future Long-Term Care Needs

A recent study from The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research funded by The SCAN Foundation found that the majority of Americans aged 40 or older have done little or nothing to prepare for their future long-term care needs. Nearly half (48%) of Americans in this age demographic recognize that a majority of people will need long-term care at some point, but only 24% believe they will personally need those kinds of services one day. Studies show about 70% of Americans aged 65 and older will eventually need long-term care. “Although a majority of Americans 40 years or older believe that they are at least somewhat likely to need long-term care at some point, very few people in this population report planning for their own long-term care needs,” says the report.

For more information, read the article on Home Health Care News.

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2013 Spring Elder Justice Coordinating Council Meeting To Be Held May 13th

On October 11, 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius held the first meeting of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council. On May 13, 2013, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator for Community Living Kathy Greenlee will be joined by Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West to convene the 2013 Spring Council meeting. The agenda for this meeting is to present recommendations for federal actions to address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The meeting will be held in Washington, DC and is open to the public. If you would like to attend in person, RSVP to Brandon Bayton (Brandon.bayton@kauffmaninc.com). The meeting will also be available via live webcast. For information about the Council and the inaugural meeting, visit AoA’s website.

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President Obama Proclaims May Older Americans Month, 2013

On April 30, 2013, President Obama released a Presidential Proclamation that May 2013 is Older Americans Month. The Proclamation stated “This month, we pay tribute to the men and women who raised us, and we pledge anew to show them the fullest care, support, and respect of a grateful Nation.”

Protect the Elderly from Dangerous Bed Rails

THANK YOU to those individuals and groups who have signed our petition which calls for safety standards for adult bed rails. Haven’t signed yet? Please take the time to do so today by clicking here. We have a goal of 1,000 signatures and we need your help to reach that goal!

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About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to swells@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2013.

The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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