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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

September 25, 2013

Webinar Materials Now Available from "What is Quality Home Care?" Presentation

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care recently hosted a national training webinar about what quality home care looks like.  While the definition of good care will vary from person to person, there are basic elements that make up quality home care.  This webinar gave participants a road map for what quality care at home should look like and action steps an individual can take if they feel they are not getting quality care.  During this webinar participants learned:

  • What quality home care looks like
  • How to get quality care
  • Action steps someone can take if they feel they're not getting quality care
  • Personal experiences from a consumer perspective
A free recording of the conference call is available here.  The presentation slides are available here and the call materials are available here.

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Consumer Voice Remembers Anna Spinella

On September 15, 2013, longtime nursing home advocate Anna Spinella lost her battle with cancer.  Anna served as a member of the Consumer Voice Board of Directors and chaired the Citizens Advocacy Group meetings each year during the annual conference.  She was on the board of Family Advocates for Nursing Home Improvement (FANHI) and was the founder of her own advocacy group - A Committee to Improve Our Nursing Homes (ACTION) which focused on helping families establish family councils.  Anna was a tireless advocate for people who could not speak for themselves.  She served on numerous committees for AARP, the Silver Haired Legislature, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, and the Area Agency on Aging.  She frequently testified in front of the Senate and House Committtees on the State and national level and was well-respected, trusted and listened to by all levels of policy makers.  Anna Spinella is survived by her husband, Joe, nine children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Her passion and commitment to quality care for nursing home residents will be sorely missed.
Click here to read a tribute to Anna written by Barbara Hengstebeck, a former member of the Consumer Voice Board of Directors and Florida advocate.

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Consumer Voice Applauds the Extension of Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections to Home Care Workers; DoL Webinar Information Available

Last week, the Federal Government ruled that direct care workers must be given minimum wage and overtime pay. This is a victory for millions of home care workers who have been excluded from minimum wage and overtime protections for nearly 40 years under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Advocates and consumers alike have been fighting long and hard for home care workers to be given these protections that are granted to almost all other American workers. These basic protections are an important step toward improving the quality of home care. Minimum wage and overtime pay will help to make workers' lives better, increase job satisfaction, reduces stress and improve morale – all of which means better care for consumers.

The new rule will take effect January 1, 2015. For more detailed information about the new rule, visit the Department of Labor's new webpage here. You can also view information specific to individuals and families here and fact sheets about the new rule here. The Consumer Voice has issued a press released about the new rule that you can view here.

The Department of Labor will hold five free webinar sessions, one for each region of the country to help workers, families, and other employers learn more about the changes associated with this new Final Rule.  Find more information here.

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AMDA Releases Competencies for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

The Consumer Voice signed on in support to AMDA's recently released Competencies for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.  These competencies were designed to provide the attending physician with an evidence-based framework for the unique set of knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate quality outcomes. View the AMDA Competencies for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine here.

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California Governor Signs Residents' Rights Bill

In California, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 937 on August 19, 2013.  The bill clarifies that conservatees retain personal rights, including but not limited to the right to visitation, phone calls and personal mail.  Read the bill here.  California Advocate Linda Kincaid spoke at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing.  Watch video of her testimony here.

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Wisconsin Funds Music & Memory Certification Training in 100 Nursing Homes

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has launched a program to fund Music & Memory certification training for 100 nursing homes throughout the state.  The Wisconsin Music & Memory Initiative will fully fund training and the equipment needed for 15 residents with dementia for each nursing home accepted into the program.  Wisconsin DHS officials have reported an overwhelming response to the intiative with more than 230 applicants for the 100 awards.  For more information, click here.

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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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National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org