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July 8, 2014

Tell the Department of Labor: Don't Delay Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections for Home Care Workers

After waiting 40 years to be covered by minimum wage and overtime law, home care workers may be forced to wait even longer.

In September, 2013 the Department of Labor (DoL) released a final rule that would extend basic labor protections to our nation's home care workers. Now DoL is being pressured to delay the January 1, 2015 implementation date of this final rule.
Home care workers provide vital services and supports to elders and people with disabilities. Giving these workers minimum wage and overtime protections will result in better quality care for the consumer through attracting additional workers to the job; reducing the turnover rate in the profession; and enhancing the overall quality and professionalism of this ever-growing workforce.

Tell the Department of Labor not to further delay the implementation of this critical rule. Click here to submit a letter to DoL Secretary Perez. Submitting a comment is very easy and takes very little time.

Home care workers should not have to wait a moment longer to receive these basic protections afforded to almost all other American workers. It's time to care for our caregivers.

Thank you for your advocacy!

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You are invited to a SECOND Virtual Kickoff of our Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign

Wednesday, July 9th 2:00 - 3:15pm EST

For those of you who were unable to hear the speakers or could not participate, the Consumer Voice will repeat its FREE webinar/teleconference kicking off our Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign.

This 75 minute webinar/teleconference will include both a second launch of the staffing campaign and an educational and action component. As part of the kickoff, you will learn about:

  • The campaign and its goals
  • The history of nursing home staffing policy and Consumer Voice advocacy
  • Why more staffing is needed and the impact of understaffing on residents
  • The research that supports increased staffing levels
  • How you can be part of the campaign and what you can do

During the kickoff, you will also hear how you can use the Consumer Voice’s new Staffing Campaign toolkit and have the opportunity to take important action right away to help get the Campaign off to a strong start.

  • Brian Capshaw, Resident Council President Aurora Senior Living of East Hartford, CT; Executive Board Member Statewide Coalition of Presidents of Resident Councils Connecticut; Consumer Voice Leadership Council Chair
  • Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
  • Sarah Greene Burger, RN, MPH, FAAN, Coordinator, Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations
  • Karen Guice, Lead Ombudsman, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Jefferson County Council on Aging, AL  
  • Marybeth Williams, Public Policy Associate, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

Registration is required.  Register now!

Participants will receive campaign materials prior to the kickoff.
This webinar is free to participants, thanks to generous support from our funders.

Please contact Marybeth Williams, Public Policy Associate, at mwilliams@theconsumervoice.org or 202-332-2275, ext 225 if you have any questions or need assistance.

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We're still accepting nominations for the 2014 Leadership Awards!

Are you looking for a way to recognize a long-term care consumer, long-term care ombudsman, family caregiver, citizen advocate, or another individual for their advocacy on behalf of long-term care consumers? If so, please take advantage of this opportunity to nominate individuals for their outstanding advocacy and work for quality care, no matter where.  
Based on your nominations, the Consumer Voice will recognize people who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.
There are five categories in which the Consumer Voice will honor the work of a variety of individuals, including an award to recognize the advocacy work of a long-term care consumer. Visit our website for additional information about the awards and nomination process.
There are 3 easy steps to submit a nomination:

  1. Review the award categories and criteria.
  2. Complete the nomination form via SurveyMonkey.
  3. Submit a letter of recommendation.
Individual and group members of the Consumer Voice may nominate people for an award. Awards will be presented at our 38th Annual Conference and Meeting, November 15-18, 2014, in Arlington, Virginia.

Nominations are due by Friday, July 18.

Register today for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!
Register before July 22nd and save $50 with our Early Bird rate. Room rates are as low as $149/night. Click here for more accommodation and conference information. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Questions? Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org.

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Jeff Crollard Awarded Toby S. Edelman Legal Justice Award

NORC Long-Term Care Ombudsman & Policy Manager Amity Overall-Laib and Jeff Crollard

Jeff Crollard was recently awarded the Toby S. Edelman Legal Justice Award of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care Leadership awards. The Toby S. Edelman Legal Justice Award was created in 2009 to recognize individuals who, working through or with the legal system, go to extraordinary lengths to achieve justice for long-term care consumers.   

Jeff Crollard served as legal counsel for the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for 25 years and received this recognition during his farewell dinner in Seattle, Washington on June 17, 2014. The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program also honored Jeff’s decades of legal counsel to the program and advocacy for long-term care consumers with the Jeff B. Crollard Legal Advocacy Award and by establishing the Jeff B. Crollard Legal Fund.

Due to his advocacy and expertise as an attorney, long-term care residents and consumers in Washington State have stronger consumer protections, such as consumer rights for individuals receiving home and community based services. Jeff’s unwavering support of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) Program has directly benefited LTCO and the long-term care consumers they serve, both in Washington state and the rest of the country. Numerous LTCO from across the country have benefited from his understanding of the federal LTCO requirements and training skills when attending his presentations during Annual Consumer Voice Conferences and Annual State LTCO Conferences.

Jeff’s legal expertise and advocacy has been invaluable to Consumer Voice, long-term care consumers and LTC Ombudsmen, and his commitment to seek justice for long- term care consumers and ensure they receive quality care is greatly appreciated.

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Annual Fundraiser for the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program

Friday, July 18th  4pm - 6pm
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room

Please RSVP by emailing

About Jackie and the Program:
Jackie Koenig was the Consumer Voice's First Communications Director who later became director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. As a treasured friend and co-worker, one of Jackie's many passions was mentoring new people in gerontology, a practice she began in the 1980s when she served as a local ombudsman in Ohio and as a member of the Consumer Voice's Board of Directors.  She was passionate about her advocacy work and did not hesitate to pass on her enthusiasm to the many interns she had been privileged to tutor.  For this reason, family and friends decided to honor Jackie's legacy by establishing a special fund to support the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program.

With regret, Jackie met her untimely death in 1998, but the memories of her unique brand of heartening advocacy live on. Throughout the year, students and recent graduates are selected to serve as interns at the Consumer Voice.  Today, the organization hosts an average of five interns each semester. Staff rely heavily on the support of interns to complete important advocacy and policy work and the students likewise gain valuable, real-world experience in consumer advocacy and public policy.

Can't Attend?
Please consider an
online donation (you can designate your gift to this fund on our website)!  The Consumer Voice's ability to advocate for long-term care consumers is made possible by the generous financial support of our donors.

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Senator Announces Federal Legislation to Create a "Caregiver Corps"

Senator Bob Casey (PA) announced plans to introduce new federal legislation to create a "Caregiver Corps" which would enlist volunteer caregivers for people within the community that need care. The "Caregiver Corps" would provide training opportunities for volunteers to help with caregiving.  During a hearing last week, Mr. Casey also mentioned raising the minimum wage, workforce training and adding more flexibility to work as ways government can help caregivers.  For more information about the hearing, read the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  For more information on the Caregiver Corps Act of 2014, click here.

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Hawaii Department of Health Fails to Inspect Nursing Homes

According to a recent article in the Honolulu Star Advrtiser, the state has failed to inspect more than a third of nursing homes in Hawaii within the time frame required by law.  The federal government is threatening to fine the state as much as $121,000 if the timeliness requirements are not met by the end of September.  The problem is especially severe on the smaller islands where the last inspections were conducted an average of 20 months ago. 

Consumer Voice's Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Robyn Grant was interviewed for the article, stating: "This is a serious problem.  To go beyond (the required time frame) opens up the whole problem of what is happening within these facilities."  Patty Ducayet, President of the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs was also quoted: "The public should be concerned about nursing homes not inspected each year -- as the law requires -- because quality of care can change quickly without the oversight of regulators and the advocacy of ombudsmen."  For access to the full article, click here.

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Experts Speak About Antipsychotic Drugs in AARP Bulletin

A recent AARP Bulletin reviewed the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes.  According to Charlene Harrington, professor of nursing and sociology at the University of California, San Francisco, as many as 1 in 5 patients in the nation's 15,500 nursing homes are given antipsychotic drugs that are not only unnecessary, but also extremely dangerous for older patients.  Toby Edelman, attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy noted: "The misuse of antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraints is one of the most common and long-standing, but preventable, practices causing serious harm to nursing home residents today.

Read the full article here.

The Consumer Voice has made limitations on the widespread and inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications a key advocacy goal for achieving quality and patient-centered care in all long-term care settings.  Visit our website for a multitude of resources on the misuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes.

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In this Issue

Tell the Department of Labor: Don't Delay Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections for Home Care Workers

You are invited to a SECOND Virtual Kickoff of our Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign

We're still accepting nominations for the 2014 Leadership Awards!

Jeff Crollard Awarded Toby S. Edelman Legal Justice Award

Annual Fundraiser for Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program

Senator Announces Federal Legislation to Create a "Caregiver Corps"

Hawaii Department of Health Fails to Inspect Nursing Homes

Experts Speak About Antipsychotic Drugs in AARP Bulletin

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our newly launched nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating for a minimum of 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day.  To show your support of this campaign, individuals can send us a photo with the slogan "4.1 - It CAN Be Done" by tweeting us pictures @ConsumerVoices, posting on our Facebook or emailing your photos to info@theconsumervoice.org.  Get the word out and encourage consumers to participate by sending in their photos too! 

You can join the Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care campaign, learn more about the campaign's goals, access the campaign advocacy toolkit, and take action at: www.theconsumervoice.org/betterstaffing

In last week's Gazette, we incorrectly identified the photo from the Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Aging as the Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.  See the corrected photos below:

Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Aging

Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Calendar of Events

Wednesday, July 9: Second Virtual Kickoff of Nursing Home Staffing Public Awareness Campaign, 2:00pm EST

Wednesday, July 9: Family Conflict in the Nursing Home, 4:00pm EST, Webinar from the University of Iowa School of Social Work

Friday, July 18: Nominations due for 2014 Leadership Awards

Friday, July 18: Annual Fundraiser for the Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program, 4:00-6:00pm EST, Consumer Voice office, Washington, DC, RSVP to info@theconsumervoice.org

Friday, August 1: Submissions due for the 2014 Resident's Voice Challenge, Email submissions to info@theconsumervoice.org

September 13-18, 2014: National Home & Community Based Services Conference, Arlington, VA

October: 2014 Residents' Rights Month, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care

Monday, October 20: Discussing POLST with Persons with Early Alzheimer's Disease, 3:00pm EST, Webinar in yearly series from the National POLST Paradigm

November 15-18, 2014: Consumer Voice Annual Conference at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA Register now.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Sponsor the Gazette - Consumer Voice is now accepting sponsorship for each weekly issue of The Gazette.  As a benefit of sponsorship, the contributor may honor, remember, or thank an individual or organization.  For more information, contact Richard Gelula at rgelula@theconsumervoice.org

Conference Scholarship Campaign - Contribute to the Conference Scholarship Campaign to enable us to register individuals including long-term care consumers and nursing home residents who cannot otherwise afford to attend the annual Consumer Voice conference.  We would be delighted to obtain support for an additional 50 people.  Provide a scholarship by making a donation of $295 x the number of scholarships you would like to give.

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 info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2014.

If you did not receive The Gazette through a subscription, but would like to join our mailing list to receive future emails, click here.

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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