Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

For information on how to sponsor an issue of The Gazette, click here or contact rgelula@theconsumervoice.org.

September 30, 2014

Your Help is Needed
Urgent Opportunity to Help Advance the 24 Hour RN Bill

An opportunity has occurred to improve nursing home quality.  Congresswoman Jen Schakowsky’s bill, the “Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act" - H.R. 5373 would require nursing homes to have a RN on duty around the clock, not just eight hours a day, the current government standard.

"The 24 Hour RN Bill is an excellent opportunity for all long-term care advocates because after years of playing “defense,” it gives us an opportunity to go on the offense and expand recognition of what it takes to achieve quality care," said Consumer Voice Executive Director Richard Gelula.

To advance the 24 Hour RN bill, we are asking you to please make a special contribution to Consumer Voice.  "We are putting our time into this effort – working with Rep. Schakowsky’s staff, communicating about the bill, reaching out to organizations to help support the bill, drumming up grassroots and media support, and much more," said Gelula.

Take Action by making a special donation to the Consumer Voice effort to advance the bill and by asking your representative to support 24 hour RN coverage in nursing homes.

For more information:

  • Read a message from our Founder, Elma Holder
  • Read Rep. Schakowsky’s concise press release announcing the bill
  • Visit the Consumer Voice's website

Back to Top

12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

This is the latest entry in our 12 week series.

#7: Get the latest LTC policy updates

Get the most up-to-date news and reports from long-term care policy and advocacy experts.  Learn what is going on nationally and in states across the country -  and find out how it affects your work.

Click here for more reasons to attend the Consumer Voice Conference.

Once you have registered for the conference, don't forget to make your hotel reservation in the Consumer Voice Annual Conference room block! The special room rate (as low as $149/night) is only available until Thursday, October 16 or until the group block is sold out, so book now!

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor of the Consumer Voice Annual Conference? It's not too late! Click here to learn more.

For more information about the Annual Conference, click here.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Return to Top

Residents' Rights Month Starts Tomorrow; Calendars Now For Sale

Residents' Rights Month is an annual event designated by Consumer Voice and is celebrated in October to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living, board and care and retirement communities. It is a time for celebration and recognition offering an opportunity for every facility to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and the value of each individual resident. Residents' Rights Month begins tomorrow, October 1, and this year's theme is "Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care" with the goal of encouraging residents and others to be educated about staffing and long-term care. 

Show your support of this year's Residents' Rights Month theme with a "Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care" 2015 Calendar.  This 12-month calendar (beginning January 2015) includes photos, quotes, poems and artwork from long-term care consumers and staff members. 

Take a peek inside the calendar:

These calendars can be placed in every long-term care facility, given as a gift to volunteer ombudsman, residents or other advocates or used personally as a reminder to fight for residents' rights everyday.  Plus, it can be used as a giveaway for your Residents' Rights Month luncheons, press activities, visits with residents and other activities.

Would you like to order a large quantity? Please write to info@theconsumervoice.org for bulk pricing.  Other products available include keychains, magnets and bumper stickers!  Check out the Consumer Voice online store for specially priced packages.

Raise awareness for Residents' Rights Month by sending a letter-to-the-editor:

Promote Residents' Rights Month awareness in your state by sending a letter-to-the-editor to your local media outlet.  Use our easy tool to urge your state to get involved!

As your Residents' Rights Month events and activities get under way, send us details:

If you are planning Residents' Rights Month activities or your activities have been featured by your local media, let us know! Please send details on events, photos, and news articles to info@theconsumervoice.org and your info will be featured on our website.

Back to Top

Advocates Fight to Ensure Rights of Homecare Workers

The issue of ensuring that homecare workers are covered by the nation's labor laws has recently been in the spotlight across the country. In Missouri, home health care workers are currently paid an average of $8.60, but the Missouri Home Care Union has a statewide campaign underway to raise their minimum pay to $11 an hour.  According to union representatives, the wage increase can be accomplished without raising the state's budget.  The state could easily raise the workers' wage to $11/hour because the legislature currently appropriates $15.56/hour to state vendors for home care services (each vendor currently keeps $6.96 for administrative costs, but union representatives say that is excessive).  For more information, read the editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and from PHI.

Also, recently the New York Times published an article about Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, winner of a 2014 MacArthur "genius" grant.  The National Domestic Workers Alliance is an advocacy group based in New York that works for the dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the U.S.  Ms. Poo has dedicated her work to organizing domestic workers into a movement that has improved working conditions and created new labor standards for women who have long worked without adequate job protections.  Last year, she worked to lobby the Department of Labor to include caregivers for older adults and disabled people in federal minimum wage and overtime protections.  For more information, read her profile in the New York Times.

Back to Top

Poetry for the Elderly, A Therapeutic Program for the Elderly and Infirm

Poetry for the Elderly is a therapeutic program for the very elderly and infirm developed by Marvin Wexler. The program was recently featured in an article entitled "A poetry program for the very eldery - Narrative perspective on one therapeutic model" in the Journal of Poetry Therapy. The article recounts Mr. Wexler's experience conducting a poetry program at a nursing home/short-stay rehabilitation facility for the past three and half years.  The program involves reading poetry to groups of very elderly residents who have significant mental and/or physical disabilities.  The article explores the beneficial effects of the program and the therapeutic value of the program to the elders and to the person reading the poetry to the elders.  For more information, read visit www.poetryfortheelderly.org.

Back to Top

State Tip Sheets Available on Concerns About Quality in Doctor's Offices, Hospitals and Nursing Homes

The Informed Patient Institute (IPI) has released the sixth set of tip sheets on "What to Do if You Have a Concern About Quality in a Doctor's Office, Hospital or Nursing Home."  The sixth set focuses on Connecticut and was sponsored by the Connecticut Patient Safety Center and the Connecticut Coalition on Aging.  Other tip sheets include California, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.  The tip sheets have recently been updated to include new information about Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs).  View the tip sheets.

Back to Top

Order "Nursing Homes: Getting Good Care There"

This helpful guide to nursing home care is available as an e-book or as a print publication with a soft cover.  The e-book (or Kindle version) is available for download anytime from the Consumer Voice Store.  However, we just sold out of the soft cover version so if you, your agency or class would like to consider making a bulk order (25 or more), please let us know as we are planning our next printing.  The deadline is today, September 30, 2014.  And remember, CV members are entitled to a discount.  Contact info@theconsumervoice.org with questions. FLASH: order deadline extended until Friday October 3, 2014

Back to Top

In this Issue

Urgent Opportunity to Help Advance the 24 Hour RN Bill

12 Reasons to Attend the 38th Annual Consumer Voice Conference

Residents' Rights Month Starts Tomorrow; Calendars Now for Sale!

Advocates Fight to Ensure Rights of Homecare Workers

Poetry for the Elderly, a Therapeutic Program for the Elderly and Infirm

State Tip Sheets Available on Concerns About Quality in Doctor's Offices, Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Order "Nursing Homes: Getting Good Care There"

Free Webinar for LTC Ombudsmen on LGBT Aging

Long-term care ombudsman, join us Wednesday, October 1 at 3:00pm EST for a webinar entitled "Introduction to LGBT Aging." Hear Tim Johnston, PhD, Manager of Education and Training for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders), provide an introduction to LGBT aging. Attendees will learn about the culture, needs and concerns of LGBT older adults, consider why LGBT older adults are less likely to access health and social services, and identify best practices and tools for helping LGBT older adults to feel more included.

This webinar is free and open to State and Local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen only. Registration is limited.  To maximize participation, we ask that individuals from the same organization share a phone line and only register one person.

Register Today!

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our 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

Featured supporter:

Consumer Voice Advocacy and Development Associate Sara Cirba

Calendar of Events

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

Wednesday, October 1: Introduction to LGBT Aging, 3:00pm EST, Free NORC webinar for long-term care ombudsmen

Friday, October 3: Facebook First Friday, 9am-3pm EST, Topic: Residents' Rights Month

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.

Provide a Scholarship to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Many advocates are not able to afford to attend the Consumer Voice Annual Conference to experience the best speakers in the field, opportunities to network with colleagues and time to interact directly with long-term care consumers.  This year, we have created a special giving opportunity for Scholarships.  If you are able, please provide a scholarship by making a donation of $295 x the number of scholarships you would like to give.  Contributors to the Consumer Voice Annual Conference receive many benefits.  For more information about contributing to the conference, click here.

Making Charitable Contributions At Work?

If you are making charitable contributions through payroll deduction, please ask how you can "designate" your contribution to Consumer Voice.

If you are giving to the Combined Federal Campaign, the charity number for Consumer Voice is #10552.

Even if Consumer Voice is not listed as part of a workplace campaign, there is often an option to make a contribution to the charity of your choice.  All you have to do is ask how you can make a contribution to Consumer Voice.

Sometimes, you will have to use "NCCNHR" instead of Consumer Voice as your designated charity since that is how our organization is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.  In either case, the contribution should reach our organization.

Thank you for considering making a payroll contribution in support of our efforts of achieving quality long-term care.  If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org or by phone at 202-332-2275.

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Sunday, September 28:
"We were young and beautiful. Now we're just beautiful."

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Friday, September 26:
Government Goals Do Too Little To End Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Read past issues of The Gazette here.

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

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 below. 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 issues, 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.

Click here to unsubscribe