Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

October 27, 2015

This Month's Gem: Consumer Voice's Work to Improve Staffing Standards

As Consumer Voice Celebrates our 40th Anniversary we want to take this opportunity to reflect on our past and recognize the individuals who shaped our organization. In honor of the 40-year ruby anniversary we will highlight Consumer Voice's Gems which include key leaders, organizations, and special moments that have made a significant impact on our organization's development, mission, and advocacy.

For this month's gem, we celebrate our work to improve staffing standards.

Robyn Grant and other advocates show their support for higher staffing standards in nursing homes during a 2000 demonstration.

Over the past 40 years, Consumer Voice has strongly advocated  for improved nursing home staffing.  Shortly after its formation,  Consumer Voice – then NCCNHR – released the paper “The Plight of the Nurse Aide in America’s Nursing Homes: An Obstacle to Quality Care for Residents,” which recognized the importance of  nurse assistants and identified staffing – adequate numbers, sufficient training, better pay and benefits - as core needs that are essential for quality care.  Two decades later, NCCNHR/Consumer Voice helped bring about a hearing on Nursing Home Staffing by the Senate Special Committee on Aging in 1999 and worked with Congressional leaders to propose legislation mandating minimum staffing standards, that subsequently died.

But Consumer Voice persevered. It launched a petition campaign, and in 2002, Consumer Voice President, Diane Menio, presented the names of almost 100,000 individuals in support of improving nursing home staffing standards during a congressional press conference on Capitol Hill. Three members of the House of Representatives accepted the names at the event hosted by former U.S. House Representative Henry Waxman of California.

Our advocacy continues today. In 2014, we launched the "Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care" campaign to educate the public and policymakers about the need for stronger state and federal nursing home staffing standards to ensure residents are receiving quality care. Most recently, as part of commenting on proposed revisions to the federal nursing home regulations released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  in July 2015, Consumer Voice submitted strong recommendations calling for a minimum staffing standard of 4.1 hours of direct nursing care per resident per day and a  registered nurse on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information about this month's gem, click here.

Back to Top

Join Us for a Webinar on Advocating for Quality, Individualized Care

Put a STOP to Poor Care: Advocating for Quality Care
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
3:00-4:15pm ET

Join us for a webinar hosted by Consumer Voice in collaboration with the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) to learn how to advocate for quality, individualized care. Regardless of where an individual receives long-term care services and supports they are entitled to receive quality, person-centered care. During this webinar we will identify indicators of quality care and warning signs of poor care, provide communication tips, and share advocacy strategies to help consumers, family members, advocates, and others advocate for individualized care. Participants will learn about resources available to assist in their advocacy, including advocacy with, and on behalf of, individuals with limited capacity. Additionally, presenters will review the role of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) Program and how and when to seek LTCO assistance.

Please register and share this registration invitation with long-term care consumers, family members, Resident Councils, Family Councils, and advocates that would benefit from this information.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have any questions or issues registering for the webinar, please email info@theconsumervoice.org.

Back to Top

Residents' Rights Month 2015 was a Success!

Residents' Rights Month 2015 has been a great success!  We have heard from advocates across the country about celebratory events, proclamations, and media coverage of CARE Matters!  Thank you to all those who participated in this important event.

  • Visit our website to see all of the events and news coverage from this month.
  • Want to hold an RRM event this week? Check out the Residents' Rights Month Packet and list of activities for ideas.
  • Tell us about the event you hosted by emailing info@theconsumervoice.org.
  • There's still time to encourage local media to cover Residents' Rights Month.
  • 40 Words of Wisdom, our unique keepsake book including 40 Resident's Voice entries, is still on sale!  Plus, there's still time to get CARE Matters buttons and wristbands.

Back to Top

Join Us at Our 40th Anniversary Party Next Week

Date: November 5, 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, Arlington, VA

Sweet on the '70s? Ache for the '80s? Need More of the '90s?
Express yourself and come dressed as your favorite decade! Entertainment, food and a cash bar will be included

Purchase a party ticket or sponsor a table here.

Conference attendees and those unable to attend: Send your well wishes to the Consumer Voice! With a $40 contribution, your congratulatory message will be on display during the party and then posted on our website!

Back to Top

Next Week is the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!

Hop on a plane, jump in the car - there's still time to register for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference! Join us in the Washington, DC area and experience all this great city has to offer.  Plus, participate in a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from long-term care experts from across the country, network and bring home best practices for your advocacy!

Already registered for the conference? Great! We're excited to see you next week! Meanwhile, check out the full conference agenda to scope out sessions beforehand, explore the new conference hotel, or plan your outfit from your favorite decade for the 40th Anniversary Party!

Back to Top

Spotlight on Giving: 40th Anniversary Special Gifts Campaign

For 40 years, Consumer Voice – known for most of those years as NCCNHR – has been dedicated to achieving person-centered, quality long-term care.  We have made significant progress in this time, but in an ever-changing world in which person-centered practices compete with other values such as “limited government” and provider profits, there are always new challenges.  One is occurring right now. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed new regulations governing nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments. This is the first new set of rules in 25 years. They actually espouse a great deal of movement toward person-centered practices, but in many areas the new rules will cause problems. One problem is the absence of a definitive staffing requirement for nursing care. This is a major oversight.

Here is where your support for Consumer Voice during our 40th anniversary comes in. We truly need your help. We have mounted an extensive, multi-organization effort to address problems in the new CMS regulations. Once we have submitted our comments and have helped other advocates to do the same, the next phases of our advocacy will ensue. This continues to be extremely important work and Consumer Voice is leading the way. Now, can you be counted to make a significant contribution to this effort? Each person decides what “significant” is.  There are many ways you can give: donate online or by check, sign-up for a monthly automatic payment from your account, make a gift of stock – even donate a used car or other property.  To discuss your gift and how you would like it recognized, please contact Lori Smetanka at lsmetanka@theconsumervoice.org or (202) 332-2275 x206.  And for more information about the 40th Anniversary Campaign, click here.

Back to Top

Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center have a multitude of resources available online covering a wide range of long-term care topics.  Visit the Consumer Voice website and the NORC website to explore all the available resources.  Take a look at this week's highlighted resource:

"Put a STOP to Poor Care" Brochure - The “Put a STOP to Poor Care” brochure, produced by the Consumer Voice in collaboration with the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), includes indicators of quality care, warning signs, red flags of potential abuse, and advocacy tips to address concerns.

Back to Top

In this Issue

This Month's Gem: Consumer Voice's Work to Improve Staffing Standards

Join Us for a Webinar on Quality, Individualized Care

Residents' Rights Month 2015 was a Success!

Join Us at Our 40th Anniversary Party Next Week

Next Week is the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!

Spotlight on Giving: 40th Anniversary Special Gifts Campaign

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Workplace Giving Campaigns: A Great Way to Help Support Consumer Voice

Workplace giving, whether the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), United Way or other workplace campaigns, are great easy ways to give to Consumer Voice.  Our CFC number is: 10552.  In other workplace campaigns, you may be able to write in Consumer Voice or some may still recognize us as NCCNHR.  As long as you provide our address, the funds will get to us.

Consumer Voice
1001 Connecticut Ave., Ste. 425
Washington, DC 20036

Look for ways that you can give back to Consumer Voice through your workplace and please ask if your employer will match your contribution.  Thank you!

Get Your CARE Matters Buttons and Wristbands

It's Residents' Rights Month! But it is not too late to order wristbands and buttons with the 2015 theme, CARE Matters!  Wristbands and buttons are sold in packs of 20, 50 and 100.  See the Consumer Voice online store for more information.

Calendar of Events

October: Residents' Rights Month, CARE Matters

November 1-7: National Memory Screening Week

November 4-7: Consumer Voice 39th Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia

Thursday, November 5: Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary Party, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, Arlington, VA

Wednesday, November 18: Put a STOP to Poor Care: Advocating for Quality, 3:00-4:15pm ET, Free webinar from Consumer Voice in collaboration with the National Center on Elder Abuse

Register Now for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference
November 4-7, 2015

Remember to register and book your hotel room now! Don't miss it!  Find more information on our website.

Your Car Can Help Promote Quality Care - It's Easy!

Do you, a loved one or friend have a car that you or they would like to dispose of?  Now, Consumer Voice can help – and your used car can help Consumer Voice!  By working with our car disposal agency, Vehicle Donation to Any Charity (V-DAC), the proceeds from the sale of your car become a contribution to Consumer Voice.

Donating your car is easy - V-DAC comes to the location of the car and picks it up (whether the car can be driven or not).  Provide the car's registration and title, and V-DAC will send you a contribution letter with the amount of the donation that was made.

Note: We are actually registered with the service as “NCCNHR” so when asked which charity you would like to benefit, just say or type in “NCCNHR.”

Here is a link to our page on the V-DAC site http://v-dac.com/org?id=52-1122531 and you can get started there – or just call 877-999-8322 toll free.   And to discuss your donation with Consumer Voice, just write to us at info@theconsumervoice.org or call (202) 332-2275 x209

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Tuesday, October 20:
The Consumer Voice Annual Conference is just two weeks away!

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, October 19
Thanks to @RepHankJohnson & @alfranken for leading letters w/ Congressional partners calling for the ban of forced aribtration in NHs!

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Read past issues of The Voice here.

Support Consumer Voice While You Shop Online!

About The Voice

The Voice is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. 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 © 2015.

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

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. Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

Click here to unsubscribe