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May 31,2016

MA State Senators Vote to Increase Regulations on Nursing Homes; Advocate Quoted in Boston Globe Article

State Senators in Massachusetts voted last week to bolster the regulation of nursing homes in the state.  The measure would raise maximum fines on sub-standard facilities from $50 a day to $10,000 and would require regulators to look over nursing homes' finances.  The new regulation, which the Senate adopted as part of its proposed budget for the new fiscal year, would include this steep increase in penalties for nursing homes that violate health and safety rules.  The money collected would be used for state inspections of nursing homes, state operation of poor facilities as they work toward correcting the problem or facing closure and relocating residents if the state closes a nursing homes. 

Arlene Germain, president of Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, was quoted in a Boston Globe article saying the measure "sends a strong message that the failure of facilities to protect their residents will carry a hefty financial penalty, and that financial transparency is necessary to ensure that the highest level of funds are dedicated to direct resident care.”  For more information, read the full article.

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Want to attend the Consumer Voice Conference? The best discounts are now!

The time is now to get the best possible discount on the Consumer Voice Annual Conference!  Register your group and receive an additional discount off of the already discounted early registration rate.

Contact us (info@theconsumervoice.org) and we will help you register your group. Your application for discounts must be made prior to registration, so start forming your group today!

Discounts that apply to group registrations:

  • Group of 5 - 9 individuals - 5% discount
  • Group of 10 - 19 individuals - 10% discount
  • Group of 20 or more individuals - 15% discount

For more information about the conference group rates, click here.  
Please contact info@theconsumervoice.org before registering your group for the conference.

Registration is open! We look forward to seeing your group in Washington, DC!

Questions? Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org.

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New Voting Fact Sheets Available for Consumers

In preparation for Residents' Rights Month 2016 (RRM) in October, Consumer Voice has developed several new resources aimed at long-term care consumers.  The fact sheet "Registering to Vote" provides residents with clear and concise instructions on ways to register to vote or how to determine if you are already registered.  Another fact sheet "Casting Your Vote: Alternatives to Traditional Voting" provides information on different avenues a resident or consumer can take to cast their ballot, other than voting in person on Election Day.  These fact sheets can easily be printed and shared with consumers, residents, family members, facility staff and volunteers.  Find more voting resources on the Consumer Voice website.

Want to provide residents even more of an opportunity to participate in RRM and share their voice?  Join the Resident's Voice Challenge! Purchase a Resident's Voice Activity Toolkit to get started!

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Celebrating Older Americans Month

Older adults are a growing and increasingly vital part of our country. The contributions they make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation’s economy, politics, and the arts. From 69-year-old NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. to 84-year-old actress Rita Moreno to 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who took her seat as a Supreme Court Justice at age 60, older adults are blazing trails in all aspects of American life.

In 1963, contributions of older people began being acknowledged by using the month of May to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasized the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

As 2016 OAM comes to a close, meet the trailblazers featured on the OAM website, share a trailblazer selfie, and take advantage of the OAM resources provided by the Administration for Community Living on the topics of Wellness, Securing Your Finances, Reinvention and Civic Engagement.

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Article on New York Nursing Homes Reveals Inconsistencies Between Star Rating and Quality of Care; Advocate Quoted

A recent article in New York publication cityandstateny.com highlighted how even though some New York nursing homes have received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, they receive multiple reports of poor care from former residents and family members and many lawsuits alleging medical malpractice or neglect.  The report sheds light on how high ratings from CMS are inconsistent with reports of neglect at some nursing homes, raising questions about the credibility of the nursing home ratings system.  Richard Mollot, executive director of The Long Term Care Community Coalition, was interviewed for the article: "What we're seeing is that even in a supposedly good nursing home the care is generally not very good...It's possible to have significant problems and still be highly rated, because of the problems in oversight and monitoring."  Read the full article here.

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Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) 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:

New, Free Video Available for Ombudsman Program Promotion - The Texas Ombudsman Program produced this video for use by ombudsman programs. The video gives a short 3 minute overview of the purpose of the ombudsman program and the benefit families can gain if they call their ombudsman when they suspect a problem. The end of the video directs people to visit the NORC website so they can visit our Locate an Ombudsman page and find the contact information for their local program.

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In this Issue

MA State Senators Vote to Increase Regulations on Nursing Homes; Advocate Quoted in Boston Globe Article

Want to attend the Consumer Voice Conference? The best discounts are now!

New Voting Fact Sheets Available for Consumers

Celebrating Older Americans Month

Article on New York Nursing Homes Reveals Inconsistencies Between Star Rating and Quality of Care; Advocate Quoted

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Support our Spring Campaign to empower and engage residents! Use #myvoicematters to share on social media.

Combined Federal Campaign


Thank you for your support!

Residents' Rights Month 2016

Find more information on our website.

Join the Resident's Voice Challenge!

Calendar of Events

May: Older Americans Month

Friday, June 10: Changing Landscape of Long-Term Care, VOYCE Conference

Wednesday, June 15: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Sunday, July 31: Last day to register for Consumer Voice Annual Conference at early discounted rate

October: My Vote Matters, Residents' Rights Month 2016

November 2-5, 2016: Consumer Voice 40th Annual Conference, Arlington, VA

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"Residents need to feel needed. So many times one sits in the long term care facility day after day with nothing to do. Life becomes mundane and boring. When asked to help or do something new, whether it be large or small, it is a boon to our spirits.  Once again we begin to feel life is not as bad after all; that we and our opinions are of value to others. What a wonderful feeling that is as it spreads from that resident to others--- a whole change taking place with all." - Judith Mangum, resident

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 © 2016.

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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.

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