Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

August 9, 2011

The Senate Postpones the Date to Determine Elder Justice Act Funding

The Senate has postponed committee action on appropriations for the Elder Justice Act until at least September. These hearings were originally scheduled for July 26.

Earlier in the summer, the Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) launched a postcard campaign to build support for funding of the Elder Justice Act. If you are holding on to EJC postcards, continue to distribute them and send the signed ones to the EJC,
Matz, Blancato & Associates 1612 K St., NW, Suite 400 Washington,, DC  20006. Currently, about 15,000 postcards have made it to DC.

For more information on elder abuse and the Elder Justice Act, visit our website.

Back to top

Minnesota State Ombudsman Experiences Nursing Home From Resident Perspective

Minnesota State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Deb Holtz recently went through an interesting experience: she became the patient at a local rehabilitation facility. According a news article, Holtz was in post-surgical rehabilitation at a facility when she became aware of how vulnerable someone can feel when depending on others for care.

Although, Holtz’s visit was only 25 hours. She was quoted in a news article saying, “I felt like I lost part of my dignity.”

From her experience, Holtz is now more concerned that people may not know their rights. She credits the facility however, for being responsive to her concerns. Holtz plans to start a dialogue with the nursing home industry about residents’ rights and dignity issues. She would also like more interaction with her office and residents, through more volunteering and brochures.

Read more about Holtz's experience.

Back to top

Save Medicaid!

Under the agreement approved by Congress and signed by President Obama, we are facing an extraordinary challenge before Thanksgiving to preserve federal funding for programs and long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities. Every one of us will need to fight to save these programs. Click here to oppose Medicaid cuts.

Back to top

The Consumer Voice in Department of Labor Listening Sessions

Claire Curry, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia and Julie Sanchez,  a consumer in New Mexico, recently represented the Consumer Voice in Department of Labor (DoL) listening sessions.  DoL conducted these sessions on July 25 and 27 to hear the public’s views on expanding minimum wages and overtime protections to all home care workers. Both Curry and Sanchez strongly supported fair wages for home care workers. Sanchez, who was the only consumer receiving in-home services on the July 27th call, stressed how important the job of home care workers is and that she would be in a nursing home without their help.

Back to top

AoA Releases 2009 Annual Report

On May 23, the Administration on Aging (AoA) released its Annual Report for Congress: Fiscal Year 2009. The report provides data reflecting services and activities provided to individuals and evaluative assessments of programs performed by the national aging services network under the Older Americans Act.

According to the report, AoA shares and/or administers the responsibility for delivering services to almost 11.5 million older persons (ages 60 and over) in the United States, U.S. Territories, and the Tribes. Within this there are three million clients registered who have benefited from intensive in-home services. The report includes an analysis of AoA’s performance.

The report will be availabe on AoA's website.

Back to top

Massachusetts AG Sues Drug Manufacturer Over Risperdal Marketing for Elderly

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing the drug manufacturer Ortho-McNeil-Janssen for illegally marketing Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic drug, to treat elderly patients with dementia. The Attorney General said Janssen’s “illegal marketing and sales tactics helped the company generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales” in the state while it failed to disclose “the serious risks associated with Risperdal’s use in dementia patients, including increased risk of death.” The state charges that Janssen made “misleading and deceptive statements” to prescribers about Risperdal’s safety, including failing to disclose research showing that users are at risk of weight gain and diabetes and that the drug has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of dementia. See AG Coakley's Office Files Suit Against Ortho-McNeil-Janssen for Illegally Marketing Risperdal. For more on inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, see  Cause for alarm: Antipsychotic drugs for nursing home patients and Medicare Atypical Antipsychotic Drug Claims for Elderly Nursing Home Residents.

Back to top

Law Banning Sex Offenders from Living in Nursing Homes Ruled Unconstitutional in Massachusetts

A state law in Massachusetts made it illegal for dangerous sex offenders to live in a nursing home. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today unanimously that such a law is unconstitutional. Boston Globe, Kay Lazar and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff.
See all stories on this topic »

Back to top

Connecticut Resident Coalition Writes Senators about Medicaid Block Grant Threat

The Connecticut Statewide Coalition of Presidents of Resident Councils recently wrote to their U.S. Senators, Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal, opposing federal budget proposals that would block grant the Medicaid program. “We understand that the federal government has a large deficit problem,” the members of the executive committee told the senators, “but we feel that going to block grants would affect the amount of Medicaid dollars Connecticut receives, which would affect the lives of the 27,000 Connecticut residents who live in nursing homes.” The coalition leaders noted that with less federal money, the daily Medicaid rate would be cut, affecting quality of care, and that the state would have to absorb increases in spending. Members of the executive committee are Brian Capshaw, Ronnie Martin, Karen Hawley, May Jasper-Bey, Grace Blige-Curry, and Mary DePasquale.

Back to top

Give Blood, Save a Life

The Consumer Voice recently heard from one of its members about the shortage of blood platelets in the Washington, DC, area hospitals due to decreased giving in the summer months and wants to encourage everyone to think about donating today.

Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor. Someone who makes the choice to donate is saving a life.Give the gift of life to someone who needs blood transfusions.

Find out where you can donate blood online.

Back to top

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 rlivesay@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

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.

You have received this e-mail through your subscription to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care's e-mail list.
Recipients of this e-mail include all state long-term care ombudsmen, Consumer Voice members and other individuals who have subscribed to our e-mail list.
If you did not subscribe, or would no longer like to receive e-mail updates, unsubscribe here.

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