Specialized Information for:

Long-Term Care ConsumersFamily MembersAdvocates

Quality NOW!

Quality care means … that I have what I need when I need it, and that I’m treated with respect.  Quality of life means that I’m able to reach my potential both with regards to rehabilitation as well as making my contribution to mankind… It is very important to me to be treated with respect and that my voice is heard. Life would have little meaning without respect.

                                                                        from Rosemary, living in a Pennsylvania nursing home

Dear Friends –

Quality NOW!  Quality care, quality of life, protection of rights, empowerment of all individuals receiving care and services, NOW!  

Quality is what we seek for people receiving long-term care, no matter what the setting.  Advocating for quality is why the Consumer Voice (as NCCNHR) was created more than 40 years ago.  While strides have been made in the past 40 years, experiences shared by consumers who guide us, recent news stories, research, data, and reports indicate our work is not yet done.  

  • Human Rights Watch released its compelling investigative report, They Want Docile, about the continued inappropriate use of psychotropic medications among people in nursing homes and that more than 175,000 people are still being prescribed these medications.

  • Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are still being discharged to homeless shelters and other unsafe locations.

  • The OIG was so concerned about the preliminary results of its ongoing review of potential abuse or neglect in skilled nursing facilities and whether incidents were being properly reported and investigated, that it issued an early alert to CMS to take immediate action to ensure better protection of residents.

  • The leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to CMS raising questions about the quality of care in nursing homes and whether the steps being taken by CMS to protect residents from elder abuse and harm are adequate.

The millions of individuals residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other care settings are too often out of sight and out of the minds of the rest of society instead of receiving the care and respect they deserve.  And this is why we need your help!

Your support is needed this year as we:

  • Remind CMS that their priorities need to be on protecting residents, rather than reducing burden on providers.
  • Keep the voices of consumers before members of Congress as they consider legislation that will have an impact on access to quality care and services in all settings.
  • Respond to proposed changes to the nursing home regulations, which CMS has indicated its intent to revise (again!).
  • Expand our newly launched Online Training Center, which provides training and materials to support advocacy around long-term care issues.
  • Grow our Consumer Advisory Council, which donations helped us launch last year.  We are looking to add 10 new members to the Council this year.  Over the past year, the Consumer Advisory Council has:
  • Helped us launch the first newsletter specifically for consumers, the Resident Advocate by contributing to development of, as well as writing, articles;
  • Joined in and contributed to policy workgroups providing comments on federal policy, including commenting on materials being shared with members of Congress;
  • Presented at CV workshops and during the Resident Empowerment Luncheon;
  • Contributed to the development of Consumer Voice’s policy priorities for 2018.

Please continue to support our advocacy by making a donation today!   Leave us a message on our Quality Now! webpage which will highlight contributor comments about your support of the Consumer Voice.  Tell us who you are donating in honor, or in memory, of. (Submit your comments when you make a donation to the 2018 Spring Appeal Campaign.)

Messages from our supporters:

After 35 years as a long term care advocate, I have witnessed compassionate individualized care, horrific situations, and a lot of mediocre day to day living.  For me, quality equals choice.... I want to be able to chose what setting I want to receive services in, the kind of food I eat, the activities I want to do or not do, and the people with whom I associate.  Being able to worship, sing, read, watch the birds, see flowers and eat ice cream would help me to have a joyful meaningful life as well as a pleasant room to visit with friends and family.  And of course, after many years of being an ombudsman, I want a place at the table in decisions about my care and my end of life.  I know that when it is time for that long term care journey, my friends and family and a caring ombudsman will be walking with me advocating for quality of care and quality of life.  

Alice Hedt, former NC Local Ombudsman, Maryland State Ombudsman, Director -  National Ombudsman Resource Center and Executive Director of NCCNHR (now Consumer Voice)

"The Consumer Voice is more important today than ever!! As enforcement of rules we fought hard to make a reality is abandoned,  we must make sure the Consumer Voice remains strong!"

- Cynthia and Richard Rudder

In Honor of Bill Bard - "Bill Bard is not only a member of your board, but has been a long term member of the Residential Ombudsman and Public Guardian Advisory Board for the Oregon Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  This donation is being made in his honor and in thanks for his dedication and faithful years of service to our agency."

- Oregon Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program


There are a number of ways to show your support!

  • Send in your donation via mail, or online at www.theconsumervoice.org/about/contributions.  All amounts are welcome and important to continue our advocacy.
  • Join our President’s Circle – individuals who commit to donating $1000 or more in a calendar year. 
  • Consider a monthly donation, which supports our activities year-round!  Any amount can be set for a recurring donation - $10, $25, $50, or more!  And just $85 per month qualifies you for the President’s Circle!
  • Give a gift of stock. Transferring your stock or mutual fund to Consumer Voice is a simple and tax-efficient way to make a contribution.  Contact Alejandra Ona at aona@theconsumervoice.org for more information.
  • Consider earmarking mandatory 401K distributions to Consumer Voice, which also reduces your tax liability.
  • Look for other suggestions on our website at www.theconsumervoice.org/about/contributions.

Consumer Voice depends on your support for our work to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of America’s long-term care consumers.   And we won’t stop until each individual living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or receiving care at home or in community-based settings, is the recipient of the promise of Quality NOW!

 

Thank you for caring!

Lori Smetanka
Executive Director