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Consumer Voice Responds to WHCOA Brief on Long-Term Services and Supports

June 15, 2015

Consumer Voice has submitted a response to several discussion questions posed by the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) in their policy brief on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS).  LTSS is one of WHCOA’s four topic areas.  Consumer Voice responded by making five recommendations to complement the WHCOA’s brief on the topic.

  1. Person-Centered Care – It is not now and will not be sufficient to define care by its provision, but the meaning of care must be defined by a culture and commitment that puts the person receiving the care at the center of the services.

  2. Quality of Care – In order to ensure quality care, we must fully enforce the nation’s laws and regulations governing nursing homes.  In addition, poor care conditions are not limited to nursing homes but are prevalent across long-term care, including assisted living programs and facilities as well as care provide in the home; the regulation and oversight of these stings must be strengthened as well to protect consumers and enhance their quality of life and quality of care.

  3. Long-Term Care & Direct Care Workforce - Another critical component of quality long-term care is having sufficient nursing staff, having direct care workers adequately trained to address the complex health and behavioral conditions they will face, having staff compensated with a living wage and reasonable health and time-off benefits so they can remain on the job, and having staff supported in their work by administrators and supervisors who ensure that the direct care workers can focus on quality outcomes for residents and consumers.

  4. Assisted Living - These burgeoning services are designed to fill a vital need for people who may have only modest medical requirements but who require assistance with activities of daily living and around the clock supervision or care. Yet the reality is that without standards defining these facilities and the services they offer, there is great potential for misunderstanding and conflict about service expectations and the services actually made available.

  5. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program - Long-Term Care Ombudsmen resolve complaints raised by or on behalf of individual residents, empower residents to advocate for themselves, and address issues systemically to improve care and conditions for all residents.  Appropriations to adequately fund the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are necessary to ensure that all residents have access to an ombudsman.

Read Consumer Voice’s full statement here.

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