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Maryland Family Council Project

From January 2000 to May 2005 the Consumer Voice worked intensively with families in Maryland on starting and strengthening family councils. Project staff gathered information about family councils; distributed consumer information to family members of residents; conducted workshops on family council development for family members, ombudsmen and facility staff; conducted topical conference calls; and held the first Maryland State Family Council Conference on advocacy strategies and quality of care. See below for background information about the project.

If you have any questions about family councils, or how to advocate for good care in a nursing home, please contact us at (202) 332-2275, info@theconsumervoice.org.

Project Background

The goal of this five year project was to enable family members of nursing home residents in the State of Maryland to advocate effectively as part of a family council for quality care. Consumer Voice staff educated family members about the value of their collective power as consumers to bring about positive change for residents in nursing homes through family councils. Below is initial information Consumer Voice staff gathered about family councils in Maryland.

Maryland Family Council Survey (January 2000)

a. Family Member Survey

b. Provider Survey

Maryland Family Council Survey Report (May 2000)
Facility Survey Report October 2001

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 Consumer Information
 Maryland Fact Sheets and Resources:

Basics of Individualized Quality Care - pdf

Family Role in Survey Process

How to Participate in the Care of Your Loved One During a Nursing Home Stay brochure

Inviting Speakers to Family Council Meetings

Tips for the First Weeks in a Nursing Home (Eng.) pdf

Sugerencias y Información para las Primeras Semanas en el Asilo de Ancianos (en español) pdf

Maryland Family Council Law

Voices for Quality Care - www.voicesforqualitycare.org

Where to Get Help in Maryland - a listing of state agencies, long-term care ombudsmen and citizen advocacy groups.

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Maryland State Family Council Conference

On Saturday, March 5, 2005, more than 80 Marylanders - family members of nursing home residents, facility social workers and long-term care ombudsmen - gathered at the University of Maryland, College park for a day-long Maryland State Family Council Conference. The conference included sessions on national and state policy developments affecting nursing home residents; a dialogue with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality on how the survey process works and how family members can use the process to get good care for residents; promoting participation in family councils and council meeting management; and how councils can work with the facility to resolve concerns. In the afternoon, conference participants divided into two "tracks" - basics and advanced - depending upon their level of experience with family councils. Many of the presenters were family members with family council experience who shared their expertise with others. Other presenters included Alice Hedt, Consumer Voice Executive Director, Bill Benson, Consumer Voice Past President, and Wendy Kronmiller and Bill Vaughan of the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality.  The energy generated by the exchange of ideas and networking that took place inspired participants. One participant commented, "The conference was most informative re: a family does have a voice in the proper care of loved ones who are residents of a nursing home. Knowing that I am not alone with my concerns was valuable to me." The conference represents the culmination of the Consumer Voice's Maryland Family Council Project which began in January of 2000.

See the conference photo album for a selection of photos from the conference.

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Project Evaluation

In 2005, as part of the final Family Council Project grant, the Consumer Voice evaluated the project. Project evaluations were sent to all Maryland nursing homes, family council leaders, over 300 family members and all Maryland ombudsman programs. Upon completion of a final report, the evaluation results were made available to the public through this website.

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