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The time is now to make change.

May 20, 2021

2020 was a life-changing and traumatic year for nursing home residents. Quarantined in their rooms. Eating alone. Occupying a solitary space without visitors or activities for hours, days, months. More than 170,000 residents were lost to COVID, and tens of thousands more died from the effects of isolation. Staff were stretched to capacity and, for many, barely able to provide the basic elements of care. Much of the country looked on helplessly with dismay, anger, frustration, and sadness.

The Consumer Voice took immediate action to inform, educate, and advocate. We were an essential resource for ombudsmen and citizen advocates, as well as residents and their family members who were terrified for their loved ones and had difficulty getting information about what was happening in long-term care facilities. Consumer Voice was there, providing information, interpreting new policies, and offering strategies for advocacy. Together with advocacy partners, residents, and families across the country, we advocated aggressively with elected officials, regulators, and the media to address the devastating effects of loneliness and short staffing. Together, we’ve made important strides as shown by the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) to significantly expand visitation in nursing homes.

Our work, however, is far from complete. Advocacy must continue. The updated visitation policy is being unevenly implemented across states, and staff must be strengthened and supported with living wages and benefits, reasonable workloads, and necessary training to ensure competency. But we must do more than just put band-aids on these
issues. Based on our 45 years of experience, we know that the problems that made COVID so deadly in nursing homes didn’t surface overnight. It’s time to boldly re-evaluate our long-term services and supports system by focusing on solutions and settings that reflect consumer choice and demand.

The time is now to make change! We have an opportunity to make major strides on behalf of residents. Your financial support is critical to Consumer Voice as we continue our essential work. Will you help us now, so that we can seize this opportunity to achieve real reforms?

See below for some select highlights of the important work we have been doing on behalf of nursing home residents --- work that continues to be needed in the coming year. We hope that our actions during the pandemic, our ongoing commitment, and the need to act now while we have the nation’s attention and concern, will be
persuasive in guiding your giving.

Thank you for supporting residents and the work of the Consumer Voice.

Make a Contribution

Visit our special webpage in tribute to residents who died, and those who survived, the pandemic.

Go to https://theconsumervoice.org/covid-19/tributes to read about the residents’ lives, as well as to add your loved one’s name. Help us continue to highlight residents’ lives!

Read the 2020 Annual Report.

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