Be an Advocate for Much Needed Eldercare LTC Reform
There was a flurry of a discussion and action on LTC in the 1980s and 90s. Since then not much.
Someone you love, who loves you, day by day slipping away is the ultimate in powerlessness. It is truly hard to watch and even harder to endure if it is you.
Invisible and helpless, those in any type of Long-term Care have few advocates other than you and perhaps themselves. Not to mention lack of friends. Lonely, Helpless and feeling Useless, They are often dead to the rest of the world in their need for small dignities and meaningful help.
We need not accept their fate. Together, those of us who care, are more powerful than you think.
There are many Foundations, Associations and Agencies that concentrate on Long-term Care issues and practices.
But, sadly, most are mainly concerned with the Business side of LTC: sale of insurance, facility management, staff efficiency and training , government payment formulas and market trends. They target the owners and managers.
For example… "The Center for Long-term Care Reform" is all about how to sell LTC Insurance. Three quarters of the care in America is provided by for profit entities.
The latest concern is a push by providers to reverse current legislation so Providers can not be sued; rather disputes would be required to submit to Arbitration.
Advocates for Long-term Care Reform
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care (NCCNHR): Formerly the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, NCCNHR is a national nonprofit organization of consumers and advocates dedicated to improving care for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities: discusses Quality of care and Quality of life, care coordination, care agency evaluation,etc, mostly in articles several years old. But, a national convention is held every year.
There is also an ongoing discussion of OBRA (1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) that set requirements and standards for Nursing Homes and Care Facilities, now charting 30 years of stagnation in these laws.
Health Information, Counseling, and Advocacy Program (HICAP): An independent resource established by the California Department of Aging. One of few states that offer this service.
The Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL): A national nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of assisted living patients, their families and their caregivers. CCAL assists consumers with education about their choices for assisted living environments.
American Health Care Association (HC is not LTC) (AHCA): The nation’s largest association of long term and post-acute care providers. They advocate for quality care and services for frail, elderly and disabled Americans. Their mission is to improve service and administration of nursing homes. Members are from the industry.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman: An ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. They intervene in care disputes.They also provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. Under the federal Older Americans Act (1965), every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system.
To locate state agencies and citizen advocacy groups: http://www.ltcombudsman.org/ombudsman
To find additional U.S. government information regarding senior consumers, go to https://nia.nih.gov
There are knowledgeable, well meaning experts who have advanced solutions to the Eldercare LTC predicament. The task for Americans is to illuminate the problem and push for solutions.
While your life may be full and easy now, you’ll be surprised how quickly that can change. Will you get through it without knowledge and planning? Yes.
Will you and family be stressed, unhappy and broke? Probably.
This subject is not fun, but following the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds each week provided by American Long Term Care social media will update you painlessly. And you will cultivate the need to plan. That’s a good thing!
You can get through this.