February 28, 2023
In this Issue:
- Consumer Voice Launches Campaign in Support of Minimum Staffing Standard
- Materials Available from Webinar on How Nursing Home Staffing Standards Benefit Residents and Workers
- National Nursing Home Workers Tele Town Hall Hosted by SEIU
- Senators Casey and Wyden Release Report on Failures of Long-Term Care Facilities to Protect Nursing Home Residents from Extreme Weather Events
Consumer Voice Launches Campaign in Support of Minimum Staffing Standards
This month marks the one-year anniversary of President Biden's announcement of historic nursing home reforms. Central to the president’s reforms is the creation of a minimum staffing standard, which could result in the most significant increase in protections for nursing home residents in decades.
Opposition to a minimum staffing standard has been fierce from the nursing home industry, while the voices of residents, their loved ones, and workers have been lost in the discussion. Over the next several months, Consumer Voice will be holding a series of events to highlight what it is like to live and work in a nursing home with inadequate staff, and what it would mean to residents and workers to have a minimum staffing standard.
We will need your support to ensure that the implementation of a minimum staffing standard focuses on the health and well-being of residents, and the creation of well-paying jobs for nursing home workers.
Visit the Dignity for All webpage for more information and a schedule of events.
Share Your Voice
What does it mean to live or work in a nursing home with inadequate staffing? What would a minimum staffing standard mean to you? Take our survey to share your (or your loved ones') experience.
Materials Available from Webinar on How Nursing Home Staffing Standards Benefit Residents and Workers
Materials are available from last week's webinar, "Dignity for All: Staffing Standards Benefit Residents and Workers." This webinar discussed the importance of adequate staffing in nursing homes for residents' safety and health. It featured the voices of residents and long-term care facility workers, who shared what it is like to live and work in a nursing home without adequate staffing.
Get Webinar Materials
National Nursing Home Workers Tele Town Hall Hosted by SEIU
Join SEIU for a National Nursing Home Workers Tele Town Hall Thursday, March 2nd at 7:00pm ET. Nursing home workers all over the country are coming together to call out nursing home corporations for putting profits over people. Join SEIU to learn more about how they are fighting for bold reforms, including safe staffing levels, family-sustaining wages, worker protections and holding nursing home corporations accountable.
Senators Casey and Wyden Release Report on Failures of Long-Term Care Facilities to Protect Nursing Home Residents from Extreme Weather Events
Last week, the United States Senate Finance Committee and Senate Special Aging Committee released a report Left in the Dark which focuses on a catastrophic weather event in February 2021 in Texas that revealed how unprepared nursing homes were to protect residents from extreme weather events. Led By Chairs Ron Wyden and Senator Casey, the report details how widespread power outages affected nursing homes and resulted in more than 1,400 nursing home residents being evacuated.
Key finding of the report include:
- Increased extreme weather emergencies place all nursing home residents across the country at risk.
- Despite increased power outages, federal regulations do not require nursing homes to have back up power sources. The report also found that most states do not require assisted living facilities to maintain backup power.
- Understaffing in nursing homes and regulatory agencies contribute to the lack of emergency preparedness in nursing homes.
In addition to these findings, the report made strong recommendations including:
- Passing the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act (READDI), which would ensure older adults and people with disabilities that reside in long-term care facilities are included in emergency and disaster planning.
- Calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue a mandatory staffing minimum for nursing homes, which would address chronic understaffing in nursing homes.
- Recommending Congress increase funding to state survey agencies responsible for licensing nursing home facilities and enforcing state and federal regulations.
Consumer Voice strongly supports the recommendations laid out in the Left in the Dark report.