The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (formerly NCCNHR), announced the launch of its new guide Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care: A Consumer’s Guide to Choices and Advocacy, which is intended to educate people with disabilities and older adults about their options for long-term services and supports and empower them to be self-advocates for quality long-term care. The guide also provides information and resources to assist people currently living in nursing homes to move back into the community.

The Consumer Voice has developed a website (http://www.theconsumervoice.org/piecing-together-quality-long-term-care) for the guide, which features Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care in different formats, including an HTML version, a PDF version and audio portions of the guide. The website also includes three state-specific guides funded by the Consumer Voice and written by citizen advocacy groups in Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia. These state guides are designed to assist older adults and persons with disabilities in making informed decisions when choosing long-term care services. A hardcopy of the 80-page, professional bound guide is available for $20 and can be purchased online.

 "While older adults and individuals with disabilities may have different needs, they all deserve a choice of quality long-term care services," said Consumer Voice Executive Director Sarah F. Wells. "Many consumers face the daunting and overwhelming task of trying to navigate a long-term care system that is fragmented and complicated. This project aims to build a bridge between the aging and the disability communities and create a strong, unified long-term care consumer voice.

 "We are launching the guide at this time because the Affordable Care Act is increasing opportunities for the elderly and persons with disabilities to receive care in their own homes."

 The publication of this new resource coincides with the one-year anniversary of the signing of the ACA, which created some of the most significant improvements and changes in long-term care in a generation. Through the ACA, consumers will see increased transparency of nursing home operations and quality; improved safety for people receiving care in long-term care facilities and their homes; strengthening of agencies that investigate neglect and abuse of the elderly, including the long-term care ombudsman program, state survey agencies and Adult Protective Services; and new programs that provide incentives to states to provide more Medicaid home and community-based services.

 This guide was funded by the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation. For more information on this project and on health care reform, visit www.theconsumervoice.org.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded as the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) in 1975 by Elma Holder. The organization represents the consumer voice at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports by advocating for public policies that support quality care and quality of life responsive to consumers’ needs in all long-term-care settings; empowering and educating consumers and families with the knowledge and tools they need to advocate for themselves; training and supporting individuals and groups that empower and advocate for consumers of long-term care; and promoting the critical role of direct-care workers and best practices in quality-care delivery.
 

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