Elder Justice seeks to enable elders to live purposeful, self-directed, meaningful, and dignified lives in their homes and communities. In part, this cause demands that we transform our nursing homes from hospital-like holding institutions into meaningful and nurturing homes where elders can continue to live truly fulfilling lives. It means that we find ways to eliminate elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
In fact, Rochester is the birthplace of the Pioneer Network, a national culture change movement with the goal of changing the nature of nursing homes. However, we also know that Rochester is home to a number of substandard homes, as documented by the New York State Department of Health. We should not and cannot stay silent on this issue.
Elder Justice’s predecessor was ALTY (Adding Life To Years), a local elder care advocacy organization whose members have been passionate about making changes that improve the lives of elders. Now under the umbrella of Metro Justice, Elder Justice encourages anyone concerned with the options for elders to join our efforts.
- To join future meetings or ask questions about our work, please contact: [email protected]
A brief list of some of our recent activities and accomplishments:
- We worked with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-term Care on their study of nursing home closings by providing the case history of the disastrous NYS Department of Health’s closing of the Blossom South nursing home in Rochester. Consumer Voice used this as their only “how not to do it” example!
- An Elder Justice member independently convinced the NYS Comptroller to conduct an audit of the NYS Department of Health’s Nursing Home Surveillance Division. This culminated in the issuance of a report documenting the lax enforcement of regulation as partly evidenced by the reduction in nursing home fines by 90% over a 5-year period. We intend to push for a follow-up audit to see if there have been any improvements.
- We provided input to the first update of federal nursing home regulations in 25 years demanding both minimum nursing home staffing hours and a prohibition of nursing home resident admittance paperwork that mandates signing of a pre-dispute arbitration clause. We were successful in eliminating arbitration clauses, however failed to get federal minimum staffing regulations. We will continue to pursue NYS minimum staffing. See an article on this issue from the Democrat and Chronicle.
- We continue to expose the worst nursing homes in Monroe County by compiling and distributing a table of federal government 1-5 star ratings of all 34 homes throughout the community. Here is our latest Elder Justice Committee downloadable compilation of the federal government 1-5 star ratings of all 34 Monroe County nursing homes.
- We filed a grievance with both NYS and the federal government against the NYS Long-term Care Ombudsman’s office for awarding a 5-year contract to the host organization for this region’s nursing home Ombudsman Program despite the host’s unresolved conflicts of interest.
- We had several letters to the editor published during the year, plus a Guest Essay printed in 1/21/17 Democrat and Chronicle: “Keeping a close watch on the NYS Department of Health” that called for sanctions on any county nursing home that cannot justify their refusal to accept residents displaced by a closing of a nursing home as happened in the closing of Blossom South nursing home in 2014.
Photo Credit: John Retallack
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Help us build a movement to ensure that everyone has access to quality elder care! We can't do this without the support of our community!
The Federal Government’s “Nursing Home Compare”: provides a detailed quality ranking of each nursing home on a 5 star (best) score to a 1 star (worst). We recommend selecting only those homes with a 4 or 5 star overall rating for your further investigation, and avoiding those substandard homes with 1 or 2 stars. Here is our latest Elder Justice Committee downloadable compilation of the federal government 1-5 star ratings of all Monroe County nursing homes: https://app.box.com/s/qxur3rb4thxxtmk42gytiutkcggdw630
To obtain a copy of Medicare’s “Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home” phone 1-800-MEDICARE to ask for brochure No. 02174 or click this online link to read or download (72 pages)
ALTY New York’s “Change for Good” is a booklet that contains key questions to ask staff when evaluating potential elder care settings.
The Elder Pages Directory is a comprehensive listing of housing options for elders in Monroe and surrounding counties, plus information about food and nutrition services, rehabilitation services, home support services, insurance resources, government agencies, transportation and legal services. Printed directories are available at libraries, or call G.R.A.P.E. (Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly) at 585-256-4351.
Lifespan (585-244-8400) in Rochester, NY provides information, guidance and more than 30 services that help older adults and caregivers take on longer life -- from care management for Elder care to finding a job in retirement. Lifespan’s “The Smart Consumer’s Guide to Quality Nursing Home Care” may be obtained by calling Lifespan or by clicking here.
Things you must know before going to the hospital brochure – from the New York StateWide Senior Action Council.
The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) is devoted to improving care for the elderly and disabled. They work to ensure that long term care consumers in all settings, who are often very vulnerable, are cared for safely and treated with dignity. Its website contains useful consumer guides, reports and newsletters, as well as Take Action links.
These three culture change organizations have been working toward transforming the traditional institutional focused nursing home into resident-centered, caring communities:
NYS Comptroller’s February 2016 Report: Nursing Home Surveillance
Democrat and Chronicle Editorial: “Nursing homes audit alarming”
Democrat and Chronicle News Report: “NY audit: Nursing home oversight weak”
Democrat and Chronicle News Report: “At some nursing homes, deficiencies repeat over and over”