NCCNHR's current 20-member board, which includes residents of nursing homes, represents the grassroots membership of concerned advocates of quality long term care nationwide. The board is elected by consumer-controlled member groups and meets four times a year to establish policies and to help direct financing and programming issues.
The solid base for NCCNHR is its two hundred member groups with a growing individual membership of over 1,000. Members and subscribers to NCCNHR's information resources from 42 states comprise a diverse and caring coalition of: local citizen action groups, state and local long-term care ombudsmen, legal services programs, religious organizations, professional groups, nursing home employees' unions, concerned providers, national organizations, and growing numbers of family and resident councils.
NCCNHR provides information and leadership on federal and state regulatory and legislative policy development and models and strategies to improve care and life for residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities. Ongoing work addresses issues such as:
The Coalition holds its first press conference, attended by Dr. Arthur Flemming, Commissioner on Aging.
During the Coalition's second annual meeting, reaction and comments are issued on proposed changes federal nursing home rules. Also that day, Rep. Claude Pepper, chair of the House Select Committee on Aging, addresses the Coalition.
The Coalition receives a three-year grant from Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) to recruit, train, and place 40 volunteers in 13 project sites, strengthening local and state member groups toward a stronger national network.
The Coalition issues two major publications on the Nursing Home Reform Act: The Basics and The Ombudsman's Guide familiarizing readers with the law and its impact on daily nursing home life.
The Coalition helps persuade a federal district court to rule that limited Medicaid-bed certification violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Attorney Gordon Bonnyman, 1994-1996 board member, brought the case, Linton v. Tennessee, on plaintiffs' behalf.
Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long term care system. To find the ombudsman nearest you, contact your State Ombudsman office.
Members of these groups are often people who have had loved ones in nursing homes and are concerned about nursing home residents. Despite their diversity, all of the groups share a commitment to improving the quality of care and life for residents who are in need of long-term care. They may be able to inform you about resources in your state, the quality of care in particular facilities, and the current status of nursing home reform in your state.
Family members in a facility can join together to form a united consumer voice which can communicate concerns to the facility administrator and work for resolutions and improvements by forming a family council. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act guarantees the families of nursing home residents a number of important rights to enhance a loved one’s nursing home experience and improve facility-wide services and conditions. Key among these rights is the right to form and hold regular private meetings of an organized group called a family council. Family councils can play a crucial role in voicing concerns, requesting improvements, supporting new family members and residents, and supporting facility efforts to make care and life in the facility the best it can be. Join and support the family council at your loved one's facility! If no family council exists, join with other family members to form one. NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, has a great deal of information available on their website related to family councils, family council rights that are protected by federal law, regulations applying to long-term care facilities, effective council advocacy, and tools for forming an effective council. Visit www.nccnhr, and the Family Council Center: http://www.nccnhr.org/public/50_152_496.cfm to learn more about Family Councils.
NCCNHR (formerly the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1975 by Elma L. Holder to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of America’s long-term care residents.