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Advocates Make Mother's Day Push for Quality Care

Monday, May 12, 2008 General News J E 4
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Leafleting ManorCare Facilities, Caregivers Call for Better Care, Better Regulation



WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Families visiting their loved ones at more than ninety ManorCare nursing homes in sixteen states across the nation this Mother's Day will receive a carnation and a call to action from quality care advocates. The effort asks family members to call Carlyle co-founder and Managing Director David Rubenstein to demand better care. In addition, families will be urged to call their Senators to request Congress take action to protect all nursing home residents.



"Many of these family members coming to visit don't know that their mom's nursing home was bought out, and that they can make a difference to make mom's home better," said Erica McDuffie, a quality care advocate with SEIU.



Carlyle, one of the nation's largest private equity funds, purchased ManorCare nursing homes last December amidst promises of quality care, training for caregivers, and sufficient staffing, but, since the buyout, it seems they may not be keeping all of those promises. Some homes have had sharp increases in the number of care deficiencies since being acquired, one home is now on a provisional operating license after a resident's death, and caregivers working for better benefits and a fully-funded training program are fighting sharp company opposition.



The campaign led by the caregivers of SEIU Healthcare, the nation's largest nursing home workers' union, is asking Carlyle's billionaire co-founder to make patient care a first priority at ManorCare by investing in front-line staff. Because Rubenstein is still resisting efforts, advocates are taking their case to Capitol Hill.



In an effort to address outdated nursing home regulations, advocates are supporting U.S. Senate Bill 2641, the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act. The bill would prevent companies like Carlyle from setting up multi-layered entities that make it difficult to determine who is really responsible for care and would prohibit the separation of real estate holdings from nursing home operations, which companies do to shield key property assets from liability for care problems. The Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act would take steps toward closing these loopholes, requiring companies to show who is ultimately responsible for care.



Caregivers will be at nursing homes in twelve states during brunch hour this Sunday, May 11.



SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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