Seniors and their families to speak out in support of funding for quality care

  • QVHC staff members will be among those from nursing homes across the Commonwealth who will attend the annual Advocacy Day at the State House in Boston. contributed photo

Published: 5/3/2019 9:50:30 PM
Modified: 5/3/2019 9:50:15 PM

ATHOL — Quabbin Valley Healthcare (QVHC) is planning to take a group of North Quabbin-area seniors to the State House in Boston to make their voices heard regarding appropriate funding levels for quality nursing home care.

On Tuesday, May 21, at 10 a.m., the Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation will be joining representatives from the 400 nursing homes across the Commonwealth for their annual Advocacy Day. QVHC will be there, and they are looking for area seniors and their family members to join their efforts. “This event is vitally important,” said Michael Kachadoorian, QVHC’s assistant administrator. “The more people we have behind us, supporting us, the stronger our message will be. This is such an important issue, not only for QVHC and the other nursing homes in Massachusetts, but also for the approximately 40,000 patients and residents who are living in, or receiving short-term rehab at, those nursing homes.”

According to Massachusetts Senior Care Association data, two thirds of residents living in nursing homes rely on the state’s MassHealth program to pay for their care. But MassHealth currently pays $38 a day less than the cost of the care provided. That payment shortfall for that many residents has a negative effect on every facility’s ability to offer quality care and ensure a stable and qualified workforce. “Appropriate funding would help close that shortfall,” Kachadoorian added. “That would enable buildings to remain operational and provide the necessary financial resources to ensure that high quality care remains intact, small physical plant improvements can be made, equipment is purchased, social events and activities are optimal, and that staff is paid a fair wage. We are asking for the community to help get this message across to our elected officials by accompanying us to this event.”

To encourage people to participate in Advocacy Day, QVHC will provide bus transportation to the State House for up to 50 people. And to make the trip fun participants will play Bingo on the bus. There will be four games with QVHC paying out$100 prize each game, and multiple games with smaller cash prizes and some scratch tickets. Free breakfast, lunch and snacks will be served on the bus.

Those interested in attending are asked to call QVHC at 978-249-3717 by May 11 to reserve a seat on the bus. The bus will leave from QVHC at 7:30 a.m. sharp. Participants will have to pass through security at the State House, so plan accordingly. You will be escorted to the Grand Staircase for the rally, and you will visit your local senators and state representatives with QVHC staff after the rally in a show of support for appropriate funding for quality nursing home care. The bus back to Athol will leave Boston at approximately 1:30 p.m.

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