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What do YOU think?
Articles, Writings and Testimony
Project Old Faithful
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Animal Assisted Therapy
Facing a Discharge?

This is the "unofficial" website for the Harris County Long Term Care Volunteer Ombudsmen

Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements to the long term care system.  An Ombudsman can assist you with finding a facility, what to do to get quality care and assist with complaints.
Looking for the "Official" website?  Look here

Links for information on new voter id law

Looking to get an ID for someone who is unable to travel to the local DPS office?  Can't get anyone to answer the phone at the local DPS office?


Call 512-424-2600 during normal business hours.


Here is the website:  DPS Customer Service

Did you know.......
To become a Nurse Aid to work in a nursing home requires 75 hours of training Diamonds 1 Diamonds 1
To become a Dog Groomer requires 480 hours of training Diamonds 1

Evaluation of Personal Attendant Training Programs in Texas Diamonds 1
The data is old, but the problems are very current
In Praise of Nursing Homes:
  Much has been said and written about the nursing home care situation. Much legislation is passed.
  Yet, the perception persists: "I would rather die than go into a nursing home."
Nursing homes are a community resource, paid mostly by taxpayers dollars. The laws, rules, and oversight is done in a mixed system: politically corrupt  and workers who want to do a good job but are intimidated to be passive, not make waves.
  The answer really is simple. By law every nursing facility can have a resident council and a family council. The resident council isn't really effective because most patients/residents are so sick they can't function with daily living.
   The family council (should be called Community Council) has potential to resolve concerns. It should be composed of community persons, retired alert caring persons in the community of which there are many. Also to be involved are persons who visit the nursing home looking out for their loved ones.
  80 (R) SB 131 spells out the clout family councils have. They could network with the facility management, with the Ombudsman agency, the Department of Aged/Disabled, and the legislators in the district where the facility is located.
   A person with a concern could come to a monthly meeting of the family council, or email their concern to the administrator with a cc to the Ombudsman and Family Council for their involvement. No longer would they be alone with their concern or have to wait a long time for an investigation where only 10% of concerns are substantiated.
This is a community call to action.

Read more comments by Sam Perlin, a person who has many years of experience dealing with nursing homes as a consumer and an advocate.

Click here to view Sam Perlin's page


I was told the following by a nursing home area supervisor:

The web site Nursing Home Compare is in the process of being eliminated. 
There is a quota where the Feds allow only a certain number of stars for each category.  Like a quota for 5 stars, 4, 3,2,1.  According to him  a 1 star facility is more likely because of the quota rather than the problems at the facility.

Is there any credence to what he says?

Red Arrow 8

Read the Answer

From the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform--Washington, D.C., (now called The Consumer Voice)

The answer to your question is no.

Nursing Home Compare is not being eliminated. It is being improved considerably by the passage of the health reform law. Next year, people will be able to find a lot more information about a nursing home on Nursing Home Compare—who the owners and managers are; the number and type of complaints filed against it; how its expenses are distributed between care and administration. In addition, consumers will be able to link to  survey reports online and read exactly what surveyors recorded about each of its deficiencies. And in a few years, there will be accurate information about the ratio of direct care staff to residents on the website and what the facility’s turnover and retention rates are.
The Five Star Rating System is not being eliminated either, although the quality measures are being dropped from it temporarily because the resident assessment data is changing this fall. He is right that facilities are ranked according to a curve, but a 1-star facility is at the bottom of the heap any way you slice it. Only difference is, if the curve system were eliminated, a lot more nursing homes would fall to the bottom.

Nursing Home Licensure Handbook
Have you ever wondered what the duties and responsibilites of a nursing home are?  Here is the link to the Licensure and Certification Handbook from Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.  These rules are to protect the residents and family from misinformation and intimidation.
49% of nursing homes in Harris County that accept Medicare are rated "Below Average" or "Much Below Average" by
This site is dedicated to resources that are available to improve the quality of life for residents of long term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, retirement centers, or group homes.
The information presented here is specifically for residents of Harris County, Texas.  As information for other locations becomes available, it will also be posted.

The Silver Eagles and Project: Old Faithful
A Silver Eagle is generally someone over 65 who has problems with access to a ballot because of transportation, impairments or lack of information such as how to register to vote or when and where to vote.
"Project: Old Faithful" will focus on educating these Silver Eagles, their families, and facility staff in how they can cast a ballot.

Family Circa 1950

Advocating for the rights of residents in long term care facilities

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