State cash to boost city nursing care

The Michigan Department of Community Health plans to announce today a $1.7 million investment into Detroit nursing homes to improve the quality and skills of the staff serving a population of low-income, minority residents with chronic and mental health issues.

The state funding will be disbursed over two years to the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, which has identified numerous problems with the city's nursing homes, such as substandard care, financial difficulties and likelihood of closures.

Of the $1.7 million, $350,000 will be used for enhanced training of certified nursing assistants to care for patients with complex needs through a partnership with SEIU Healthcare Michigan, said James McCurtis Jr., a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Mental Health Month

from Gerald Butler:


Mental Health Month

Letter to Consumers

In celebration of Mental Health Month we are asking consumers to dedicate this month to their own personal recovery. I am requesting that for the next 30 days we put the negativity in our lives on the back burner, and spend this month enjoying our recovery. This will be for only 30 days after which I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the better your recovery. We are asking for you to treat yourself with the respect and dignity you deserve. Following are just a few suggestions, as I know each one of you will have better ideas

Support your brothers and sisters in recovery, when they speak, hear them, as you would like to be heard for their daily struggles are the same as yours. Remain humble, but remember, due to your suffering, (the hotter the fire the purer the gold) you have earned the same respect as anyone else. Practice forgiving yourself, it becomes easier to forgive your brothers and sisters. As you learn to love yourself, so you learn to love others. If you make a mistake, apologize to those you may have harmed, but by all means, be sure to keep moving. Walk proud, with integrity and your head held high because not only have you survived but you have also chosen to help others and that makes you heroic.

If you are good on the computer, try a new program. If you’re an artist, try painting something you always wanted to paint. If you are a musician, songwriter, or singer, join the Recovery Band. If you are good at managing an office, maybe check into taking a course, or applying for a new job. Seek out leaders who believe in you. By devoting these next 30 days to doing whatever it is you do best, we can’t guarantee success. We can assure that by ‘Empowerment Day’, (the 30th of this month) you’ll feel better about yourself, and hopefully want to work harder towards your recovery.

Gerald Butler

Peer Support Specalist

DCW Calls for an End to Management-Sanctioned Discrimination

Licensed Nursing Assistant Patti Green just notified me about a strong piece she’s written about a widespread and little-discussed problem: racial discrimination against direct-care workers in long-term care and the role management plays in allowing it.

“Under the guise of resident/patient rights, aides of color are constantly victims of resident harassment and disrespect. Management bars these aides from caring for said residents - and this leads to resentment and bad morale among all the aides,” she writes in The Quiet Discrimination.

This is an issue that everyone who cares about the quality of direct-care jobs needs to be aware of. As Patti said in her email, this industry-wide pattern of discrimination is “an important issue and one more reason why many aides just leave the work.”

Leavitt: Bush would approve delay of two Medicaid regulations

The Bush administration would accept a moratorium on two of seven proposed Medicaid regulations, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said this week.

Speaking Tuesday, Leavitt said that the president would be willing to delay a rule on reimbursement for graduate medical education (GME) and a regulation curtailing the use intergovernmental transfers (IGT) to healthcare facilities, including nursing homes. The plan so far has the support of only 14 Republican senators, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. It would delay the GME and IGT rules until August, with a possibility of further delays until March 2009. The IGT regulation is considered one of the harshest regulations for nursing homes.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that not implementing the seven Medicaid rules could cost more than $42 billion to federal taxpayers over the next 10 years, according to BNA. Other reports, however, have shown that the seven rules, if imposed, would cost roughly $50 billion to the states over five years. A one-year moratorium on the seven rules has already passed the House with a veto-proof margin, though it is not clear if the Senate can accomplish a similar feat.

ADAPT's 10 best and worst

For Immediate Release
April 29, 2008

For information contact:
Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

ADAPT Announces 10 Best and Worst States for Community Services

Washington, D.C.--- In the plaza of the Hall of the States, ADAPT
announced the 2008 Ten Best and Ten Worst States in the delivery of home
and community services to people with disabilities and older Americans.
The Hall of States building is home to the National Governors Association,
an organization that has been very vocal in recent years about the
preference of community services over nursing homes and other
institutions, yet has not been able to inspire its own members to improve
their provision of those services.

Speakers representing states inB both the best and worst categories spoke
at the press conferenceB about the horrors of nursing home life and the
joys of living in the community in those states that provide good
community services. Randy Alexander from Tennessee ADAPT and LaTonya
Reeves from Colorado ADAPT also spoke of the
disability-underground-railroad that assists people in states without
community services to move to states where they can live quality lives in
their own homes with the supports and services they need.

The grouping of states into the top and bottom tenB was based on publicly
available data from highly respected researchers, supplemented by the
results of an informal survey widely distributed across the country by
ADAPT. As has so often been the case over the years, there were few
surprises. Many of the ten states doing the poorest job of providing
services that allow citizens to receive long term care in their own homes
in the community have been on the "worst" list over and over.

The states are listed alphabetically, not ranked numerically;

Alaska Colorado
Maine Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
New Hampshire
Rhode Island

New York

Arkansas Georgia Florida Illinois Indiana
North Dakota

District of Columbia
New Jersey

"No state is ideal, and no state is all bad in how it provides home and
community services," said Bob Kafka, ADAPT National Organizer. "This, as
always, is simply a snapshot based on current information from the Kaiser
Commission, the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the
University of Minnesota, Thomson Healthcare, and our survey. People are
welcome to email me at for more information."

# # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at

ADAPT in Washington

For Immediate Release May 1, 2008

For information contact:
Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

Disability Rights Advocates Challenge McCain and Republicans on Lack of
Support for Community Choice Act: McCain's Office Responds by Arresting
Over 40

Washington, D.C.--- ADAPT took over the offices of Sen. John McCain and
the Republican National Committee Tuesday, demanding support for the
Community Choice Act (S799, HR1621) from the only presidential candidate
who has thus far not signed on as a co-sponsor. What they got for their
efforts were arrests, excuses, and statements about how the National
Republican Committee doesn't have the power to call its own presidential
candidate to ask for a meeting.

"I don't get it," said Cassie James, an Organizer with ADAPT of
Pennsylvania, "Sen. McCain's website says 'There is no cause greater
than protection of human dignity.' We were at his office asking him to
partner with us to protect OUR human dignity by supporting legislation
that allows all older and disabled Americans to live in their own homes
instead of being forced into nursing homes where all dignity and personal
privacy are lost. This is not rocket science; it's basic human and civil

About 250 ADAPT activists filled Sen. McCain's office in the Russell
Senate Building and the halls just outside the office. A few blocks away
another 250 ADAPT activists stormed the offices of the Republican National
Committee (RNC), with 5 wheelchairs gaining entry, and the remainder
blocking all the doors and driveways. There was a nine hour standoff into
the night, during which the RNC staff refused access to the bathroom for
the ADAPT members who were in the building. The main ADAPT demand was that
the RNC assist to schedule a meeting with Sen. McCain where ADAPT
representatives could talk about support for the Community Choice Act. The
RNC staff repeatedly stated that they did not have the power to call their
candidate's campaign staff to ask for such a meeting.

"I find it very hard to believe that the organization that raises so much
of the funding for the presidential campaign can't talk to its own
candidate," said Randy Alexander, Tennessee ADAPT Organizer, who was
trapped inside the RNC building for nine hours and not allowed to use a
bathroom. "We weren't asking them to guarantee a meeting, just to pick up
the phone, call Sen. McCain, and try to get a meeting set up. Any person
on the street could make that call, yet they said they didn't have the
power to do that."

During the nine hours ADAPT spent trying to gain cooperation from the RNC,
many Congressional co-sponsors and supporters of the bi-partisan Community
Choice Act came by to personally meet some of the people affected by this
important legislation and to congratulate their efforts to get it passed.
The 500 ADAPT activists in Washington this week from nearly every state in
the union represent thousands more ADAPT members back home who don't have
the ability travel to the nation's capitol, a very expensive destination,
to make their voices heard. And those thousands of ADAPT members
nationally are only the tip of the disability voting bloc nationally, a
voting bloc that is currently feeling disrespected and ignored by Sen.
McCain and the Republican Party.

# # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at

Costs for long term care continue to rise

NEW YORK (AP) - The costs for long-term care have gone up for a fifth straight year.

Genworth Financial has found that charges for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and some in-home care services are up anywhere from 7 to 25% in the last five years.

The national average annual cost of a nursing home is more than $76,000, a 17% jump since 2004. The cost of assisted living facilities went up by 25%, from just under $29,000 to more than $36,000.

The study predicts that those fees will continue to rise because of a shortage of long-term care workers at a time when more baby boomers are reaching retirement.

ADAPT is in the House! 25th Anniversary of Activism Starts with

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2008

For information contact:
Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

ADAPT is in the House! 25th Anniversary of Activism Starts with
Fundraising Run; Press Conference on Tuesday

Washington, D.C.--- 500 bright orange vests lit the drizzly, grey
Washington, DC, day as ADAPT members from nearly every state in the Union
did fundraising laps around Upper Senate Park warming up for a week of
activism and the celebration of ADAPT's 25th anniversary. The funds raised
will support activists living on fixed disability and retirement incomes
to participate at ADAPT actions confronting the people in power who make
policy and law about their lives.

The national honorary runner for the fundraiser was Marca Bristo, award
winning President and CEO of Access Living in Chicago, IL; a founder and
former President of the National Council on Independent Living; and a
former Chairperson of the National Council on Disability, appointed by
President Bill Clinton. Donors interested in sponsoring Bristo's laps can
still do so at .

ADAPT is in D.C. to advance the Community Choice Act (CCA), legislation
that would allow older and disabled people to stay in their own homes with
the supports and services they need instead of being forced into nursing
homes and other institutions. The CCA (S. 799, H.R. 1621) is bipartisan
legislation introduced simultaneously in the United States Senate and
House of Representatives. ADAPT activities this week will target people
and organizations that continue to create barriers preventing people with
disabilities from living full, rich lives in their own homes and
communities, near their families and friends.

On Tuesday, April 29, ADAPT will also hold a press conference announcing
the country's "Ten Worst" and "Ten Best" states for community-based
services. There will be an additional five "honorable" mentions for the
best states and five "dishonorable" mentions for the worst states. ADAPT's
"Ten Worst" and "Ten Best" are announced every few years and represent a
"snapshot" of how the states compare with one another in that year. All
selections are made using easily available data from trusted public
sources of information and one national survey.

ADAPT will conclude a week of activism with a 25th anniversary celebration on
Thursday, May 1. Several rooms of historical displays will be open to the
public at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, starting at 10 a.m.

# # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at


*Our man Teddy is holding the big yellow/white umbrella. -s

500 ADAPT disability activists from the county surround the US Department of Health & Human Services in the pouring rain. They demonstrate in support of the thousands of people with disabilities and older Americans who continue to be unnecessarily forced into and kept in nursing homes and other institutions because of the inaction and development of barrier-ridden regulations by HHS and the Bush Administration.

Keep up to date on what is happening:

Photo: Under yellow & white umbrella is Teddy Fitzmaurice. 7873 Woodingham, West Bloomfield, MI
Susan Fitzmaurice

Disabled Soapbox - everything I do under 1 roof!

Teddy's Ts - Messages of Empowerment

In-Home Health Care Via Wireless Networks, NSF Awards $1.5M For Study

Rice University, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Technology For All (TFA) have received a $1.5 million federal grant for research in east Houston that will examine ways to provide novel, low-cost, personalized health monitoring to people with chronic diseases living in working-class communities.

The researchers plan to examine how patients with chronic diseases use inexpensive handheld wireless monitoring devices called Blue Boxes, to participate actively in their own medical treatment. The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will pay for the development and testing of the Blue Boxes and the wireless broadband network that will connect the devices to a central source for analysis.