March 13, 2021
One year since the day residents in long-term care facilities lost free and unrestricted access to the people in their lives they hold dear. We did not let this day pass without reminding the public and our elected officials that "Isolation Kills, Too!"
Texas Caregivers for Compromise Day at the Capitol of Texas
Several group members met with legislators during the week and testified before the House Human Services Committee and Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on bills that would make essential caregivers a statutory right and call for a constitutional amendment to make them an inalienable right..
Air Advertising Campaign
Our traveling signs were a success in 2020 so we also flew the ultimate traveling sign over the Capitol of Texas on March 12, 2021. A 25 foot by 50 foot logo banner of our "Isolation Kills, Too!" sign with trailing letters reminded the public and our elected officials that people in long-term care have gone a year with their basic state, federal, and human rights abridged and denied. Meanwhile, our yellow signs were used for advocacy in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.
Texas Caregivers for Compromise participated in a national webinar with Caregivers for Compromise groups nationwide, The Essential Caregivers Coalition, and FACE for Seniors New Jersey on March 10, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. CST. "FAMILY CAREGIVING, RESIDENTS’ RIGHTS, AND VISITATION GUIDANCE" with feature speakers:
Dr. Candace Kemp, Professor at Georgia State University and Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America
Toby Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy
Evan Shulman, Director for the Division of Nursing Homes in the Quality, Safety and Oversight Group within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
The webinar was moderated by Bill Borrelle, founder of FACE (Family Advocate Care Experience). Attendance is open to anyone. Click here for more details.
Evan Shulman was unable to attend at the last minute due to a pressing issue which we now know was the release of new CMS visitation guidance on March 10, 20021.
Yellow Envelope Campaign
Texas Caregivers for Compromise has been writing CMS, elected officials, and Texas HHSC but in conjunction with other Caregivers for Compromise groups across the nation, we sent hundreds of additional letters out the week prior to March 13, 2021 in bright yellow envelopes to call attention to continued separation of residents in long-term care facilities. Since some of our concerns were addressed in the March 10 guidance issued by CMS, we like to think our efforts were instrumental in some way.
To call Awareness at a national level to the continuation of the quarantine and isolation of long-term care residents, Caregivers for Compromise groups across the nation used an "Isolation Kills, Too" Facebook frame and changed our profile pics to an "Isolation Kills, Too!" graphic the week preceding March 13. In addition, all Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts were tagged #isolationkillstoo!
"Isolation Kills, Too!" Lapel Pins
These pins have gone out to all 51 state senators and all 150 house representatives in Texas. It is our hope that they will not end up in a drawer but will be a poignant reminder that family relationships are a fundamental human right and separation of families for one year is beyond excessive. These same pins were mailed to many of the Caregivers for Compromise groups in other states to share with their policy leaders and elected officials.
March 8th through March 13th, group members emailed their representatives, CMS, Texas HHSC, and media contacts to remind them that one year is far too long to deny any population of people their state and federally guaranteed rights. There were email blasts in at least 12 other states as well.
Texas Caregivers for Compromise YouTube Channel
Texas Caregivers for Compromise recently launched a YouTube channel in an effort to share advocacy programs with other groups that are working to call attention to the anniversary of the destruction of the family unit in long-term care and denial of rights that are protected by the admittance of visitors.