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Letter to Governors and House Members Who Oppose CMS's Proposed Minimum Staffing Standards

Families of long-term care residents have far fewer options to be heard than industry representatives because we are not lobbyists and don't aspire to be. We are caregivers. We did not choose to take on legislative issues but here we are and while we have a learning curve, we should not be underestimated.

Our group of families was formed out of necessity when we were locked out of facilities and unable to see our loved ones. Our one and only task was making sure residents were not wholly deprived of their 24/7 right to access in-person visitation. Texas understands that families supplement the historic shortage of staff that was exacerbated by COVID-19. At least, that's what I thought until Governor Abbott signed on to that "Dia de los Muertos letter" this week. (I called it that because it was written on Nov 1, the Day of the Dead - appropriate if there aren't enough staff to keep residents alive, don't ya think?)

As caregivers continue to stand in the gap of short-staffed facilites - bathing, feeding, and even dispensing medications to our loved ones - we simply are not big enough and may never be loud enough to be heard. But, we are Texas Caregivers for Compromise and we are #notgoingaway.

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