Advocacy Facilities Home and Community Based News

How to better care for our elderly and frail

Crisis of Care for Older Adults should be a Call to Action, not a Plea for More Tax Dollars.

By Paul Lanzikos, Arlene Germain, Richard Moore, Lachlan Forrow. MD

Boston Globe, December 23, 2022

The seriousness of our nursing home crisis, especially the severe shortages of available nursing and other support staff, is undeniable (“At a Tewksbury nursing home, labor shortage reveals an industry in distress, Globe 12/17/2022).  

We also agree fundamental structural change is essential: more nursing instructors; caregiver career ladder training opportunities; and greater support for immigrants to care for the expected growth in the elder population.  Instead of pouring more tax dollars into an antiquated nursing home system, we must prioritize home and community-based services, which the vast majority of people prefer.  

The transformational action plan promoted by Dignity Alliance Massachusetts has six major components:

  1. Nursing home ownership transparency.
  2. Nursing home financial accountability.
  3. Home and community-based services expansion.
  4. Direct care workforce development and livable compensation.
  5. Number of nursing homes reduced  and single occupancy rooms increased.
  6. Secretary of Elder Affairs restored to a Cabinet position reporting directly to the Governor. 

As the nursing home industry’s Tara Gregorio expressed so clearly, “There is no greater purpose than taking care of our elderly and frail.” Advocates, including Dignity Alliance Massachusetts, are in full agreement!

The incoming Healey-Driscoll Administration has the opportunity to lead the Commonwealth to such greatness.

The authors, former Secretary of Elder Affairs Paul J. Lanzikos, former Executive Director of Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Arlene Germain, former State Senator Richard T. Moore, and Dr. Lachlan Forrow are among the leaders of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts.

Read how to better care for our elders in the Boston Globe