The heat is on in DC, and I don’t just mean the temperature. I just got back from a trip to our nation’s capitol where I met up with an industry colleague from our national home medical equipment trade association, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare). This group works with legislators and agencies to educate and advocate for your right to receive homecare services from quality home medical equipment providers. As you can imagine, the Hill is abuzz right now with the debt debate, health care reform, and many other serious, consequential issues. Unfortunately, when such major agendas preoccupy media and the leadership’s attention, smaller (but important) issues like homecare often don’t make it to the table for discussion.
Whether you watch CNN, Fox News, or just tune it out completely, odds are your life is directly impacted from homecare if you’re reading this blog. And regardless of party politics, you know better than anyone why homecare matters and how it impacts one’s quality of life. It’s a nonpartisan issue. But does the government truly understand? Are they in touch with your daily life and what it means to need homecare services for yourself or a loved one? All too often, people’s lives are lost in the statistics and reports. 73% of seniors prefer to stay in their home for the rest of their lives. 64% of homecare beneficiaries are women. But until they see a face–until they know that Margaret Davis in Johnson City is affected, they just can’t hear the message over all of the other noise pollution out there.
So what are we to do?
It’s time that we made some noise of our own. It’s time that we rattled those phones in our representatives’ offices and told them that having access to homecare is a very important issue as their constituent. It’s time we met with elected officials and told them our personal stories about how homecare has impacted our lives and the lives of those we love. It’s time we brought attention to this much needed segment of health care and made those in DC take note.
There is growing momentum in a national grassroots homecare advocacy campaign called Stand Up for Homecare. Thousands of people who work in the homecare field have thrown their support behind this effort, as have their patients, customers, and families. The owner of our company, Randy, chairs this group and has an ask for each of us:
We believe in homecare, right? So let’s show it in a way they finally will see it.
- Call your congressional representative in Washington and tell him/her that their continued cuts to homecare benefits and radical reduction in providers could very easily cause you to end up in a nursing home and hinder your ability to live independently in your own home. Tell them your story, what you deal with every day, and how important homecare is to your daily life.
- Share your homecare story with your local state representative, mayor, and city council members. Let them know how hard your days are and how easy it would be for you to lose your battle to stay home and care for yourself in your own community if the federal government continues to reduce your access to products and services, and continues to put local community homecare providers you depend on out of business.
- Contact your homecare equipment provider or home health agency and let them know you are concerned and want to know exactly what cuts and reductions are about to take place with your Medicare homecare benefit. Ask them to show you what is about to happen in Washington that is going to affect you so you can prepare for it while at the same time you try to prevent it.
These three simple steps are an easy way to help raise awareness of homecare and ensure that your priority to have access to and choice of quality homecare providers is heard by those whose decisions will impact your daily life. If you’d like more information on how you can get involved, e-mail me at advocate(at)lambertshc.com.
It’s time to stand up for homecare.
::AWP::“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” — Woodrow Wilson