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New From the Heinz Family Philanthropies: 10 Questions and Valuable Answers to Help Families Manage Long-Term Care


WASHINGTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New questions and valuable answers about helping families manage their long-term care are now available online at, the latest in the Heinz Family Philanthropies 10 Questions to Answer series designed to help families make the best long-term care decisions. Available today are ten questions and answers on how best to manage long-term care.

"We want to help people find reliable answers to some of the most difficult questions families face around long-term care," said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies. "And we want those answers to be accessible, easy to understand and even easier for them to find."

"These are difficult, emotional issues for families to face. The more they know, the better the choices they will make," said Jeffrey Lewis, President of the Heinz Family Philanthropies. "This is exactly why we started the Ten Questions to Answer campaign."

10 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER ABOUT LONG-TERM CARE series is part of the long standing Facts About project of the Heinz Family Philanthropies. The questions and answers are available online and will soon be available as laminated index cards that will be distributed to the public and to key public and private sector decision makers.

Today, the Heinz Family Philanthropies releases 10 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER... Managing Your Long-Term Care Services and Supports to Achieve Better Quality, offering information and insights into best to get the most from your long-term care provider.

Already available at are:

10 Questions to Answer Before You or a Your Loved One Needs Long-Term Care...

These questions examine long-term care options beyond nursing home care and,

10 Questions to Answer Before You or a Your Loved One Purchase Long-Term Care...

These questions look at the financial aspects of long-term care.

Ten Questions to Answer Before Choosing a Nursing or Assisted-Living Home for Your Loved One.

The Foundation for the Future of Aging (, is partnering with the Heinz Family Philanthropies on this project. Board chairman Jan Thayer said, "Every family wants help to ensure their loved one is receiving the highest quality of care. The Ten Questions to Answer series created by the Heinz Family Philanthropies provides, for the first time, a place for families to go, the resources to explore and the ultimately the comfort of knowing what to ask and why."

In 2002, the Heinz Family Philanthropies introduced its Facts About card series, aimed at providing decision-makers with up-to-date and dependable statistical information on many complex problems that our nation faces. Since the program's inception, more than 400,000 Facts About cards have been distributed to lawmakers, business professionals, civic leaders, community advocates, educators, union leaders, parents, and students.

The 10 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER website ( has released four fact sheets over the past four weeks and will release its final one next Wednesday.


Before Managing Your Long-Term Care Services and Supports to Achieve Better Quality

1. Did you know that obtaining long-term care services is just the beginning of your long-term care experience?

Fact: To optimize your long-term goals for choice and independence and to achieve the highest quality care, you should be educated and informed about how to "manage" those services continuously.

2. Have you documented and shared a list of your goals for an assisted living or nursing home?

Fact: "Independent living" is not about doing things by yourself; it is being in control of how things are done. This includes healthy self-management practices, seeking support services as needed, following your physician's plan for your care, and making sure your loved ones know your desires.

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3. Are you prepared to expect and receive "consumer-centered" care?

Fact: No matter the setting or service, your preferences and desires should be respected in the plan of care that results from your provider's personal assessment. Learn more from the NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care web page.

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4. If you have chosen to receive services in a nursing home, have you reviewed the annual state inspection report and spoken with the assigned "Ombudsman" at the facility you've chosen?

Fact: Reviewing inspection reports and talking with an Ombudsman in a nursing home or assisted living home can help you get you/your loved one's needs met in a high-quality manner. Also see "How to Choose a Nursing Home" on the Heinz Family web site.

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5. If you have chosen to stay home with supportive services, have you asked your providers who will monitor the services for effectiveness and quality?

Fact: If you are residing in a community setting with in-home care or community supports (e.g., transportation, adult day care, housework), it is important to know in advance who monitors these services and what procedures the service provider uses to evaluate their effectiveness, quality of care, and the process for making improvements.

6. Do you know whether or not the person who will provide you with personal services has a healthy and happy workplace environment?

Fact: Your high-quality care is dependent upon your "direct care worker" having adequate compensation, appropriate training, a reasonable workload, and respect from colleagues and clients. Learn more from the "Better Jobs Better Care" web site.

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7. Are you familiar with the "continuous quality improvement" (CQI) process?

Fact: The CQI process involves: a) collecting information, b) figuring out any problems, c) identifying strengths and weaknesses, d) taking action for improved performance, and e) tracking outcomes and starting the process over. Your involvement in this process will allow you to help your providers deliver appropriate, effective, and adequate services or products. You can learn more about this process from the National Association for Healthcare Quality.

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8. Are you aware of the importance of "catching someone doing something good?"

Fact: Catching someone doing something good, and saying so, establishes your credibility and fairness. Then, if you later need to ask that worker for a change to improve the quality of care, they are more likely to be open to your suggestions.

9. Have you established with your provider(s) what to do when you have asked for quality improvement from your direct care worker and the response has been unsatisfactory?

Fact: It is important to have a line of reporting or person to contact if you have concerns about the timeliness, respect, safety, appropriateness of services or other issues with the care you or your loved one are provided.

10. Do you and/or a loved one feel you need help managing your long-term care services and supports?

Fact: There are "care managers" all over the country in public and private settings who may be able to help. You can locate one by contacting your Area Agency on Aging or the Case Management Society of America.

Web resource:

Web resource:

    For More Information:
    Jeffrey Lewis
    President, Heinz Family Philanthropies
    703 403 9695

SOURCE Heinz Family Philanthropies
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