From Nursing Home Tragedy to Nursing Home Resident Advocate

May 26, 2022
Hosted by Phyllis Ayman, MS/SLP, CDP, CADDCT, CDCM, CMDCP

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Guest Information

Episode Description

The story that led Martha Deaver to become an advocate for nursing home residents is, like many others, rooted in a terrible experience with 2 nursing homes in Little Rock Arkansas where her mother and mother-in=law were residents. The story is both tragic but, unfortunately, all too familiar. She ultimately shared the horrific story with a journalist who published it in Ladies Home Journal. She went on to supply detailed information and data to the director of an organization that provides information on health care issues to Consumer Reports. This resulted in Consumer Reports publishing one of the most in-depth looks at America's nursing homes to date entitled: The Crisis in America's Nursing Homes. Mrs. Deaver talks about what she knows about the failure of the nursing home industry, nursing home tragedies and ills that have been known by Federal Government agencies for decades. As a matter of fact, she has been an adviser to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). She explains how after her extensive investigative work with nursing home complaints, at her insistence they were added to the website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services so that people seeking information about nursing homes would be able to see beyond the annual nursing home oversight survey to find more information about complaints lodged against them. In 2013 she worked with Jeff Lowenstein with the Centers for Public Integrity on a 2 year project where data from every nursing home in the country became the basis of the largest in-depth investigation into the importance of adequate staffing in our nations nursing homes. She's been recognized by the Governor of Arkansas, who said,, “She is an advocate in the best sense of the word, tirelessly supporting and defending others.” and was honored by RBI director Robert Mueller III, with the 2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for the state of Arkansas. Mrs. Deaver's passion is palpable. You can hear it as she speaks about the unspeakable tragedies experienced by U.S. Nursing Home Residents. Mrs. Deaver is not only seeking to find out and call out the negative, but seeks to find the positive in the health care workers that provide the direct care to resident. She created the AANHR's first national Nursing Assistant Recognition Award to recognize nursing assistants from across the state of Arkansas. She also developed the first program acknowledging National Residents Rights Week and has chaired both events for the past five years. Today, Mrs. Deaver is the president of the Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents (AANHR), an organization dedicated to protecting residents in nursing homes from abuse and seeking prosecution for those who victimize nursing home residents.

Seniors STRAIGHT Talk

New Shows Weekly on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

Seniors STRAIGHT Talk, formerly Voices For Eldercare Advocacy, is rebranding with expanded content and topics. The podcast will continue to highlight the all-important relevant issues for seniors, their families, loved ones and the population at large, who ultimately are our future selves. Through informative and engaging conversations with thought leaders, professionals, and individuals who share their experiences, listeners will gain insights and information that will be meaningful for their everyday lives. Phyllis’ expertise captures the essence of the topic of the day and translates it into relevant discussion that provides insight into everyday problems. As we transition into elderhood, which Phyllis calls the third act of life, seniors are entitled to have a quality and fulfilling life with dignity, respect and purpose no matter the age, condition or living environment. Seniors STRAIGHT Talk is available to listen and download on all your favorite podcast platforms.


Phyllis Ayman, host of Seniors Straight Talk, is a speech and language pathologist, certified dementia practitioner, trainer, and best-selling author who’s dedicated to improving quality life and quality care for older adults in our families, communities and nursing home residents. She’s best known for her communication skills, empathy, unwavering high standards, and believes strongly that care treatment of older adults is a direct reflection of society’s attitudes towards adults the elder years of their lives. She’s passionate about meeting the needs of our culturally diverse senior population and understands the root causes faced by nursing home residents after working in 50 nursing homes. Phyllis is passionate about teaching what she learned from helping your parents to how she can help you. Phyllis is an accomplished author and featured speaker and an accomplished trainer for both the public and private sector. Her latest book Dignity and Respect: Are Our Aging Parents Getting What They Deserve? became an instant Amazon bestseller. She’s published several articles and courses for healthcare workers and caregivers and holds a trademark for the word “IMpathy” (tm).

Phyllis serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, is an advisory board member to Olive Community Services based in Los Angeles, California and served as a member of the COVID19 National Health Care Coalition.

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