Who says you can't make a difference? Two Effective NH Advocates

July 29, 2022
Hosted by Phyllis Ayman, MS/SLP, CDP, CADDCT, CDCM, CMDCP

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Episode Description

When Dr. Mike Wasserman proposed a conversation with Martha Deaver on SeniorsSTRAIGHTTalk I jumped on the idea. What a treat!!!! A lively conversation between Dr. Mike Wasserman and Martha Deaver, both of whom have been guests on SeniorsSTRAIGHTTalk in the past. They are two of the most outspoken and effective advocates for improving our nations nursing homes: an industry plagued with reports of substandard care for the over one million residents residing in the over 15,000 U.S. Nursing Homes. Having them together was a conversation you won't want to miss. 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. Dr. Mike Wasserman has achieved a sort of celebrity status over the past two years. His passion for what he saw as the tragedy of how COVID 19 ravaged nursing homes gnawed at his insides and his Twitter finger. From then until now he hasn't stopped speaking out about the inequality and injustices in treatment and care of nursing home residents and healthcare workers. This has gained him national recognition. He's taken his advocacy to the steps of the government, working with our nations legislators and is respected voice with selected individuals at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Mrs. Deaver talks about what she knows about the failure of the nursing home industry, and the many nursing home tragedies she hears about every day from the many families who seek out her wise counsel. These 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. While investigative reporters continue to pursue and report on nursing home ills, and leaders and advocacy groups continue to push for the necessary legislative changes that lead to reform, change in how nursing homes deliver care is slow going. Nevertheless, Martha Deaver and Mike Wasserman keep pushing. They remain vocal and committed to change. As we all know, even small changes can make a big difference. ` But they are not stopping with small changes. They relentlessly call out, fight for, knock on every door, and talk to every person in the position for effecting change in order to make nursing homes the living environment that should and can be!!!!! .

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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