— Texas ranks 35th when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, and AARP warns more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to meet changing demographic demands. Specific areas of concern in Texas include the percent of high-risk nursing home residents with pressure sores, as well as the percent of nursing home residents who are inappropriately receiving an antipsychotic medication. This, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state Scorecard from AARP with support …

— ** High-Priority Nursing Home Quality Legislation Approved ** Older Texans have cause to celebrate several major accomplishments of the 2017 Texas regular legislative session. In the final hours of the session, lawmakers approved a top priority for AARP Texas – major nursing home quality reforms that seek to hold operators of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities more accountable when they have been found to have done harm to their residents. This session, Texas lawmakers also approved numerous AARP-backed …

— Texas lawmakers today finalized a measure that gives important new rights to millions of unpaid family caregivers. A priority for AARP, House Bill 2425 (companion to Senate Bill 1417) would help Texans when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The legislation goes next to the governor’s desk. The measure would ensure hospital patients’ designated family caregivers are offered instruction in providing needed care at home. The measure is vital because unpaid family caregivers often …

— In Texas alone, there are more than 3.4 million unpaid family caregivers, many of whom provide complex medical and nursing tasks for their loved ones, and sometimes without adequate explanation or training. It’s not unusual for their tasks to include managing multiple medications, providing wound care, overseeing special diets, and operating high-tech medical equipment and monitors. Glenn Weaver of Flower Mound has been the caregiver for his wife, Aggie, since 1997, when she had two strokes that left her without …

— With the scheduled end of the 2017 Texas legislative session approaching, AARP continues to fight for passage of several bills that aim to improve nursing home quality, ease the stress of family caregivers, protect older Texans from financial exploitation, and help consumers avoid and respond to surprise medical charges. Here’s a brief overview of some of the issues the AARP Texas team is working on at the state Capitol: Nursing Home Quality and Safety: Texans deserve quality care that ensures …

— Alicia Buescher, 64, of Fort Worth has been a nurse practitioner for over 30 years. She’s had a passion for nursing since the age of 16 when she volunteered at a local children’s hospital. “Not everybody knows what they want to do, but I did,” she said. Alicia’s mother-in-law lives in Columbus, a small town between Houston and Austin. On the way to visit her recently, Alicia couldn’t help but notice the lack of medical resources. “The people in these …

— The Texas Senate took a pivotal step toward improving the quality of care in Texas nursing facilities on Wednesday by unanimously approving Senate Bill 932, which seeks to hold nursing home operators accountable for harming residents. Senate Bill 932 — sponsored by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) — was approved on a 31-0 vote and now heads to the Texas House of Representatives. The bill revises the state’s “Right to Correct” law to make it more difficult for serious violations of …

— A bill filed this week in the Texas Senate would ensure that Texans taking care of a loved one released from a hospital or rehabilitation facility would receive caregiver information and training. Senate Bill 1417 by Texas Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) would guarantee that family caregivers receive consultation in medical tasks, such as how to dress a wound or administer medications, to ensure that they can safely provide care when their loved ones return home. Known as the CARE Act, …

— Texas Appleseed and AARP today released five “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides, a toolkit for financial caregivers in Texas who manage money or property for those unable to do so for themselves. This interactive series of guides, in English and Spanish, is available in print and online at www.ProtectTheirMoneyTx.org. Nearly 3.5 million unpaid family caregivers in Texas provide a great labor of love by helping their parents, spouses and others manage their financial affairs – but they often lack the …

— Nursing homes in Texas are escaping accountability for hurting residents and jeopardizing their health, according to a new report by AARP Texas. The report, “Intolerable Care: A snapshot of the Texas nursing home quality crisis,” finds that the quality of roughly 1,200 nursing facilities where 93,000 Texans reside, is shamefully poor and worse than what exists in most other states. It identifies numerous, long-standing, and severe problems that can be rectified with stronger state enforcement powers. AARP Texas Director Bob …