Monday, March 20th at Autumn Lake at New Britain, nursing home workers, residents, administrators and elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, came together in a “Staff-In Day” to advocate for federal and state policy advancements in direct care staffing, resources and Medicaid funding.
“I am very proud of the work we do. It’s hard work, but it brings us pure joy. But there is a fundamental problem that every nursing home is having across our nation: the number of staff funded and required by law is barely enough to meet residents’ basic needs. As a nation, we’re not giving the elderly the quality of life they deserve and it takes a heavy toll on all of us: caregivers, administrators and residents,” said Verna Redwood, a certified nursing assistant at Autumn Lake at New Britain for the past 25 years. “We’re exhausted. We are often emotionally and physically drained. And even though we have the number of staff the state requires, our residents aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Something has to change. Now we see an opportunity to boost the level of care in our nursing homes so we aren’t just checking boxes but addressing the quality of life for our elderly and our caregivers alike.”
In partnership with frontline union workers, Autumn Lake at New Britain will count with staffing ratios well above legal minimum requirements during Monday’s “Staff-In Day”. Additional caregivers who are off duty will volunteer their hours and get to work to show the positive impact on the quality of life of nursing home residents when higher staffing ratios are employed.
“At Autumn Lake Healthcare at New Britain, we pride ourselves in providing the best quality of care to our residents. Staffing plays an intricate role in ensuring that our residents are taken care of. We have built wonderful relationships with our staff as well as our residents and their families. While we pride ourselves on the outstanding quality of care that our staff provide, additional funding would certainly go a long way to enhance the lives of our residents. We want our residents to feel safe, happy and have the most fulfilling life possible in their home,” said Joshua Schechter, facility administrator.
“Nursing home staff across the industry are overworked and frustrated in the aftermath of the COVID crisis. The workers who provide critical services to our friends and family members deserve respect and better hours. Inadequate staffing levels harm both the dedicated professionals who are trying to provide the best care possible, and the patients. Health care workers shouldn’t have to worry about whether they have enough support on their shift to safely care for their patients and I am proud to stand with SEIU 1199 and the dedicated nursing home workers today,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
SEIU District 1199NE, the New England Health Care Employees Union, represents over 25,000 caregivers in Connecticut and some 4,000 in Rhode Island. Historically known as “1199” going back to the Civil Rights Movement, we are a bold, democratic Union with a long activist tradition fighting for racial and economic justice to improve the lives of Black, Latina, Native American, APII, and white working-class communities.
What: Nursing home workers “Staff-In” Day including media opportunity to speak with staff, administrators and residents inside the facility
When: Monday, March 20, 2023, at 11:00 AM
Where: Autumn Lake at New Britain; 400 Brittany Farms Rd, New Britain
Who: SEIU District 1199 New England nursing home workers, nursing home residents,
nursing home administrators, union leaders, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal,
community partners, and other elected officials
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