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Testimonials

In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

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VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

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President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

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U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human element...it’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

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Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

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Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

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U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

 

Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

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Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

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Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

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Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

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Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

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Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

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Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

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Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

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Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

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National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bill Nelson Offers Thanksgiving Message to Family Caregivers; Coauthors Op/Ed on the Importance of Long-Term Caregivers for the Future of Healthcare

November 27, 2013 10:20 AM

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Aging, recently offered a Thanksgiving Message to family caregivers around the country, recognizing their importance and the often-overlooked work they do. Senator Nelson also coauthored an op/ed with his colleague, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on the need for the Senate to address the challenges to, and increasing demand for, long-term care.

Senator Nelson’s full remarks for the record – including the text of his op/ed – are included below:

Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, with the Thanksgiving holiday, November is a time for many of us to enjoy time with our loved ones and reflect on our futures together. With so many family gatherings, many retirement experts also encourage us to use this time to talk with family about our long-term needs.
 
In addition to thinking about financial needs for retirement, it is important to also address our health as we age. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an individual turning 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care in the future, and 1 in 5 will need long-term care for more than 5 years. Conversations about long-term care and advance care planning can be understandably difficult, but they are necessary to ensure our loved ones receive the care they want if they are no longer able to speak for themselves.
 
Thinking about long-term care means recognizing the invaluable—but too often unrecognized—contributions made daily by family caregivers. Over 65 million Americans provide $450 billion worth of unpaid care every year, twice as much as homecare and nursing home services combined, and these numbers are increasing. More than one-half of family caregivers perform intensive activities such as bathing, feeding, and medication management. However, these services often come with a cost to the caregiver, such as financial burdens and a toll on physical and mental health.
 
As the chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, I want to help middleclass families struggling to provide necessary care for their loved ones. This year, the committee has examined the importance of advance care planning as well as why a majority of Americans have done little to no planning for future long-term care needs.

Next month, we will continue this series of hearings by looking at expert recommendations for reforming our long-term care system. Lastly, Senator BALDWIN and I penned a column in recognition of the critical need to address the long-term care inadequacies in this country, and I ask unanimous consent that a copy be printed in the RECORD following my remarks.
 
I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort. As our Nation continues to grow older, this problem will continue to grow worse, and the current system must change to meet these needs.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
 
[From The Hill, Oct. 29, 2013]
 
TIME HAS COME TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES OF LONG-TERM CARE
(By Sens. Bill Nelson and Tammy Baldwin)
 
As Congress embarks on a new venture to create a bipartisan budget that would strengthen the economic security of families and reduce the deficit without shortchanging our future, it’s our hope that both parties will also work together to find viable ways to help families pay for long-term care.
 
With the aging of the baby boomers, our country finds itself in the midst of one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in our history. And, as the aging population grows, so too will the long-term-care needs of many in our society.
 
Providing assistance to family members who can no longer care for themselves can be taxing for all involved.
 
In fact, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing last month to examine a myriad of challenges facing seniors today, and found many were unprepared.
 
So, later this year, we’re going to hold another hearing to see what we can do to help. Some of the things we’re going to look at include the possibility of expanding Medicare to cover long-term care, and other various ways to possibly make private long-term care coverage more affordable for those who need it.
 
Currently, about 12 million Americans have long-term-care needs—a number that’s rising rapidly. While most receive care from family and friends, an increasing number depend on costly in-home care or end up in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, where the median annual costs range from $40,000 to $80,000, respectively.
 
Most middle-class families in this country simply can’t afford the expense of providing long-term care for a loved one. And there are few viable options available to help them pay for the services they would need. Medicare and most traditional health insurance plans don’t cover long-term-care expenses. And while private long-term-care insurance is available, most people don’t have it because they see long-term care as something they’ll never need.
 
In fact, according to a recent study from the SCAN Foundation, most Americans have done little or nothing to prepare for their future long-term-care needs. This is despite research that shows that 70 percent of people 65 or older will eventually need some form of assistance.
 
Clearly, our current system of providing long-term care is unsustainable. And, that’s why we shouldn’t wait much longer to address it.

 

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