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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

Report: Caregivers Need Help, Too

September 30, 2016 02:34 PM

The health and well-being of millions of older Americans is at risk unless the United States does more to help family caregivers who sacrifice their time and money to look after their loved ones, according to a new report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Describing caregiving as “a critical issue of public policy,” a committee of experts in health care and aging urged the next administration to swiftly offer more support to elderly patients and their caregivers as the population continues to age and shrinking families come under increasing strain, says the report. The panel of experts believes the Department of Health and Human Services should lead this effort by developing a national strategy with other federal agencies to assist the health care system and provide workplace support for family caregivers.

The report urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement provider payment reforms to ensure family caregivers are identified and supported. The report also recommends that the various states create their own family caregiver support programs.

NAHC supports the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3099), which has already passed the Senate and has 124 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would:

  • Implement the federal Commission on Long-Term Care’s bipartisan recommendation that Congress require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers.
  • Create an advisory body to bring together relevant federal agencies and others from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations.
  • Identify specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers and be updated annually.

The legislation is based on a recommendation by the bipartisan Commission on Long-Term Care to develop a national plan to support family caregivers.

People who assist family members with three or more personal tasks a day devote 253 hours per month to caregiving, which is almost the equivalent of two full-time jobs. For many, taking on that responsibility means sacrificing time, pay and promotions at work, as well as simply dropping out of the workforce altogether. People 50 years and older who stop working to care for a parent, for example, lose an average of $303,880 over their lifetimes, according to the report. That can also lead to reduced Social Security benefits for those caregivers when they become eligible.

Beyond the purely economic sacrifices made by family caregivers, there is a physical and psychological toll, as well. “If their needs are not recognized and addressed, family caregivers risk burnout from the prolonged distress and physical demands of caregiving and the nation will bear the costs,” reads the report. Family caregivers exhibit increased rates of depression, anxiety and emotional difficulties, the report found.

Leave programs exist for family caregivers, but millions of Americans lack job protections in such circumstances. The Family and Medical Leave Act covers only 60 percent of the workforce and it only applies to those who work for federal, state and local governments and private companies with more than 50 employees. But even if they can get the leave, many family caregivers cannot afford to forego 12 weeks of pay.

Certainly, one possible fix is greater use of home care services, which allow elderly patients to stay in their homes, avoid expensive hospitalizations and provides assistance and crucial expertise to family caregivers. Dealing with complicated and confusing medical devices can cause stress, with many family caregivers “learning by trial and error and fearing that they will make a life-threatening mistake,” according to the report.

The report recommends more “family-centered” care models, including checking with caregivers to ensure they are well and capable, as well as wellness visits and counseling sessions.

 

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