Pajama Drive Kickoff

Our annual Pajama Drive was officially kicked off with an event at Parkview Field that featured food, music and pajama contests. We were excited to see so many fabulous faces and collect pajamas. Special thanks to the many folks that made this event possible and to the media that covered the event.

Pajamas will continue to be collected through the end of April.

Drop Off Locations include:

  • Jorgensen YMCA – 10313 Aboite Center Rd
  • Lehman YMCA – 5680 YMCA Pk Dr W
  • Content By Request – 3601 Hobson Rd, Ste 102
  • Burt Blee Dixon Sutton & Bloom
  • House of Neco Hair Salon – 2810 Maplecrest Rd
  • Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) – 3201 Stellhorn Rd
  • OPS Fitness Club – 10106 Dupont Cir Dr E
  • Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA – 7211 Stellhorn Rd

PJ’s that are donated need to be:

  • New with tags

  • For men and women

  • Can be pjs, sweatpants, sweatshirts, nightgowns or other lounge-wear items

  • Does not have to be an official pj set, but we’d appreciate tops and bottoms to make a complete set

  • Larger sizes are needed most – 3x to 6x, but all sizes are welcome

Report: The Impact of Understaffing On Residents

Courtesy of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

Nursing home residents are entitled to and deserve high quality, person-centered, and person-directed, care. Yet, due to inadequate staffing many nursing home residents go without this care. Countless studies have documented that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are more likely to suffer harm and neglect. Since the Biden Administration announced its intention to propose a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes, the focus has been on how a staffing standard would hurt nursing home owners and operators. Often lost in the discussion are residents, the people who suffer the consequences of understaffing.

To bring the focus back on residents, Consumer Voice surveyed over 120 nursing home residents in the fall of 2023, asking for their perspectives on staffing and how they are affected by staffing levels daily. The results were striking.

The majority of residents who responded to the survey, 88%, stated their facilities lacked the staff necessary to meet the needs of the residents living in their facilities.

KEY FINDINGS Of the residents who responded to the survey:

• 88% report they do not have adequate staff in their facilities to meet the care needs of all residents.
• 87% say understaffing affects them every day or several times per week.
• 72% wait longer than they would like to get out of bed in the morning.
• 60% are woken up earlier than they would like.
• 73% miss activities because there are not enough staff to help them participate.
• 39% are unable to eat in the dining room if and when they choose.
• 57% report their meals do not come on time.
• 58% report they are not given their medications on time with 56% of those respondents stating their medication is late several times a week and 24% stating their medication is late everyday.
• 72% wait longer than they would like to take a shower.
• 74% report that they, or someone they know in their facility, has been neglected or hurt because of understaffing.

Click here to read the rest of the report

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Gears Up for “Pajama Drive”

FORT WAYNE – Pajamas are not just the cost of admission, but they’re also the suggested attire for the upcoming Long Term Care Ombudsman Program’s annual Pajama Drive kickoff event. The evening of music, food and prizes marks the beginning of a drive to collect pajamas for  long term care facilities in nine different Northeast Indiana counties.

“We are excited to bring the community together for a night of camaraderie and support,” said Zanzy Lewis, executive director for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. “The kickoff event is not just a chance for a night out, it’s a celebration of compassion and solidarity for those we serve. By wearing pj’s to the event, we symbolize the comfort and care we aim to provide for our nursing home neighbors.”

The event is planned for Thursday, March 14th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Parkview Field’s suite level lounge. The night’s entertainment will feature local artist Adam Strack. As a bonus, those attendees who wear pajamas to the event will be entered to win prizes every 30 minutes.

Admission to the kickoff event is free to those that bring pajamas to donate to the drive. However, a $20 charge can be paid in lieu of bringing a pajama donation. Those wanting to bring pajamas to contribute to the drive should plan to bring new items with the tags still on. Lewis said that all sizes are welcome for both male and female residents. However, larger sizes are needed most.

“These residents want to wear something comforting and comfortable,” she said. “The drive allows us to bring a bit of that comfort to them. We’ll collect pajamas at the kick off event and then for several weeks afterwards at various drop off locations.”

While the drop off locations are still being determined, Lewis said the kick off event is the perfect time to bring donations. The items collected can be conventional pajamas as well as sweatpants and shirts, nightgowns, and other lounge-wear items. It is preferred that both tops and bottoms are donated together, but volunteers will work to match items if needed.

“We want the community to come spend the evening with us, have some food and have some fun,” said Lewis. “There are a lot of events where you get to put on your ‘Sunday best.’ What other chance do you have to wear pj’s to a public event? It’s fun and it’s for a good cause.”

LIFE AHEAD: Indiana’s Nursing Home Ombudsman



Indiana’s Nursing Home Ombudsman

Season 2022 Episode 815 | 28m 4s | 

Guests: Zanzy Lewis (Long Term Care Ombudsman) & David Anthony (Attorney). LIFE Ahead on Wednesdays at 7:30pm. LIFE Ahead is this area’s only weekly call-in resource devoted to offering an interactive news & discussion forum for adults. Hosted by veteran broadcaster Sandy Thomson.

Aired: 09/07/22

Rating: NR

Source: LIFE Ahead | Indiana’s Nursing Home Ombudsman | Season 2022 | Episode 815 | PBS

Resident-Driven Advocacy

Resident-Driven Advocacy

LTC Ombudsman program in Fort Wayne has a mission to champion resident-driven advocacy for long-term care facility residents.

Zanzy Lewis has been the executive director of LTC Ombudsman for just a few short months, but it’s a position that she was made for.

“I’ve always had a passion for advocating for people,” says Lewis. “What we do is plain and simple: we advocate for residents’ rights, whether that be in the form of empowering or educating.”

LTC Ombudsman serves people who live in long-term care facilities, nursing homes and assisted living communities in nine counties in northeast Indiana. Staff and volunteers are trained and certified to help address complaints, resolve problems and advocate for improvements. They work closely with residents and families to ensure that loved ones are receiving the best care possible. All Ombudsman services are free and confidential.

“The majority of our phone calls are from either the residents or family members of the residents. They are asking us for help because they’ve had a bad experience or they don’t know how to navigate something, or both,” explains Lewis.

As part of the Older Americans Act of 1965, each state is required to have an ombudsman program to protect the rights of long-term care residents. For Lewis, it’s about more than preserving residents’ rights. It’s about integrity and compassion.

“We are very important and instrumental in helping residents feel like they’re human beings. When they are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, they need to feel like they still have dignity, and they’re respected and treated as normal people. When we can empower them, and educate them and their family members about their rights, that’s huge,” Lewis says.

Volunteers are the heartbeat of LTC Ombudsman. Those volunteers currently work with residents in 94 facilities in the region. Becoming a volunteer requires 36 hours of training over a nine-month period and a willingness to visit a facility once or twice a week. Lewis says one of her first priorities is finding more volunteers in outlying communities.

“When our volunteers are in those facilities, the residents’ eyes light up. If we can do something that helps them feel good or feel heard, then we’ve done our job,” she stresses.

Supported primarily through grants, the organization is hosting a fundraiser, Rockin’ for Resident Rights Blues, Brew & BBQ at 2Toms Brewing on Oct. 20, 2022, in honor of National Residents’ Rights Month. LTC Ombudsman’s Pajama Drive also kicks off annually on Valentine’s Day, collecting pajamas and nightgowns for residents. It’s a small token that helps residents feel valued and cared for.

“Everyone has the right to dignity, respect and freedom. Residents still want to feel like they are important, and if we can just be kind and respectful and show love to those individuals, I know we can help their quality of life,” Lewis concludes.

Source: Resident-Driven Advocacy – Business People