Former Rep. Proctor supports long-term care advocates on statewide R.V. tour

Some advocates of long-term care are joining forces because they believe the state’s seniors’ face too many hurdles in gaining access to quality health care. A coalition is organizing a projected dubbed the “Driving for Quality Care” R.V. tour. A former state representative is backing the tour and its stated objective.

The statewide tour will visit 20 Oklahoma counties, organizers say. The goal is to raise awareness of the funding issues affecting senior care and to urge the Legislature and Gov. Mary Fallin to help resolve what the coalition calls “the chronic underfunding of Oklahoma’s long-term care services.”

The tour will stop in Altus, Comanche, Pauls Valley, Woodward, Alva, Del City, Medford, Enid, Norman, Sapulpa, Owasso, Claremore, Grove, Bethany, Edmond, Shawnee, Wewoka, El Reno, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The tour kicks off March 23 in Altus and ends May 4 in El Reno. Participants will hear from long-term care advocates, residents and their family members, and have an opportunity to sign a petition in support of adequate funding for senior care in Oklahoma.

The tour has been organized by the Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare, advocates for the long-term care profession in Oklahoma. The R.V. will be driven by Scott Proctor, the former owner of Ryan Nursing Home. Proctor’s nursing home closed in 2010, due to funding cuts.

“The long-term care profession is extremely underfunded and I know firsthand what can happen when funding is continuously cut,” said Proctor. “I had to sit down with every resident, family member and employee, look them in the eye and tell them I could no longer operate as a business.”

About 110 Oklahoma nursing homes have closed since 1998, largely due, members of the coalition say, to “inadequate state funding. Home closures are not only an inconvenience to residents and families, but also a blow to local economies. Nursing homes in rural communities are often the top employer.”

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Proctor said, “This RV tour emphasizes the need for adequate, stable and consistent Medicaid funding, which is crucial for high quality care, quality of life, and quality staffing in care communities across America.”

RV Tour Schedule:

March 23 – Altus

March 28 – Comanche

March 29 – Pauls Valley

March 31 – Del City

April 4 – Medford

April 5 – Alva

April 6 – Woodward

April 7 – Enid

April 11 – Norman

April 18 – Sapulpa

April 19 – Tulsa

April 20 – Owasso and Claremore

April 21 – Grove

April 25 – Oklahoma City

April 27 – Warr Acres

April 28 – Edmond

May 2 – Shawnee

May 3 – Wewoka

May 4 – El Reno