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Hello Empowered Aging Family,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones. As we move full steam ahead into the holiday season and today being Giving Tuesday, I’d like to ask for your help.

A few weeks ago, I was working in my office when one of our Ombudsman staff came and asked if I had a few minutes to meet. She sat beside me and asked if we have funds dedicated to helping the people we serve when they have emergency needs. I asked for more details and found myself so moved by the story she shared that I immediately authorized some agency funds and added to them from my wallet.

An elderly female resident of a facility in another county went through a series of “dumps,” meaning she was moved from facility to facility with little notice, care, or planning. Unfortunately, the inappropriate transfer, eviction, or dumping of residents from long-term care facilities is all too common. It can happen due to room/bed shortages, adjustments to insurance, lack of funds, changes in conditions, etc.

This woman ended up, after several moves, in a facility in one of the counties we serve without any possessions but the clothes on her back and no clear understanding of how this happened.

Many residents don’t know they have the right to appeal the process, which makes this preventable occurrence even more tragic. If there is no appeal, there is no paper trail, making it incredibly hard to track. Without an appeal, too many older and dependent adults in need of long-term facility levels of care are left with unsafe living conditions or lower levels of care then they need. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care shared with the AARP that while a confirmed number of discharges is unknown, long-term care facility discharges have been the most common complaint received by long-term care Ombudsman programs for the last nine years.

That day, when our Ombudsman staff member came to my office and shared this story, I knew we needed to take more action. I asked other team members if they had experienced similar situations, and the overwhelming response was that this is a common issue across our service areas. Through Empowered Aging’s advocacy work for our Ombudsman Programs and Elder Justice Program, we help people in need. Sometimes, the cases are severe and require several steps to resolve. Other times, we respond by letting the people we serve know that we care and that they matter.

Our dedicated team has been brainstorming on what else we can do to answer this need, and as a result, we are launching a campaign, Operation EM-Packs. This fundraiser will help us purchase products to stock all our service locations with essential emergency items for those in need, such as socks, pajamas, blankets, towels, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more.

With generous gifts from our community, the Empowered Aging team will work to gather items that provide comfort, care, and the ability to support basic daily needs. Once we compile them, we will work to distribute these care packs when they are most needed – when someone must urgently leave an unsafe living space, suffers a series of dumps that leaves them with no possessions, or when someone needs to know that people care.

As You Spend This Holiday Season and Beyond With Your Families, Please Consider Donating to Help Us.

Stock All Our Service Locations with Essential Items for Those in Need.

How Will Your Funds EM-Pack Seniors?

>$100 will supply 4 individuals with basic essentials or two sets of pajamas and slippers.
>$500 will provide 20 individuals with basic necessities.
>$1000 will give 40 individuals the essential items needed to thrive.

How many older adults in need can you help to feel cared for this holiday season?

*Financial contributions valued at $500 or more will be considered sponsorships and receive additional individual promotions.

If you are interested in becoming a financial sponsor of Empowered Aging’s Operation EM-Packs or donating funds, please email so we can discuss the details regarding your specific contribution. To donate gift cards or inquire about a particular product donation in lieu of monetary funds, please email

While launching this campaign during the holidays, we plan to continue this additional work well beyond the season of joy and giving.

For more stories about those we serve and information about the specific items for our care packs we hope you will help us collect, please visit Stay tuned for more details about our campaign progress that share why the need for this call to action is so great.

Best wishes, and thank you for your support!

Susannah Meyer
Executive Director