You Can Help


We Care
We Advocate
We Focus on Residents


Call 911
Visiting Residents
Organizing a TANHR Unit
Family Councils

Why Work with TANHR?

We Care

We are an all-volunteer organization, and are simply compassionate individuals interested in the care of senior citizens or loved ones residing in nursing homes. This organization is working for better care of nursing home residents. The ways we do this are:

  • Sponsoring meetings of interested persons in each region of Texas
  • Sponsoring educational programs with speakers who know the rules and regulations and how they are applied to nursing homes
  • Speaking to groups such as Family Councils in nursing homes, civic groups, church groups and other charitable organizations
  • Writing press releases to be distributed through newspapers
  • Participating in radio and TV programs
  • Establishing TANHR Units
  • Writing letters to encourage interest in nursing home laws

We would like to have your help in setting up a TANHR Unit in your area. We will work with you to:

  1. find a suitable meeting place
  2. set a date
  3. find a reporter from the local newspaper who is interested or will interview you about the meeting
  4. get an announcement of the meeting in the newspaper
  5. invite as many people as possible (contact family council president for a list)
  6. see that refreshments are furnished
  7. find a speaker

This needs to be done so that we can make the legislators aware that we are interested in the laws that will be enacted during the next session of the legislature. We must be active, or the good that came from Senate Bill 190 (75th legislative session) will be canceled by laws that will be introduced by the nursing home industry.

We Advocate

We provide a voice for those who cannot arise from their beds or wheelchairs to speak for themselves.   We stand up for them in the legislature, in nursing home offices, in agency offices, in community organizations, churches, television and radio studios - any place where others will listen.  We advocate and we act to arouse public interest and response to the vital needs of all nursing home residents.

We Focus On Residents

Uppermost in our minds are the RESIDENTS, their care and dignity. Yes, we always need donations (our only funding source); we have important programs and agendas, but we regularly remind ourselves that the RESIDENT is TANHR’s reason for being.

Get involved today and help improve the quality of care and living that Texas’ nursing home residents so desperately need!

Calling All Advocates

Texas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents is calling for all advocates to become active by demanding that there be good quality of care in nursing homes in Texas. There are many ways to accomplish this:
One of the simplest ways is to visit a nursing home.
Volunteering in a nursing home comes next.  Family members of residents in a nursing home can organize a Family Council.
People in communities can organize TANHR Units.

There is power in numbers.  It is going to take all of us to work toward the goal of improving Quality of Care in nursing homes.

Nursing home owners and operators must be held accountable for the conditions in their nursing homes.  We must stand up for the laws, rules and regulations that we now have and not let them be watered down.


If you would like to be a TANHR activist, call 1-888-826-4748.

Call 911 when there is abuse and neglect in nursing homes.  Federal and state laws require a report to police when abuse is observed.  Calling 911 is effective because someone comes immediately before there is a contamination of the evidence.  Take your responsibility seriously — call 911!

Volunteer and make a difference!  Maybe you can’t solve the problems of the world or even your community, but you can be a part of the solution by reaching out to nursing home RESIDENTS!  They need love and light in their lives.  You can give then a little bit of both.

  • Why Volunteer?
    • Lighten the resident’s day with a different face and some individual attention
    • Help residents find meaning and importance by giving the priceless gift of listening
    • Be another pair of eyes and ears to create better care for residents
    • Give emotional and spiritual uplift to those who are lonely and despairing
    • Help residents see that they are still members of the community and that they are not abandoned by others1
  • How You Can Volunteer
    • Contact the activity director in the nursing home of your choice and inform them of your desire to help.  Most activity directors are delighted to have a helping hand and a fresh smile.
    • Volunteer to visit a resident, especially one who has no family or friends visiting them.  It is imperative that you check with the activity director or other nursing home staff to get permission to visit and to identify the appropriate residents.
    • Call the TANHR offices.  We can help you find and/or realize volunteer opportunities.  Our phone is toll free - (888) TANHR4U [888-826-4748].  Call us and let us know what your specific interests and locations are.
    • Contact Compassionate Companions.  This organization is committed to helping volunteers who are interested in a long term or greater commitment to visiting nursing homes.  Located in Dallas, Compassionate Companions periodically provides workshops to assist volunteers to learn about visitation.  To contact Compassionate Companions, simply call (214) 823-2583 or call the TANHR office and we can assist you in linking up with these beautiful people.

Visitation of Residents

  • Who needs your visit?
    • Residents who are newly admitted and who need to know that they are welcome and not alone
    • Residents who are socially isolated because family lives at a distance or cannot provide on-going support for some reason
    • The terminally ill who tend to be isolated in our society and often fear being abandoned
  • Hints for visitations

    • Empathize by hearing what is being said and listening to feelings and seeing the world through the resident’s eyes.  Empathy is not sympathy.
      • Empathy: “What has happened makes you sad.”
      • Sympathy: “What has happened makes me sad, too.”
    • Honor the resident’s time commitments; e.g. for activities, meals.
    • Make a determination regarding the resident’s fatigue factor and time visits to match.
    • If the resident is your parent, and you have siblings who do not or cannot visit, ask them how much they expect you to visit and decide what you can do.
    • Hold a hand, put your arm on a shoulder, but only if you genuinely want to and you think the resident will feel comfortable if you do so.  Touch the person gently.
    • Since a nursing home is the resident’s home, knock before entering the room.
    • Try to guide the conversation to positive topics and toward tasks the resident is able to perform.
    • Treat the residents with respect and as adults, without patronizing them as children, even if they are disoriented or confused.
    • Don’t show alarm at the resident’s condition or say things like “poor you” or “how awful.”
    • Don’t belittle the person’s feelings or “preach” or give unsolicited advice.1

Family Councils

  • Residents benefit the most
    • Families that organize together increase the number of visits that nursing home residents receive.
    • Oversight by the family council aides nursing homes in providing better, higher quality care to residents
    • Activities organized by councils improve the quality of life for nursing home residents
  • Resident families benefit greatly
    • Communication between family council members provides a venue for discussion of other members’ accomplishments, frustrations and anxieties.  This forum for discussion benefits other members who may be experiencing the same feelings and also provides a medium where new ideas can spring to life; ideas which may benefit other, future resident families or ideas that may benefit the residents directly
    • Families gain knowledge by becoming informed on nursing home regulations and how those regulations affect their loved ones.  Families learn about the benefits of educational programs provided by various facilities
    • As knowledge is power, family councils empower resident families to address deficiencies by nursing homes where regulatory standards are concerned.  Working with facility staff, resident families can ensure that these deficiencies are resolved timely and properly

  • Facility staff and owners benefit as well
    • Nursing home staff, working with family councils on positive activities and on resolving resident concerns, will upgrade the nursing care and social welfare of residents
    • Facility owners benefit from family councils when the word gets out, through published survey reports and other medium, that they are providing quality care to their residents.  Families will be calling for resident placement to fill the facility’s vacancies

1 - By permission: based on material provided by Compassionate Companions, 6255 E. Mockingbird Ln., Dallas, TX 75214, (214) 823-2583.