Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finding Humane Care at the End of Life

As the story of Joseph Andrey's last months shows, many Americans will end their lives in surroundings that only add to their misery. Those who hoped to die in their own beds are often forced into nursing homes, some of which mistreat patients. Even if home care is arranged, it too can be substandard, even abusive. And those who hope for government guidance can find unreliable information.

What can be done to ensure that the elderly get the care they want and need, particularly in their dying days?

Richard Mallott:  Government Must Enforce Standards for Elder Care

Carol Rodat:  Home Aides for the Elderly Need Better Standards and Training

Karen D. Lincoln:  Minorities are Forced into Nursing Homes at Greater Rates

Joan M. Teno:  Profits Place Treatment Over Humane Care for Elderly

David Gifford:  Families Can Plan Ahead to Improve Care for the Elderly

Joanne Lynn:  A Whole New System of Oversight is Needed for Elder Care

Finding Humane Care at End of Life


Thelma said...

A choice: Home care or...

StandUp said...

I like the title. It's not just about finding care, but HUMANE care. This issue is going to worsen.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much public money is squandered on mistreatment, abuse and neglect of the elderly and disabled.

These human beings, our most precious citizens, need compassionate, practical SERVICES. In an apples to apples comparison of day to day living conditions, home care will almost always win over an assisted living facility or nursing facility. "24 hour care" is a charade, since each individual caregiver has 20+ other residents to serve, making even an hour a day of care for most elderly or disabled an unattainable luxury.

That is why our law requires public agencies, public guardianship programs, and the courts to follow important concepts like "public guardians of last resort," "least restrictive alternative," and "person-centered practices." These are not idealistic, unattainable concepts, they are the LAW.

Unfortunately, the secrecy in the present system allows a handful of unethical authoritarian nitwits to simply ignore the LAW and to dictate miserable lives for the elderly and disabled they are paid to protect and SERVE. Outmoded punitive attitudes toward the elderly and disabled rule the day in many "care" facilities, social "services" agencies, and courts of "law." It's sweep 'em off the streets, ignore and forget about 'em. And if anyone complains, shoot the messenger with ongoing defamatory smears.

This travesty will not stop until we publicly name names, shaming these government agencies, government-supported agencies, and unethical attorneys into complying with the LAW and providing SERVICES.

So here is a roster of our local wall of shame: Jewish Family "Service" of Tidewater. Catholic "Charities" of Eastern Virginia. Colleen T. Dickerson, Esquire. Gregory M. Pomije, Esquire. Virginia Beach Department of Human "Services." Virginia Department "for" Aging and Rehabilitative "Services." Amy Marschean, Esquire. Janet James, Esquire.

And most of all, Scott Schuett who, to our collective shame, still walks around a free man, a licensed attorney, cluelessly kvetching that he is being "persecuted."

The gulf between what these people actually do to earn their pay each day and what they claim to do is vast, and widening steadily.