Saturday, February 27, 2016

CBS4 Investigates: Statistics show poor state of adult care in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 24, 2016) - Terrifying statistics about elderly care in Indiana were found as part of a CBS4 investigation.

The investigation shows a lack of funding for investigators tasked with reviewing cases of possible abuse and neglect. The investigation also shows a lack of oversight and regulations from the state.

CBS4 began looking into the statewide problems after a mother and son were arrested in Greenfield for operating a home care business out of their home without any regulations. Shawn Kearns and her son David were charged with neglect of a dependent and criminal recklessness. State law requires businesses like Kearns Comfort Care who may four or more patients to be licensed. Investigators found the Kearns running and operating a care facility without any licenses, regulations, or medical qualifications.

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration is the department that oversees the overall health and safety of adults in care homes and facilities across the state.

Adult Protective Services investigators are tasked with looking into claims of abuse and neglect. APS investigators are part of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, however, the funding for APS falls under Indiana FSSA. Indiana is the only state in which APS operates through a criminal justice function.

Right now, the budget for APS is just under $3 million total, with only $2 million coming from the general fund. In a comparison from other states, Indiana’s APS budget falls short. Illinois’ APS is a state run agency with a budget of $23 million. Ohio’s county-run APS budget is $3.5 million.

Indiana currently has 30 AP investigators. Many of them, including Jerry Kiefer, investigate abuse and neglect claims in three counties. Kiefer is in charge of protecting adults in Hancock, Shelby, and Johnson Counties. He has more than 15 cases each month he’s responsible for handling. Ohio and Illinois each have more than 100 APS investigators.

“I think sometimes a lot of what we do are band aids,” Kiefer said.

With the workload and amount of cases that pile up each day, Kiefer said sometimes certain victims may unintentionally fall through the cracks.

“If I get called out on something that I think requires my attention and I’m going to be there for a long time, the other cases that have come in, they start to back up,” he said.

Cases of financial theft are very common, especially in the areas Kiefer is charged with investigating. He said those cases take a lot of legwork and require a lot of time to complete. He’s concerned these types of cases will get worse as Indiana’s senior population continues to grow.  (Continue Reading)

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CBS4 Investigates: Statistics show poor state of adult care in Indiana

1 comment:

Betty said...

It's not just's in all states.