Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Elder abuse and poor care: The real issue (Guest opinion)

Marian Ewins and her daughter Sue Crawford
At the Department of Human Services, Aging & People with Disabilities program, we work tirelessly to protect Oregonians and to work with providers to ensure compliance and a high quality of care. We are the first to admit we make mistakes. Our data systems are outdated and don't always function properly - we also realize our websites are often not user-friendly. In response to The Oregonian/OregonLive report, "Selling senior care" (April 21), we acknowledge that a decision, made almost a decade ago, to limit the complaints made available online to a specific type (facility abuse), was a poor decision. That is why we are working toward ensuring that the public has easy access to all records about long-term care facilities moving forward.

In Oregon every year, approximately 1,000 individuals living in long-term care settings experience elder abuse. This is unacceptable. These Oregonians are our grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, siblings, friends, partners and spouses. Aside from abuse, other serious issues - such as violations of licensing regulations - regularly occur. It is infuriating that individuals experience poor quality of care, inattention and sometimes abuse at the very time they are reliant upon a facility, and its caregivers, to assist them with their most basic needs. Often times the fines for these types of abuses and violations are less than $500 (an amount set in the 1970s), hardly sufficient to change the behavior of a non-compliant or abusive long-term care facility.

It is disappointing that we spent a year freely cooperating, providing copious amounts of data, answering hundreds of questions, and participating in hours of interviews, only to be characterized as "concealing, whitewashing, misleading, and keeping people in the dark." Those are outright false characterizations. We supported The Oregonian's research and questions for all this time and never charged a fee.  (Click to Continue)

Full Article & Source:
Elder abuse and poor care: The real issue (Guest opinion)

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