Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bill would crack down on caregivers who abuse the elderly

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State lawmakers are looking to close a loophole that allows caregivers who abused the elderly to keep their licenses to work after 5 Investigates exposed the problem last year in horrific cases of elder abuse.

5 Investigates found case after case where many certified nursing assistants who were criminally charged with abusing the elderly and admitted to their crimes were still licensed to work in the state.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) to address the problem was heard by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Elder Affairs.

In several cases, caregivers admitted they abused the elderly, but reached deals with the court that would allow the charges to be dismissed if they completed probation.

Since there was no guilty finding, the caregivers could keep their licenses.

Jehlen’s bill would allow the state to permanently suspend the licenses of caregivers who reach that type of deal with the courts and prevent them from working as caregivers ever again.

Sen. Patricia Jehlen

“On your station we saw examples that were appalling,” Jehlen told 5 Investigates. “And what happened when we filed the bill and that became known is that quite a few people wrote to us about their own experiences and their relatives' experiences.”

The bill would prevent a caregiver who is suspended due to allegations of abuse from working in any other caregiving capacity during that suspension.

It would also stop companies, including home health agencies, from hiring caregivers who appear on a state registry that tracks elder abuse cases.

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Bill would crack down on caregivers who abuse the elderly

1 comment:

Nancy said...

This is a good step for professional caregivers to be licensed. But what about family caregivers? Will the law be used against them?