Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TRANSPARENCY: #1 State Laws, Rules and Regulations

Consumers deserve clarity, consistency and above all, truth in advertising and in delivery of goods and services from those who regulate and provide so that they and their representatives know what they’re actually getting when they sign on the dotted line and make a commitment to relinquish various rights and responsibilities to a facility or a person.

I’ve spent almost four years trying to unravel a web of people and words that make up the system of providing housing and health care in Senior Long Term Care. Every corner I turn, every page in the thousands I’ve reviewed, convinces me the system is long overdue for the light of Sunshine Laws to shine through and for specific business laws to be enacted to ensure the safety and well being of a precious commodity, Seniors.

Aren’t our Seniors worth as much as our children? How about our pets? There are more laws, more outcry and more organizations devoted to ensuring the health and well being of animals and children than of our Senior population.

Try to read your State’s Statutes and their guidelines on Senior Care. It’s a maze of words and if you use the internet you’ll find dozens of possible click throughs and referrals to various other sections and subsections.

Why the confusion and complexity?  Are Seniors all lawyers or legislators that they can understand the legal language and the numerous citations? No, of course not.

Maybe no one has considered the importance of better regulation of Long Term Care Facilities and Senior Living facilities because in the past, the number of Seniors using these places has been limited?

Today, however, it’s a booming business and a business with regulations from programs like Medicare and Medicaid but few real regulations on the administration of daily services that fall under the heading of non medical provisions although they are critical to the health and well being of residents and families.

#1  Each Department of Health and Senior Services should be an advocate for Seniors as well as a Regulatory and Review Board. As an advocate, there should be clear, concise and common language reports detailing each and every visit made to each and every facility within their jurisdiction and NOT just a summary of the findings and a summary that corrections were made. It is there, it’s just hidden beneath so many layers that few people find it.

#2 Let’s see a detailed list for the last three to five years of each visit made by the DHSS of each State by date, specific cause for the visit – a report to the Elder Abuse Hotline, a call from a concerned relative or friend and specific concern -- published on one State reference site for ALL facilities regulated by the State in which they're located.

NOT summary statements. NOT synopsis. NOT limited to most recent. ALL calls and inquiries by date, by status of follow up, by type of complaint classified in clear English as to whether it was negligence or abuse and the specific type of concern: sores on feet, UTI possible Sepsis, fall (and when and where), use of equipment causing possible risk or harm.

#23 Concise yet accurate and easily understood actions or conditions that can be reviewed easily by potential clients, customers, residents, committed Adults to Long Term Care Residential Centers.

Harmful to their business?  False reports can be made?  Simple. Detail any unjustified, unsubstantiated findings and ensure on the report this is made totally clear.

A Better Business Bureau for the Business of Long Term Care.

The housing and complete oversight of human beings deserves more attention and detail.

Do you want to take a chance it won't happen to you? Do you want to buy your care giving in a facility where you may not be able mentally or physically to make a change based on not knowing how SAFE and SECURE the facility has been for others?

It seems ironic to me that we "take" people, human beings, that our State can take people, human beings, to facilities where there have been violations of Human Rights and drop them off, leave them alone without direct connection to family or friends and even tell family and friends to "let them adjust and don't visit for X amount of time" -- which some do.

Children react when dropped off at a new school
Animals react when they're put in a kennel or have a new caregiver
BUT WE DON'T ALLOW OLDER HUMAN BEINGS TO HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT LOSING THE LIFE THEY KNEW, the place they may have spent their entire life, the things they had and accumulated even if we see it as "junk" or "lots of stuff"?

ABANDONMENT or at the very least a feeling of being LOST, FORGOTTEN, SET ASIDE....

REMEMBER:  Whatever your age now. Your day will come. You will, if you live long enough, most probably "need" or "have to" enter one of these facilities.

YOU AND I are paying with our taxes for some, with what we earned, with what we set aside, with what we scrimped and saved to ensure we could "take care of ourselves". 

We are paying high prices and often getting minimal, non acceptable, highly questionable provision of goods and services often from people and companies that believe they're "doing their best with what they have" and "fighting the system day after day to just get bare minimum payment".

As for me, I've been taught it isn't how much you spend but how you use what you have and how you determine what's best for someone else based on their needs and not on your wants as being the priority.

SENIORS AND THOSE ON THE ROAD TRAVELING IN THAT DIRECTION must awaken to understanding society as a whole needs to value people and let go of stereotypes and preconceived ideas. Whether it's a racial or ethnic or whatever "basis" used as a "standard" of life, realize it's not right, it's not best and it's socio economically destructive to hold these "stereotypes" and "preconceived ideas" about GROWING OLDER.

Share these thoughts. Explore other sites and their challenges with Senior Care. It's great when someone says they're "loving" where they live. Let's make that the feeling and experience of all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome your comments and any additional information we can research and pass on to others. Together we learn and grow.