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Deaths, financial abuse uncovered in local records 

Nora G. Hertel St. Cloud Times | USA TODAY NETWORK

ST. CLOUD — Six deaths in Central Minnesota health facilities were tied to neglect claims substantiated by the state Department of Health in the past three years.

 

Advocacy group Elder Voice Family Advocates has pulled three years of state records to show how pervasive elder abuse is in different regions, including 150 investigations in Central Minnesota into numerous financial and other abuse allegations and several incidents resulting in death.

Follow this link to the full story: http://saintcloudtimes.mn.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=2785dfc03

 

Push to reform Minnesota's flawed system for protecting seniors falls short at Capitol

Push to reform Minnesota's flawed system for protecting seniors falls short at Capitol

Elder care, taxes on list of items left undone Housley touts new protections, admits shortfalls 

By Chris Serres Star Tribune

 

MAY 22, 2018 — 5:40AM

In a blow to Gov. Mark Dayton and families of elder abuse victims, the 2018 Legislature adjourned without adopting a series of broad-based reforms to Minnesota’s flawed system for protecting vulnerable seniors from maltreatment.

Weeks of intense negotiation involving the Dayton administration, Republican legislators and a coalition of senior organizations over a bipartisan deal collapsed over the weekend, leaving few new protections for the estimated 85,000 Minnesotans who live in senior care facilities across the state.

All the major reforms sought by Dayton, including a licensing framework for the state’s fast-growing assisted-living industry and protections against arbitrary evictions, failed to survive the legislative gantlet and stiff opposition from the nursing home industry. Instead, legislators adopted several modest provisions that delay reform and, in some cases, actually weaken senior protections, elder advocates said. These provisions were included in the Legislature’s budget bill, which Dayton has pledged to veto.

“This was a train wreck,” said Kristine Sundberg, president of Elder Voice Family Advocates, a coalition of relatives of abuse victims.

“The measures [in the budget bill] are so weak and watered down — that they may actually have moved the state backwards.”

For full story: http://www.startribune.com/push-to-reform-minnesota-s-flawed-system-for-protecting-seniors-falls-short-at-capitol/483278081/

Elder Abuse Advocates Plead For Legislators To Act

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Family members and advocates are pleading lawmakers to take action against elder abuse in Minnesota.

After months of research, members of Elder Voice Family Advocates delivered a white boxes full of detailed reports Monday morning to state senators in St. Paul.

The group has been working to put together a list of the elder abuse investigations sparked by complaints to the state.

 

They claim nearly 1,800 complaints over the past three years were recorded and posted on the state’s website — that’s only a fraction of the more than 24,000 complaints received in 2017 alone.

For complete story go to: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/04/09/elder-abuse-legislators-lawmakers/

Minnesota families of abuse victims intensify push for elder care reforms

 

A grass roots group of volunteer advocates is fighting the perception that elder abuse is rare. 

By Chris Serres Star Tribune APRIL 9, 2018 — 5:15PM

 

Kay Bromelkamp,left and Anne Sterner, both of Elder Voice Family Advocates delivered reports of elder abuse to Senator Tony Lourey (DFL) District 11 at his office. Lourey is supporting the women’s efforts to address the issue.] Families of elder abuse victims will descend on the State Capitol on Monday, April 9th. Frustrated by legislative inaction on certain key proposals, they will be delivering hundreds of pages of maltreatment reports to lawmakers. 

For the full story go to: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-families-of-abuse-victims-intensify-push-for-elder-care-reforms/479169053/

 

State faults Eagan assisted living facility after resident found dead

By S. M. CHAVEY | schavey@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press

April 3, 2018 at 7:48 pm

 

Debbie Singer walked up to her mother’s apartment at an Eagan senior living community to find multiple packages and two newspapers outside the door. Her mother’s bed and bathroom looked as if they hadn’t been used in days. Medication for the past two days had not been taken, and her mother was wearing the same clothing she’d been in two days earlier.

 

June Alice Thompson, 92, was dead, and most likely had been for two days.

The complete story is at: https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/03/state-faults-eagan-assisted-living-facility-after-resident-found-dead/

Scathing Legislative Auditor Report Out
The Legislative Auditor found the Office of Health Facilities Complaints significantly lacking in its case management system, investigations and overall quality controls. For the summary and full report go to: https://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/2018/ohfc.htm
 
Stopping abuse in elder homes will take 'dramatic' reforms, Minnesota task force says

By Chris Serres Star Tribune JANUARY 29, 2018 — 6:15PM

The state work group, led by families of elder abuse victims and senior advocates, was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in November after the publication of a five-part Star Tribune published series documenting the state's failure to investigate hundreds of beatings, sexual assaults and robberies in senior homes across the state. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID JOLES, STAR TRIBUNE

Kristine Sundberg, president of Elder Voice Family Advocates, called for broad-based reforms to the state’s system for handling elder abuse complaints at a Senate committee heairng last week.

Minnesota’s system of preventing violence in senior homes is badly broken and can only be fixed with stronger state oversight and tougher penalties against facilities and perpetrators of abuse, a state work group concluded Monday after weeks of work.

Their report, released late Monday, calls for “immediate and dramatic” reforms in Minnesota’s regulation of senior care facilities.

The state work group, led by families of elder abuse victims and senior advocates, was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in November after the publication of a five-part Star Tribune published series documenting the state’s failure to investigate hundreds of beatings, sexual assaults and robberies in senior homes across the state.

For the full story go to: http://m.startribune.com/stopping-abuse-in-elder-homes-will-take-dramatic-reforms-minnesota-task-force-says/471692244/

Click on this link for the full 58 page report

 
Elder Voice Family Advocates Front Page Feature in the Star Tribune
The Sunday, December 3, the Star Tribune has a story about Elder Voice Family Advocates. The reporter states "Elder Voice was chosen to help lead the work group — a remarkable feat for a volunteer-driven organization that still funds its activities by passing a hat at meetings. To see the entire story go to: http://www.startribune.com/families-of-elder-abuse-victims-speak-out-wield-new-power-at-the-state-capitol/461549583/  
Elder Voice Family Advocates Appointed to Governor's Work Group of Only 5 Elder Advocacy Organizations
Governor Dayton has created a work group of only 5 elder advocacy groups to "provide guidance on steps the state should take to improve the health and safety of Minnesota seniors who are cared for in nursing homes and assisted living facilities." AARP will Chair the work group with Elder Voice Family Advocates, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota and Elder Justice Center as members. The recommendations need to be completed by January 26, 2018 to allow time to prepare legislation for the Legislative Session which starts February 20, 2018.
Public Policy News

 

Legislative auditor: Minnesota failing to protect vulnerable adults in senior facilities

Long-awaited findings are likely to fuel calls for reform to the state's troubled system for investigating abuse. 

By Chris Serres Star Tribune MARCH 6, 2018 — 11:39PM

 

STAR TRIBUNE FILE

Paulette Bakeberg, 70, was physically assaulted at an assisted-living facility in Delano, and is among hundreds of elderly residents of senior homes who are victims of criminal abuse each year.

 

 

The state agency responsible for protecting vulnerable Minnesotans in senior care facilities has failed to meet its responsibilities and suffers from a “dysfunctional office culture,” the Legislative Auditor’s Office has found.

 

In a scathing report issued early Tuesday, the Office of the Minnesota Legislative Auditor said it found deep and chronic failures in the way the state Health Department’s Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) investigates allegations of abuse and communicates with the public.

For the entire story go to: http://www.startribune.com/legislative-auditor-is-set-to-release-report-on-abuse-in-minnesota-senior-homes/475967963/

 

 

Legislative auditor report to highlight broad failures in state response to elder abuse

Legislative probe uncovered widespread issues that require "immediate action." 

 

By Chris Serres Star Tribune FEBRUARY 17, 2018 — 5:00PM

 

DAVID JOLES

The idea for a legislative auditor’s review of the Office of Health Facility Complaints came out of some grass-roots efforts by a group of abuse victims and their family members, seated at a State Capitol office.

The state agency charged with preventing abuse in senior care homes is plagued by severe dysfunction, chronic delays and a chaotic work environment that has hindered timely and effective investigations, according to a forthcoming report by Minnesota’s legislative auditor.

... the story continues:

At a meeting with Dibble, a group of relatives of abuse victims known as Elder Voice Family Advocates expressed frustration with the OHFC’s mishandling of their complaints. They told Dibble their complaints often went ignored and that, even when the state did investigate, the details of investigations were kept secret from the victims and their relatives.

 

Kay Bromelkamp, one of the advocates present, recounted how it took nearly four months for the state to verify that her mother was verbally and emotionally abused even though much of the abuse was captured by a hidden camera placed in her mother’s room. By the time the state released its report, Bromelkamp’s mother had already died at the assisted-living facility where she had been abused.

 

“I still wonder if that report had come out sooner … whether my mom would have gotten better and would still be alive today,” said Bromelkamp, who lives in Minneapolis. “These delays have a real human impact.”

For the full story go to: http://www.startribune.com/legislative-auditor-report-to-highlight-broad-failures-in-state-response-to-elder-abuse/474389913/

 

Stopping abuse in elder homes will take 'dramatic' reforms, Minnesota task force says

By Chris Serres Star Tribune JANUARY 29, 2018 — 6:15PM

The state work group, led by families of elder abuse victims and senior advocates, was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in November after the publication of a five-part Star Tribune published series documenting the state's failure to investigate hundreds of beatings, sexual assaults and robberies in senior homes across the state...

Complaints soar

Kristine Sundberg, president of Elder Voice Family Advocates, one of the five consumer groups that wrote the report, stressed the urgency of acting at a Senate committee hearing last week. “Quite literally, our loved ones are being seriously harmed daily and some are dying a premature and painful death,” Sundberg said. “It needs to stop and that’s our passion.”

 

http://m.startribune.com/stopping-abuse-in-elder-homes-will-take-dramatic-reforms-minnesota-task-force-says/471692244/

 

Governor wants review of elder abuse secrecy issue

Lauren Leamanczyk, KARE 8:05 AM. CDT August 18, 2017

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton is calling on the legislature to review a law critics say keeps families of vulnerable adults from getting the full story about cases of abuse and neglect.

 

http://www.kare11.com/news/investigations/governor-wants-review-of-elder-abuse-secrecy-issue/465314980?utm_campaign=Contact+Quiboat+For+More+Referrer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=quiboat

Advocates of Quality Care for the Vulnerable Adults.

Elder Voice Family Advocates (EVFA) is a coalition of family members and others who educate and advocate for improved quality life and care for loved ones and the vulnerable, whether due to age or disability. Many of our loved ones receive services in a long-term care setting.

Members of EVFA are committed to giving voice to their loved ones and to ensuring that their stores are used to improve care and to prevent harm to other vulnerable adults. EVFA also strives to crete a safe space for families to empower them and others to be effective agents of changes a collective voice on key issues. on behalf of their loved ones.

Star Tribune 5 Part Series Causing Outrage Over Elder Abuse. 

The Star Tribune 5 part series titled 'Left to Suffer' has created an avalanche of outrage by the Governor, legislators and other advocacy groups. Many of our members have worked closely with this author, helping him understand our concerns and our stories of abuse, maltreatment, humiliation, etc. This major newspaper coverage is significantly improving our chances of getting regulatory and legislative reform.

We will be continuing to meet with key legislators and the Governor's office to help develop legislative bills to be introduced in the 2018 Legislative session.

Go to the 'News' section of this website for the Star Tribune news articles. Also, here is the Almanac TPT interview of the reporter of this series, Chris Serres:  http://video.tpt.org/video/3006848973/