Finally! News you can use for seniors!

The Silver Standard

 

 

 

 

By David Holmberg

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I’m from Minnesota, and you might call me a loyalist. All my life, I’ve taken pride in the state’s reputation as a citadel of progressivism. It’s produced an impressive roster of socially conscious politicians—Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Orville Freeman—and ranks at or near the top among the fifty states in social services, education, and cultural advantages.

But these days in Minnesota, there lingers the stigmatizing taint of elder abuse—the shocking (especially to a Minnesotan) revelation by the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis that “each year, hundreds of Minnesotans are beaten, sexually assaulted, or robbed in senior care homes. Their cases are seldom investigated, leaving families in the dark.”

A 2010 study showed a six-fold increase in reported incidents in the state’s senior care facilities, which may have been a catalyst for a 2017 investigation by the Star-Tribune that uncovered another disturbing statistic: in 2015, “the Minnesota Department of Health received 25, 226 allegations of neglect, physical abuse, unexplained serious injuries, and thefts in state-licensed homes for the elderly.”

Said a board member of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center, Iris Freeman: “We should all be appalled at this picture. Minnesota used to be at the top of the heap when it came to elder-abuse enforcement, and now we’re becoming known for being non-responsive.”

But the state did mobilize its legislative, law enforcement, and senior care resources in response to the Star-Tribune’s investigation. It was a response you’d expect in a state with a strong collective instinct for change when change is demanded. It improved compliance standards, developed better programs for training and monitoring employees, and opened communications between law enforcement and other agencies. More