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Protecting Elders Letter-to-the-Editor
I wish you all a Happy Easter
and a Happy Passover
celebration. Spring seems to have arrived and we are thankful.
The following Letter to the Editor
by Rep. Masin to the Sun-ThisWeek Editor was published on April 11, 2019.
The topic of this letter will be an important subject to be dealt with when the Legislative Session resumes on April 23.
To the editor:
It’s a matter of life and death. Strong protections for Minnesota’s elders and vulnerable adults living in assisted living facilities are urgently needed and long overdue.
The horrific stories are hard to believe. An elderly father’s deceased body left in his room for seven days, after the facility promised to check on him daily. A woman with dementia kicked out of three facilities in rapid succession.
People might be shocked to learn that Minnesota is the only state in America that doesn’t license assisted living facilities. Equally disturbing is that there are few protections for seniors and vulnerable adults in these facilities. The state didn’t create these problems; it’s time for the industry to be held to account. The state has significantly improved the investigation process, but additional ombudsman staff are needed to address around 400 reports of maltreatment that the Department of Health still receives each week.
Last session, I was proud to co-sponsor a strong elder protection bill but was deeply disappointed to see that bill bottled up, watered down, and buried in the “Omnibus Prime” monstrosity. This session, I’m again supporting comprehensive legislation that includes licensure for assisted living facilities, prevents elder abuse, curbs deceptive marketing, and stops arbitrary evictions.
I’m confident that the plan will provide greater safety, dignity, and peace of mind for Minnesota’s seniors and their loved ones. More than 60,000 of our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers live in assisted living. We cannot fail this year. Yesterday was too late.
Rep. Sandra Masin
DFL-Eagan, District 51A
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