With too many families left in the dark during investigations of abuse complaints, one State Senator is trying to shed light on a disturbing issue.
Proposed legislation and investigations of a state agency charged with protecting residents at Minnesota health care facilities, have been spurred by instances where family members have not been able to get any information about abuse, complaints or the investigations.
KARE’s report, “Lawmaker calls for new law on secrecy in elder abuse complaints,” profiled cases in which families were kept in the dark—often never even notified—while the state was investigating abuse and neglect complaints about their own parents.
“We have drafted three different versions of that to change, so that family members can get information and can be in on the investigation. At least know what’s happening,” Housley said at a news conference.
The OHFC has been criticized for failing to investigate most of the complaints they receive.
Senator Housley joined State Senators Michelle Benson and Carrie Ruud in calling for an investigation into what they called a “toxic” culture at OHFC. They demanded answers after a whistleblower came forward alleging bullying and harassment at the agency.
The whistleblower was Nancy Omondi, and her attorney says she was fired in retaliation for making her complaints.
"I demand accountability, I demand transparency. I demand immediate attention addressing these issues,” Housley said.
The three state senators called on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to answer questions and to make public, meetings of a task force he convened to study issues of abuse and neglect in senior care facilities.
Housley and Benson chair committees charged with overseeing elder care facilities, and solving the issues with senior care in Minnesota was a top priority.
One attorney whose practice focuses on abuse and neglect in nursing homes commented that family members often do not get any answers to their question. Even worse, he noted, is that unless there is a full on-site investigation conducted by the state, the cases are never made public.
Reference: KARE (December 12, 2017) “Lawmaker calls for new law on secrecy in elder abuse complaints”