Archive for the ‘US Department of Health and Human Services’ Category

Introducing the Administration for Community Living

April 19, 2012

“For too long, too many Americans have faced the impossible choice between moving to an institution or living at home without the long-term services and supports they need. The goal of the new Administration for Community Living will be to help people with disabilities and older Americans live productive, satisfying lives.”
– Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

All Americans – including people with disabilities and seniors – should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions. To help meet these needs, HHS is creating a new organization, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) with the goal of increasing access to community supports and full participation, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities.

The ACL will include the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in a single agency, with enhanced policy and program support for both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups such as children with developmental disabilities, adults with physical disabilities, or seniors, including seniors with Alzheimer’s.

Source:
Introducing the Administration for Community Living

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Senate Special Committee on Aging Holds Hearings on Assisted Living Facility Abuse

November 8, 2011

It was an early-morning awakening that Alfredo Navas said he’ll never forget: His sister on the phone, telling him that their 85-year-old mother had drowned in a shallow drainage pond behind the facility that was caring for her.

But the safeguards his family had assumed were in place to monitor an elderly woman with dementia – cameras, door locks and vigilant caretakers – failed his mother in 2008, Navas told the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging on Wednesday [11/2/11].

Those abuses and others were chronicled in a Miami Herald series “Neglected to Death,” which focused this spring on critical breakdowns in Florida’s enforcement system, including failures by the state’s Agency on Health Care Administration to fully investigate deaths or to shut down some of the worst offenders among Florida’s 2,850 assisted-living facilities.

“This is America in the year 2011, and these kind of things shouldn’t be happening,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who read aloud of the worst examples of abuse.

They include a 75-year-old Alzheimer’s patient in Clearwater torn apart by an alligator after he wandered away from his assisted-living facility for the fourth time; a 71-year-old mentally ill Hialeah man who died from burns after he was left in a bathtub filled with scalding water; and a 74-year-old Kendall woman who was restrained for six hours until the bindings cut into her skin and killed her.

Federal regulators and lawmakers both said that they are uninterested in the federal government being responsible for regulating living facilities. Although more states are using Medicaid money to pay for some portion of assisted living care for the poor, the federal government has a limited role in the facilities their oversight has been and will likely continue to be a state duty.

But federal regulators do want more of an ability to ensure states are doing their part to enforce laws and safety regulations already on the books, said Barbara Edwards, who directs the disabled and elderly health programs group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Full Article and Source:
Abuses in Assisted Living Facilities Come Under Senate Panel’s Spotlight

Tommy Thompson: Guilt-Ridden Children Are Spending Too Much On Grandma’s Health

October 29, 2011

Former Wisconsin governor and US health secretary Tommy Thompson offered up an intense psychoanalytic take on the thorny issue of end-of-life care this week, saying that “guilty” children who ignore their elders then overcompensate at their deathbed are responsible for spiraling costs.

“What happens? Mother or father or grandpa and grandma, you’ve been away, you haven’t done very much. Children come home, mother or father’s on their deathbed, they feel guilty because they haven’t being paying attention to mother or father,” Thompson said at a luncheon in Madison. He continued: “Let’s face it. So they say ‘let’s do everything we can for mother or father. Don’t spare the costs.’ I’m not talking about denying anybody anything. I’m just saying let’s let mother and father have their wishes. They may not want to be on a respirator the last six months of their life.”

According to Wisconsin Radio Network, Thompson, who is expected to run for Senate in Wisconsin, “said people need to have durable power of attorney to ensure their wishes are known, and he also said the nation’s medical schools need to start talking about death.”

Full Article and Source:
Tommy Thompson: Guilt-Ridden Children Are Spending Too Much On Grandma’s Health

>More Than 90% of Nursing Facilities Employ Workers With Criminal Record

March 7, 2011

>More than 90 percent of nursing homes employ one or more people who have been convicted of at least one crime, federal investigators said Wednesday in a new report. In addition, they said, 5 percent of all nursing home employees have at least one criminal conviction.

The report was issued by Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, who obtained the names of more than 35,000 nursing home employees and then checked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if they had criminal records.

“Our analysis of F.B.I. criminal history records revealed that 92 percent of nursing facilities employed at least one individual with at least one criminal conviction,” Mr. Levinson said. “Nearly half of nursing facilities employed five or more individuals with at least one conviction. For example, a nursing facility with a total of 164 employees had 34 employees with at least one conviction each.”

Full Article and Source:
<a href="
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/us/03nursing.html”>Study Finds Criminal Pasts of Nursing Home Workers

<a href="
http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-09-00110.asp”>Download Report (OEI-07-09-00110)

CPS and Legalized Kidnapping

August 7, 2009
The suffering endured by Africans who were kidnapped from their native land and brought to America as slaves is sometimes referred to as the Black holocaust, which some say ended years ago but, that is not the case according to parents who have had their children taken from them by the Denver Department of Human Service (DDHS) or the Adams County Social Service Department (ACSSD). Jo Nash-Conner’s son Quentin, 10, currently resides at Mount St. Vincents Children’s Home (MSVCH), a facility which proclaims to provide programs and services to “help children with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems.”

Nash-Conner, however, has not found the center to be helpful and instead has been disallowed from visiting her son and has not seen him since February. The mother’s horror story began just over a year ago and is outlined in a typed statement entitled “A Declaration and A Desperate Mother’s Cry for Justice.”

She said: “My 10-year-old son was kidnapped by the Child Protective Services (CPS) Department of DDHS on March 20, 2008.”

Full Article and Source:
Child Protective Services & the Business of ‘Legalized Kidnapping’

>Online Adult Abuse Registry

August 6, 2009

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Delaware residents who need a caregiver for their elderly loved ones now have an easier way to check up on a potential hire.

The state has activated an online Adult Abuse Registry that anyone can access to learn whether a caregiver has been investigated by the Department of Health and Social Services for a complaint of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of the elderly.

The registry has existed for years, but not on the Internet. Previously, anyone making a request to check a name would have to do so in writing and wait for weeks to get the results. With the online registry, the results are instantaneous.

House Majority Whip Valerie J. Longhurst: “I hope this gives people the peace of mind that they can get information and access it quickly.”

Longhurst sponsored House Bill 165, which created the online registry and requires health care providers, nursing homes and similar facilities to use it before making a hire. The bill — championed by AARP of Delaware — passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed by Gov. Jack Markell on June 30.

Full Article and Source:
Registry offers instant access to elder care complaints

Online Adult Abuse Registry

August 6, 2009
Delaware residents who need a caregiver for their elderly loved ones now have an easier way to check up on a potential hire.

The state has activated an online Adult Abuse Registry that anyone can access to learn whether a caregiver has been investigated by the Department of Health and Social Services for a complaint of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of the elderly.

The registry has existed for years, but not on the Internet. Previously, anyone making a request to check a name would have to do so in writing and wait for weeks to get the results. With the online registry, the results are instantaneous.

House Majority Whip Valerie J. Longhurst: “I hope this gives people the peace of mind that they can get information and access it quickly.”

Longhurst sponsored House Bill 165, which created the online registry and requires health care providers, nursing homes and similar facilities to use it before making a hire. The bill — championed by AARP of Delaware — passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed by Gov. Jack Markell on June 30.

Full Article and Source:
Registry offers instant access to elder care complaints

>Lawsuit to Get Abuse Report

July 25, 2009

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A legal advocacy group is expected to announce that it filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey Department of Human Services on behalf of a family denied information about an episode they say traumatized their 41-year-old severely disabled son living in a state institution.

Rosamund and Daniel Caliendo of Hampton said they arrived at the Hunterdon Developmental Center in Clinton for a holiday party on Dec. 1, 2007 to find their son, Damian, in his electronic wheelchair facing a wall with the chair’s front wheels suspended in the air and the tray table jabbed into his stomach.

Their son, who cannot speak and is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and other medical conditions that required neck surgery a year earlier, “was scared to death he was going to fall.” No one at the party came forward to explain what happened to Damien, who has lived at the institution for 30 years. The family believes an employee placed him in an unlawful restraint to punish him. They filed a complaint and demanded an investigation.

But when the Caliendos asked for the investigative report, the department gave them only a summary saying “staff did not act according to policy,” and “additional training will be conducted.” The summary did not include information about who was responsible or whether anyone had been punished.

Disability Rights New Jersey tried to obtain a copy of the report on the family’s behalf but was told state law does not permit the department from sharing investigative reports without a court order.

Full Article and Source:
Disability Rights group sues N.J. to get report about disabled man’s alleged abuse

Lawsuit to Get Abuse Report

July 25, 2009
A legal advocacy group is expected to announce that it filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey Department of Human Services on behalf of a family denied information about an episode they say traumatized their 41-year-old severely disabled son living in a state institution.

Rosamund and Daniel Caliendo of Hampton said they arrived at the Hunterdon Developmental Center in Clinton for a holiday party on Dec. 1, 2007 to find their son, Damian, in his electronic wheelchair facing a wall with the chair’s front wheels suspended in the air and the tray table jabbed into his stomach.

Their son, who cannot speak and is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and other medical conditions that required neck surgery a year earlier, “was scared to death he was going to fall.” No one at the party came forward to explain what happened to Damien, who has lived at the institution for 30 years. The family believes an employee placed him in an unlawful restraint to punish him. They filed a complaint and demanded an investigation.

But when the Caliendos asked for the investigative report, the department gave them only a summary saying “staff did not act according to policy,” and “additional training will be conducted.” The summary did not include information about who was responsible or whether anyone had been punished.

Disability Rights New Jersey tried to obtain a copy of the report on the family’s behalf but was told state law does not permit the department from sharing investigative reports without a court order.

Full Article and Source:
Disability Rights group sues N.J. to get report about disabled man’s alleged abuse

>Lawsuit Against State Facility

July 17, 2009

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A lawsuit has been filed in U.S. Federal District Court alleging abuse at a state mental health treatment facility.

The suit alleges that the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options facility in Cambridge, Minnesota, routinely restrained patients using metal handcuffs and shackles without cause.

The suit also contends the facility secluded patients for extended periods and deprived them of family visits. The facility is run by the state Department of Human Services.

Full Article and Source:
Lawsuit alleges abuse at state-run mental health facility

More information:
Abuses Alleged at State-Run Mental Center

Improper Restraint Common At Minnesota Hospital, Suit Says