More Information for Families in Elder Abuse Investigations

Not WatchingMinnesota state lawmakers are proposing investigations into the office that itself investigates senior care complaints and say they’ll draft a law to give families more information.

Lawmakers were told of a multitude of 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.

“Families oftentimes aren’t getting answers,” says an attorney specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. What’s even more troubling, he says, is the secrecy involved with the complaints. If the state doesn’t conduct a full on-site investigation, the cases are never made public.

Reference: KARE (December 12, 2017) “Lawmaker calls for new law on secrecy in elder abuse complaints”


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