Failure to investigate elder abuse in Minnesota is unacceptable
The following statement may be attributed to Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
Today the Star Tribune reported that in 2018 the Minnesota Department of Health missed its deadline to investigate 150 cases of alleged serious harm or immediate risk of further harm to persons in care facilities. This is not acceptable.
Mistreatment of the most vulnerable Minnesotans in care facilities is rampant, with more than a thousand complaints made last year. While there is an expectation that these complaints will be dealt with in a timely manner, today's report is confirmation that they still are not. Experts on elder abuse also note that a majority of abuse, neglect, and maltreatment incidents are never reported to the state.
These incidents are violations of our human rights. Abuse in care facilities in Minnesota is and should be treated as a crisis situation.
MCCL today calls on the governor, the Department of Health, and the Legislature to take immediate prioritized and funded action to address all abuse claims in our state. Additionally, we call on elected officials to take a comprehensive, top-to-bottom look at all care facilities and the adequacy of the care people receive in these facilities. Clearly, problems exist that are not being addressed. We demand that vulnerable people be protected and have the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe and dignified manner.