LETTER: Bernardy: ‘Person-centered advocacy for Minnesota elders’

To the Editor:

 

Thank you, Connie Bernardy, for understanding the immediate need to address elder abuse in Minnesota’s long-term care facilities. 

Last session Rep. Bernardy signed on as an author of HF-3468 that called for broad systemic reforms that would have greatly improved the health and safety of vulnerable adults. This bill, along with SF-3088, incorporated recommendations from Gov. Dayton’s Consumer Task Force (AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Elder Voice Family Advocates, Legal Aid and Minnesota Elder Justice Center).  

Disgracefully, the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to hear either bill. Instead, they caved in to industry lobbyists who fought both the licensure of assisted living facilities and the strengthening of rights of vulnerable adults and their families. Instead, a watered-down article was placed in a 989-page omnibus “garbage” bill. 

Our seniors deserved so much better. Meanwhile, 400-plus complaints continue to arrive weekly at the Office of Health Facilities Complaint. (The Oct. 7, 2018, weekly tally is 480, with 401 involving maltreatment.)

I encourage residents to watch the archived video of the League of Women Voters candidate forum, which took place on Oct. 1, in New Brighton City Hall (www.newbrightonmn.gov). Candidates for Minnesota’s House Districts 41A and 41B presented their stances on a number of issues, including elder abuse prevention. Connie Bernardy, unlike her opponent, concisely described person-centered advocacy for Minnesota elders.

I plan to vote for Rep. Bernardy. I hope you will join me.

 

JacLynn Herron

New Brighton

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