PRESIDENT TRUMP “KILLS ELDERLY” BY DEREGULATING NURSING HOME INDUSTRY AND ENDING LAWSUITS AGAINST NURSING HOMES

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They’re killing us softly, like frogs in a slowly boiling pot. Every day it gets harder for those born into my generation to get a break in our little battle for what we call life. We struggle head-on with the economy, our health, Western medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, corporate profits, GMOs, chemtrails, Smart Meters, 5G cell towers, geo engineering, firestorm terrorism, “fake news,” and those with different views in what is seemingly a never ending assault on all senses that promises to change all that is, us included, in dramatic fashion.

The state of the health care nation for our elderly grows darker by the hour. This is again evidenced by the Trump Administration that has scaled back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury. This is a “reversal of guidelines put in place by President Obama,” writes Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News.

Not surprisingly, it was the nursing home industry itself that requested the changes to the Medicare program’s penalty protocols, saying that relief was “critical”. The nursing home industry’s central trade group, the American Health Care Association, the Kaiser article says, had complained to the Trump Administration that government inspectors excessively focused on catching wrongdoing rather than helping nursing homes to improve. Where some people come from, this is called deterrence. And isn’t deterrence the whole point of nursing home regulation? To deter abuse and neglect by health care facilities whose operators are focused on the bottom line — budget cuts disguised as shareholder profits.

Since 2013, nearly 6,500 nursing homes — 4 out of every 10 — have been cited at least once for serious violations. “Medicare has fined two-thirds of those homes,” Rau writes. “Common citations include failing to protect residents from avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores.” And so we’re going to just cut that oversight, right? Avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores be damned!

The new Trump guidelines discourage federal regulators from levying fines in some situations, even when they have resulted in a resident’s death. The guidelines are expected to result in lower fines for many facilities. “The change in federal policy aligns with Trump’s promise to reduce bureaucracy, regulation and government intervention in business,” the Kaiser article says. Many facilities are going to be saving money as well by not having to pay stiffly appropriate fines.

The change in federal policy also aligns with health care providers’ argument that they have been spending too much time complying with regulations that they say get in the way of providing health care for their patients. What they don’t say is that paid nursing home employee time spent attending to oversight regulators also takes profit from shareholders’ mouths.

WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY?

Statistics say there are 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes today. This number seems very low. According to Morning Star, by the year 2020, 40 percent of all deaths in the United States will take place in nursing homes. So is dismantling federal regulations in this industry really something we who represent aging baby boomers want to do? Who is protecting the seniors interests in health care that doesn’t kill them? Do seniors really have to go to nursing homes to suffer, be drugged, and die? How many caregivers do we need to accomplish this?

The federal guidelines that were put into place in 2013, which increased fines for nursing home actions that harm or even kill patients, were reversed. The oversight and imposition of fines were intended to encourage nursing homes to toe the line and meet the high standards. With the Trump Administration guidelines, however, regulators are discouraged from levying fines in many situations, some that have even resulted in deaths of the residents.

According to the Kaiser article, Senior attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Tony Edelman, confirms, saying: “They’ve pretty much emasculated enforcement, which was already weak.” The article cites a Kaiser report of one nursing home patient who died because of staff failure to monitor and treat a wound. Under the 2013 guidelines, the nursing home was fined almost $300,000. Under Trump’s new guidelines, the maximum fine would have been less than $21,000. That’s a $279,000 windfall for corporate shareholders to divide among themselves.

RESIDENTS WAIVE RIGHT TO SUE IN COURT

To make matters even more difficult for Alzheimer’s patients and wheelchair bound elderly, for decades patients and their families have been prevented from legally redressing their grievances by suing nursing homes even when they were guilty of egregious negligence or abuse. The nursing homes ensured this by making people entering the facilities sign contracts requiring them to settle any future disputes through arbitration.

The Obama Administration had barred nursing homes from this practice, protecting the rights of residents and their families to take nursing homes to court. However, the Trump Administration not only threw out this protection, says The New York Times, it has proposed a federal rule change to affirmatively allow nursing homes to bar residents and their families from filing lawsuits.

Again, there has to be a group that truly represents the seniors’ interests. Here, the issue seems quite clear. Those seniors who live in health care facilities are doing so because they have no other choice in life. Many of them have suffered severe health ailments that have rendered them wheelchair bound. Many of those who are disabled physically also suffer from major mental and emotional issues that are related in cause and origin. True science has proven that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases are tied to physical deterioration of the cells of the body. In other words disease of the mind originates from a diseased body. In mind as in body.

Many of these disabled seniors have no money and rely on government to protect them from negligent and abusive caregiving. Their families don’t have the money to take care of their beloved seniors. So family members have no choice but to commence searching for a nursing facility that will even admit their senior loved one. When they get accepted, under the Trump Administration suggested policy, the seniors’ family would have to sign a waiver saying they can never sue the nursing home no matter what kind of abuse or neglect they do to a loved one. Regardless, burdened family members who have run out of energy, money, and options on how to care for their senior loved one will jump at the chance to hand their mother or father over to a nursing facility and breathe easier as a result, believing someone else has relieved them of the responsibility of providing direct health care.

BOTTOM LINE IS MORE LEGISLATION NEEDED TO AID GROWING NUMBER OF SENIORS

Here’s the bottom line. Elderly citizens confined to nursing home care are not getting the protection they need from bigger institutions that are supposed to provide their health care. Deterrence for the nursing home industry to comply with adequate standards is being squandered by government and the corporations that play banker investment games for profit with the nursing homes that care for the elderly across the country.

New, more meaningful legislation appears to be the only adequate fix to the glitches in the present health care laws. We will also need to appropriate the necessary funding in government health care budgets to allow for zealous regulation of the home nursing industry and then to legislate unbiased bi-partisan supported laws with crocodile sharp teeth that will hold the operators of American nursing homes, and the shareholders who climb into corporate board of directors’ heads to maximize profits, accountable for every misstep they take in caring for each and every nursing home patient. Only then will we begin to relieve the suffering of those who require nursing home care, because the industry will then be appropriately regulated, and the penalties for negligence and abuse will be too steep a price to pay for disobeying the law.

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DYING WITH DIGNITY; WHO FAILED THE ELDERLY WOMAN? THREE GIRLS? THE ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY THAT HIRED THEM? OR WAS IT US?

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It really doesn’t make any sense, but that’s just a sign of our times, right. Make jokes, flip the bird, smoke a vape pen. Feed a habit. Ignore responsibilities. Disrespect life. Who cares?

They’re just kids, though, right, so they can be easily forgiven. In this case they were responsible for a 76-year-old-woman who’d just suffered a stroke and lay dying in a Georgia hospice. Nothing to worry about, right? Third page news.

When I first read the story on Newsweek.com, it seemed so obvious where the blame for it all should fall, and of course it did with the arrests of the three young women / girls who made the video. I call them girls because that’s what they are, two 21-year-olds and a nineteen year old; lacking in development of working conscience, little if any consideration of consequences for their actions, a lack of maturity and a stunted development of sense and responsibility. Many teens suffer from these same symptoms. Adults too. It’s contagious in today’s society. It’s the way our kids are wired; breathing computer games, iPhones and chemtrails instead of life’s realities and healthy nutrition which swirls past them undetected.

So I call these three clueless young women kids because they did what kids do. Only different. Only indifferent – indifference being the operative word here, by all parties involved. Indifference manifests in many forms and in this case as childish, careless inattention that happens when kids are given too much responsibility by someone who shouldn’t be giving it to them at all. With responsibility comes a price that many senior healthcare facilities seem unwilling to pay.

SO WHAT DID THE KIDS DO?

The kids did the despicable on June 13 inside Bentley Senior Living in Northminster, Georgia. Too much responsibility for two 21-year-olds and a nineteen-year-old teen who would later be charged with exploiting an elderly and disabled person and for their dereliction of duty. The elderly woman would soon die. She had a stroke and the senior facility was waiting on a hospice nurse. It was going to be an extensive time before the hospice nurse would arrive, so it was the job of these three girls to closely monitor their patient until the hospice nurse arrived.

The dying elderly woman was said to have had difficulties swallowing and moving around, and there was a threat that she could choke or fall from her bed. That’s why the girls were there, to make sure that didn’t happen.

But the girls weren’t really concerned about responsibilities or their patient, because, well, after all, they are millenials. And sometimes millenials get bored or their ADD symptoms kick in and they just don’t have the time or attention span in their little heads to care for dying, bedridden seniors. Face it, healthcare in a senior home does not resonate at the same excitement level as iPhones, videos and Snapchat.

One of the girls decided to bring them all to life at once, and suddenly there was no more boredom. Now one of the girls was making a video and someone else was smoking a vape pen, and there were profanities and one of the girls was making obscene hand gestures into the camera. And it never occurred to their three millenial minds to do anything about the septuagenarian woman laying motionless from a stroke in the bed in the background.

When the girls were finished with their production they would post it on Snapchat labeled “The End.”

SO WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY?

It wasn’t just the girls involved in this who were culpable. Sure the girls were callous and indifferent with their duties, and they were rightfully arrested and charged with elder abuse. But my question is where were all the adults in the room when this was taking place? Who was these girls’ supervisor at the time this infamous video was being made? As the associated news articles might suggest, this is not necessarily an isolated type of incident, one where fate had these three girls gather in this room to commit this heinous deed on a one time basis only.

WHY IS THERE NO DIGNITY IN DYING?

The question here is whether there is such a thing as dignity in care giving at senior nursing homes anywhere? I want to know where the concept of dignity with dying is in relation to where America’s priorities are. Sure an employee of Bentley Senior Living discovered the video a couple days after the incident and the police were notified, but what if that employee hadn’t seen the video on Snapchat? There was going to be no dignity in dying for this 76-year-old woman either way. Could this have been avoided?

Did anyone really do the research to see who these girls were before they were hired to care for dying, bedridden senior citizens? Did these girls have any experience in caring for the elderly? Did any of them produce passports when they applied for their jobs?

COULD ONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN AN ILLEGAL?

One of the girls might have been in the country illegally. This creates a whole new series of issues when it comes to home and healthcare for the elderly. How can we hire people we can trust to care for our elderly when we don’t even know where they come from?

An article on onlineathens.com reports that the two twenty-one-year-olds were released on bond after their arrests and the teenager was reportedly still being held for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Why would Immigration and Customs hold a perfectly legal woman? Was the nineteen-year-old in this country illegally? If not, then why the immigration hold?

BENTLEY SENIOR LIVING SAYS THEY ONLY HIRE LEGALS

There have been no claims that the three girls or Bentley Senior Living had anything to do with the cause of the elderly woman’s death. According to NBC affiliate 11alive.com, Bentley Senior Living at Northminster delivered a statement claiming that no resident’s condition was compromised as a result of this “unfortunate event.”

Bentley Senior Living says that all employees must produce the required documentation that proves they are either U.S. citizens or legally permitted to work in the United States – which the three girls did. “We do not hire illegal immigrants,” the Bentley Senior Living statement reads. “An ICE detention does not mean an individual was working illegally.”

Then what does it mean? The two girls without ICE detentions are out on bail. Either way this is only one instance of abuse that happened to get caught on camera. There was no disputing the evidence in this case, and there may have been other types of incidents. The 11alive.com article quotes Jefferson Police Detective Jay Parker as saying police have been called to the facility prior to this instance, but never for anything as serious.

OUR SENIOR CITIZENS DESERVE BETTER

The bottom line is our senior citizens deserve much better than what they’re getting, and their lives depend on it. Dying with dignity is an important act with spiritual significance. We all deserve respect from those who care for us. This case of the three girls is evidence of abuse against a fragile segment of our society. The sad part is we know these kinds of events run undisclosed in the many corners of the elderly healthcare world. We have a greatly aging population merging into a society that has no true infrastructure in place to adequately care for them or the financial resources to hire the qualified people to run it.

Seniors in the private sector and senior military veterans are aging at a time when America does not put her resources toward their benefit or improvement of the quality of their last days alive. The entire healthcare system, including basically all of Western medicine, the governments that oversee healthcare, and the pharmaceutical complex, are all involved and intermingled and they won’t change their model of practice until we change them.

The aspect the article of the three girls brings up at its core is about the money being spent to hire competent caretakers at for-profit elderly care facilities to care for aging senior citizens in a dignified and appropriate manner. These issues will ultimately have to be addressed by those who represent the elderly and our military veterans. It takes money to hire better and more highly qualified people to care for our elderly. Hopefully this article will help bring needed attention to these serious issues.

Our legacy as a generation and as a nation will be measured by how much humanity we express toward the vulnerable segments of our population. Resourceful healthcare for our elderly and veterans must be a number one priority in all our communities.

Senior citizens are amongst our wisest and most valuable resources. There is so much wisdom and insight we can gain from them if only we take the time to listen. Their voices are soft. Listen closely. Give peace a chance. Make putting profits in shareholders’ pockets by sedating our elderly a secondary factor to providing better quality of life to our growing, aging population. This will only come through major changes to our healthcare paradigm and how much we pay whom to take care of our elderly. The old axiom that you get what you pay for has never been clearer. Just ask the three girls we put in charge.