In response to the Star Tribune’s special report detailing abuse and neglect at Minnesota senior living facilities, Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), chairwoman of the Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, issued the following statement:
“The Star Tribune’s report detailing widespread abuse, assault, and neglect at senior living facilities across Minnesota is incredibly disturbing. Elder abuse is something that cannot – and will not – be tolerated. The elderly are some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable and to take advantage of that vulnerability is truly reprehensible. For the state’s health department to be aware of these incidents and not follow-up, leaving both patients and their families without answers for up to a year, is equally as shameful.
“The Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Committee has spent the year working to make sure the state’s elderly is adequately cared for so this sort of neglect does not continue. This includes stakeholder meetings with the Department of Health and looking at ways we can make sure patients and families receive answers in a timely manner. We are working on making sure families can receive more information while their loved ones are involved in ongoing investigations; it is important for this process to be as transparent as possible.
However, there is much work that remains. During the upcoming legislative session, the committee will continue to examine possibilities on how to move forward in making absolutely sure our elderly population is cared for with the dignity, compassion, and respect they deserve.”
Sen. Karin Housley, of St. Mary’s Point, is in her second term representing Senate District 39, which includes Stillwater, Forest Lake, Lake Elmo, and other communities in Chisago and Washington counties. She serves as chairwoman of the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee.