Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Follow-up on Government-Subsidized Elder Abuse

Although I welcome feedback, apparently my blog doesn’t. Seems it’s been rejecting comments. I’m exploring how to fix the problem, but in the meantime, I wanted to pass along an item from Lori Delagrammatikas, program coordinator of Project Master at San Diego State University’s School of Social Work:

Riverside County (California) convinced an IHSS administrative hearing judge to deny a client the right to continue to use an abusive independent provider using the argument that the purpose of the IHSS program is to maintain the client safely at home. (Clients who have complaints about state benefits and services can request hearings, which are presided over by administrative law judges from the California Department of Social Services. Clients [and their advocates] and representatives from their counties present their sides.)

This was a domestic violence case and the boyfriend was not only the IP but also the client's authorized representative. He was very violent, and when he came to the hearing, he was verbally abusive to the hearing judge! It was obvious that paying this particular provider caused the client to be "unsafe" at home, undermining the purpose of the IHSS program. Unfortunately, the judge's ruling was for this individual case and did not set a precedent for other cases.

I’d be interested in hearing about what’s happening in other states.

Georgia Anetzberger, assistant professor at Cleveland State University, wrote suggesting the need for an in-depth article on this topic and more research. Georgia, by the way, did some of the seminal research on family abusers and has continued to do cutting edge work for over two decades. I fully agree about the need for research, especially studies to help identify high-risk IPs, which could serve to educate administrative hearing judges (and others) and alert consumers to risks.

I’ve also received many positive comments about the blog, suggestions for publicizing it, and ideas for future topics. Thank you all, and I’ll make every effort to oblige. Also, feel free to comment and let me know if you have problems doing so.

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