Across America the number of homes that are used to house and serve the needs of the most vulnerable adults among us are being shut down. No one is questioning the right of a state government to act against a poorly managed, unlicensed or mismanaged home as they did against Latham AFC a few years ago and more recently Arden Courts in Michigan, but questions remain as to motive and tactic. Some of these questions are coming from city governments. (Click Here for response to what has been called “state created chaos” from the Mayor of Livonia, Michigan-USA)
Rightfully care management professionals and even city governments are questioning:
- Why cities, including fire marshals are not a part of the dialogue leading up to the media witnessed shutdown of a home?
- Why cities, including local fire marshals and building and safety reps are not a part of the pre-closure dialogue about correcting environmental issues? (There may be no statutory obligation on the part of state governments but cities could help bring a matter to repair with special locally based help)
- Why state governments do not maintain and publicize a list of Care Management Quality Control professionals and recommend these entities to struggling homes to help them create a path to a better operation and success?
- Why homes managed by people with criminal convictions such as marijuana distribution, a DUI, etc. which do not constitute abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult are forced out of the business while felons with drug and violence related federal convictions write letters of explanation and are allowed to remain in business or obtain adult foster care licenses?
While it is the responsibility of a care business owner to ensure high standards of quality with ongoing staff development, adherence to fire safety regulations, etc. we would hope state governments would go the last mile to help a facility improve before ordering residents out with only a few hours notice. Imagine the stress to families and guardians!
Of course it is a balancing act as a state does not want to find itself liable for not acting or not acting fast enough when there are allegations of abuse or neglect. However, in the absence of this, perhaps the meeting of the minds can be expanded a bit and include building and safety, fire and emergency medical officials from local governments.
Who knows how much more needs to be revamped, including under what circumstances can an unlicensed home operate. In the absence of publicly known modifications to these state rules, you end up with people operating while looking over their shoulder and in that scenario no one wins and that includes residents.
Penny for your thoughts.
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