Franken seeks Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights
This week, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) reintroduced a bill to guarantee Minnesota seniors basic rights and protections from abuse and neglect as they receive long-term services and support in their homes and communities.
Franken said he will push to get this bill included in the Older Americans Act when it comes up for reauthorization in this Congress.
"Seniors from Moorhead to Winona have told me that remaining independent and at home is a top priority for them and their families," said Franken. "We work to keep our seniors in their homes, we also have to make sure they're safe. This legislation would ensure that seniors who choose to receive long-term services and supports in their homes and communities have the same rights and protections from elder abuse that seniors living in nursing rooms already have."
Residents of nursing homes are guaranteed certain rights and protections from elder abuse, but Franken has heard from Minnesota seniors and their advocates that seniors who receive services in their homes and communities are often left without a place to turn if they feel unsafe or have problems with their services. Franken has reintroduced the Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights Act to address these concerns.
Franken's Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights Act would:
--Direct states to develop a Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights to protect seniors who receive services in their homes and communities;
--Establish a voluntary Home Care Ombudsman Program to support states that choose to provide ombudsman services to resolve the concerns and complaints of seniors who receive home and community-based services; and
--Develop quality measures for home and community-based services so that seniors and their families can make more informed decisions about who provides their services.
As a member of the Health Committee, Franken will push to incorporate his bill into the Older Americans Act when it comes up for reauthorization. Franken previously introduced the Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights Act in 2011.