Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thousands of "Imprisioned Elders" File Class Action Lawsuit

Plant City Florida,USA

Thousands of elders are Waking up to find themselves in prison like environment , held against their will.

8,500 thousands elder and disabled Medicaid Recipients are waking up to the ultimate nightmare, being chemically restrained and held against their will in un familiar surroundings away from home, family and everything that's dear to them.

They say the state is illegally forcing them to live in nursing homes when they should be able to exercise their G-d given right to live where they chose .

They have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of nearly 8,500 institutionalized Medicaid recipients.

Advocates charge that nursing homes, afraid of losing money, have successfully pressured politicians to make qualifying for community care more difficult. Americans who qualify for Medicaid and get sick or disabled enough to require substantial care typically have little problem gaining admission to a nursing home, but getting badly needed services to stay at home are
is very difficult to say the least , add to that the thousands of elders that are forced into state mandated guardianships/conservatorships that strips them of their civil rights and you are starting to get the picture.

"There's a lot of concern that the nursing home industry is very powerful in many states and has made sure that a lot of Medicaid dollars go to institutional care as opposed to home and community-based care," said Toby Edelman, an attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Gov. Charlie Crist's office — the three defendants — all declined to comment on the litigation. So did the attorney general's office, which is representing the defendants.

The American Health Care Association, which represents about 11,000 nursing homes and long-term care facilities, a majority of them for-profit. Spokeswoman Susan Feeney noted, "You don't want to be there but sometimes for health reasons beyond your control, you have to be."

Meet Charles Todd Lee who spent spent a lifetime going backstage at concerts, following politicians on the campaign trail and capturing iconic shots of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mick Jagger to Mickey Mantle. Today, he enjoys such freedom only in his dreams.

He could have been like any other journalist Michael Putney the one Dr. Robert Sarhan approached to do a story to help free his mother Yvonne Sarhan from being chemically restrained and isolated and prohibited from seeing her son or he could have been like Journalist Suzanne Boyd whom Bonnie Reiter approached to do story about her mother Corinne Bramson who was forced into guardianship , stripped of her rights lost over $250,000.00 in legal fees and was put into a Hospice program under a false diagnosis and allegedly killing her in 12 days with morphine.

Charles Todd Lee like any other Journalist could have easily dismissed the problem as it did not concerned him and waved off the suffering of the victim and of their families by failing to come to their help by publicizing their plight.

Now the Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

The 67-year-old photographer has been confined to a nursing home for five years, the victim of a stroke that paralyzed his left side. And he's angry.

"Most of the people come here to die, so you want to die," he said. "It is a prison. I can't escape it."
Lee is among the Medicaid recipients across Florida challenging the nightmare of the old and disabled: to be forced from comfort and familiarity into a nursing home.They say the state is illegally forcing them to live in nursing homes when they should be able to live where they choose.

Whether the litigation gets Lee and others moved out of nursing homes remains to be seen. But at the very least, it has illuminated the frustration experienced by older people or those with disabilities who say they're shuttled into nursing homes when they are healthy enough to live at home, with relatives, or in other less institutional settings.

John Boyd, 50, has been in a nursing home for the last nine years. He hates them. He became a quadriplegic 36 years ago when he fell off a wall and broke his neck.

"I can't choose what meal I want, I can't have a visitor after 8 o'clock — it's just like a prison without bars," he said.

"People are making decisions for and about me that don't even know me or even care about me. All they care about is the money they're getting for me."

"What Goes Around, Comes Around"

Journalists, citizens, neighbors, politicians, judges, attorneys, do something about the problem!
Do Not Ignore your neighbors' suffering as it does not concern you because

Your Time Will Come

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