Problems With the Home Health Care Industry In Wisconsin:
I have recently learned through a confidential source that a particular company that operates in the State of Wisconsin with headquarters in Monona, WI (just a couple of miles from where I live) may be breaking the law (state licensing agreements) and is putting developmentally disabled clients and their caregivers at risk for injuries and even death by not properly staffing a now “over filled” (because of the lack of staffing) state of Wisconsin licensed home located in Wood County, Wisconsin.
Most information I am withholding at this time…to ensure that I do not violate any confidentiality agreements or put anyone at risk of losing their employment with this company. This company has opened itself wide for a class-action lawsuit to be filed by employees, and The Truth is Out There is going to spend a little bit of time focusing on this local issue with national implications (because this doesn’t just happen here in Wisconsin).
The mentality of most people is “out of sight, out of mind”, but the developmentally disabled are never out of site, and should never be out of mind. They may be washing the dishes or helping prep food at your favorite restaurant. They may have made the pair of scissors you have on your desk or in your utility drawer. They help sort papers at your insurance company, helping you have an easier relationship with the services that you need and desire as a citizen of this country. Our treatment of the developmentally disabled has become reprehensible, and this is an issue close to my heart. I have family members working in this industry, and I myself spent just over 5 years working as a live-in for the developmentally disabled in various homes in the Madison area from 1995-2000.
They are some of the same issues that affect our elderly neighbors in nursing home facilities which have received so much attention in the past in the media. However, these issues are now virtually ignored…but I will say this…I am not going to ignore these issues, and I am going to expose these people who profiteer on the backs of the weakest, but some of the greatest, citizens of our country. This is not Nazi Germany. This is America, where freedom is supposed to be for everyone. And it is time for America to wake up to this issue, to learn about it, and to tell your representatives (local, state, and federal) that “enough is enough”. Because someday, one of your family members may be an employee or a resident in such a facility, and I’m sure you would want the highest level of care for them. So why wait until it affects you personally? By then, it just may be too late.
I welcome comments and stories about these types of facilities. Your views are important to the development of this campaign to shed the Light of Truth on these forgotten neighbors.
Update 1: Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 (The Ides of March!): I spoke with "my source" last evening, and it appears that the client that was at risk of losing his life or sustaining more serious injury is going to be placed in a nursing home "temporarily". The guardian of this individual apparently lied to the company about the individual's health conditions. However, this is a cop-out by the company. I know from my experience that you never rely solely on what the guardian says, you investigate medical records, documentation that should have been on-going from wherever the individual is coming from (facility, group home, etc.). The company simply did not do its job in respect to properly matching up this potential client with a home. They only were concerned with the amount of money Wood County and the State of Wisconsin was going to pour in each month to the company for that individual.
I truly hope that the best interests of this client and the people he is (was) living with are kept in mine. And just to be clear, it is my understanding that concerns regarding this individual have been properly reported by employees (since all employees are considered "mandatory reporters" under State Statutes). So I am not working on this story without ensuring that the proper steps to protect life and property have been taken. There's no "real" steps I can take except to shine the light of truth on this and other situations like it, and grab the attention of our lawmakers, currently so busy with the Caucus/Campaign Scandal in the Wisconsin Legislature and their own re-elections to the House of Representatives this fall. These are the types of issues that could destroy a campaign. Not a threat, a promise. Who will step up to the plate?
-->End of Update 1. Drop on by for further updates. This is not just a Wisconsin issue.
Tag: Wisconsin Healthcare Health Disabilities Disabled Truth