Recent content from Chris Serres
Minnesota becomes the first state to offer housing support services in its basic Medicaid health plan.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm also cautioned that the virus still presents challenges.
As lawmakers reconvene this week for a special session, elder care advocates and families are renewing their push for new consumer safeguards to protect thousands of seniors who live in lightly regulated assisted- living facilities.
Many programs have struggled financially during pandemic.
For the first time in four months, families will be allowed to visit their loved ones inside senior care homes, as Minnesota health authorities cautiously lift lockdown restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus among vulnerable older adults.
They are the top reported grievance to the ombudsman's office, with 150 complaints lodged between March 1 and the end of June, records show.
A care worker was subjected to epithets, according to a legal settlement announced Tuesday by the state Department of Human Rights.
Dozens of centers have been forced to close temporarily since March, and after months of layoffs and furloughs, there are growing fears that this often-overlooked piece of the social safety net may collapse.
State health officials are seeking to balance the risk of infection with ills caused by prolonged isolation.
Since late March, visitors have been all but banned from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the state. "It has been utterly heartbreaking," said Jean Peters, a nurse and president of Elder Voice Family Advocates. "People are literally dying of loneliness."