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Sarasota Herold-Tribune

Stop Bennett's nursing home bill

Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It was with dismay that I read the article in Friday's Herald-Tribune about state Sen. Mike Bennett's efforts to gut nursing home oversight. The annual assessment of nursing homes is a valuable and useful tool in ensuring that those who cannot care for themselves are given the proper care.

The elderly are one of the most vulnerable segments of our society and need the care and support of all. An annual, unannounced inspection is one of the most valuable tools we have in ensuring nursing homes are giving our elderly the best care possible. To have such discontinued is a disservice to those who need it most. The need for annual inspections by advocates for nursing home residents cannot be emphasized strongly enough.

Bennett said he did not know why the provision for eliminating inspections by ombudsmen was being included in the bill. Hello!

This is the telltale indication that the bill was not written by Bennett but by the nursing home industry.

We owe it to our elders. They have done so much for all of us in bringing society to where it is today. We need to do much for them to make sure they are properly cared for. Anything less is a repudiation of what we, as a society, stand for. With this in mind, I urge all to contact their state senator (especially Bennett) as well as their state representative, urging them not to support Senate Bill 1562.

Dave Hilsheimer

This story appeared in print on page A8