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Coalition offers senior care provider screening tool

BROWN COUNTY — A Minnesota-based, non-profit, elder advocacy group recently created a free online tool that allows people to research health and safety records of all licensed senior care providers in Minnesota.

ElderCare IQ provides access to Minnesota Department of Health state inspection reports for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and home health agencies.

The tool helps people find providers with a clean record from state inspectors and those with a history of abuse and neglect of residents.

Elder Voice Advocates (EVA) reports all its funding comes from grants, donations and sponsorships from elder care products and service businesses and organizations.

The organization listed its priorities as:

• Engaging with the general public, providers, regulators, legislators, and other advocacy groups to address concerns and seek solutions regarding the quality of care from senior living, home care and long-term care providers.

• Supporting residents and individuals dealing with the trauma of experiencing harm to their loved one and to caregivers dealing with the stresses of giving quality care to elders and vulnerable adults.

• Educating residents, families, the general public, policy makers and stakeholders on areas of concern and issues surrounding the quality of care from senior living, home care and long-term care providers.

• Exposing as necessary, issues regarding the quality of care from senior living, home care and long-term care providers.

• Advocating for legislative and regulatory solutions to govern care received from senior living, home care and long-term care providers that protect the residents from abuse, neglect and unsafe care.

The MDH receives complaints of abuse, neglect and exploitation from elders, their families, health care providers and others. Complaints are investigated and findings are reported as substantiated, not substantiated and inconclusive.

A substantiated finding means a preponderance of the evidence shows that an act that met the definition of maltreatment occurred.

An unsubstantiated complaint finding means a preponderance of the evidence shows that an act that meets the definition of maltreatment did not occur.

An inconclusive finding means there is not a preponderance of evidence to show that maltreatment did or did not occur.

According to the ElderCareIQ:

• Oak Hills Living Center, New Ulm has four substantiated investigations, eight unsubstantiated investigations and no inconclusive investigations.

According to the MDH, the facility was found to be in compliance because corrective action was taken prior to on-site investigation for complaints concluded Nov. 3, 2022; Dec. 16, 2021; Oct. 12, 2020. Complaints included failed to follow POC (plan of care) fall with fracture; neglect of care, bed pan left for extended period of time resulting in bruise, plan of care not followed for diet order and neglect.

• Oak Hills Assisted Living had no investigations.

• PSC of New Ulm LLC assisted living had one unsubstantiated investigation.

• Woodstone Senior Living assisted living, New Ulm, had no investigations.

• Orchard Hill Senior Living, assisted living, New Ulm has two substantiated investigations.

• Ridgeway on 23rd, assisted living, New Ulm has one substantiated and one inconclusive investigation.

• Ridgeway on German, assisted living, New Ulm has one substantiated investigation.

• Sleepy Eye Care Center has 11 substantiated and 14 unsubstantiated investigations. According to the MDH, the facility was found to be in compliance because corrective action was taken prior to on-site investigation or achieved substantial compliance based on a re-visit.

Complaints included medical error, verbal abuse staff to resident, neglect of medication, toileting, quality of care and plan of care not followed for diet.

A medication pharmacy survey found the most serious deficiencies were isolated and constituted no actual harm with potential for more than minimal harm that was not immediate jeopardy.

• Countryside Retirement Community, assisted living, Sleepy Eye has one substantiated investigation.

• Divine Providence Community Home, Sleepy Eye has two substantiated investigations, 16 unsubstantiated investigations. A complaint mentioned resident left on bed pan. Corrective action was taken prior to a survey.

• St. John Lutheran Home, Springfield has 11 substantiated investigations, 12 unsubstantiated investigations. Complaints included medication misappropriation, staff to resident verbal abuse by staff, accidents with injury, injury of unknown origin and healthcare neglect.

Most complaints did not require a plan of action because they were corrected prior to revisits. The MDH reported the facility achieved substantial compliance after revisit, so no remedies were imposed.

• The Maples at St. John, assisted living, Springfield had one substantiated investigation.

ElderCare IQ resources include Elder Voice Family Advocates, the Minnesota Home Care Bill of Rights, how to file a complaint, knowing your rights, working with your long-term care provider, how to choose a care facility and where to get help.

For more information, visit https://eldercareiq.org/

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@

nujournal.com).

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