Letters to the Editor

Tragedy of senior care

The Fresno-Madera Ombudsman Program is seeking more volunteers. I guess when volunteers find out the program gives them no authority to solve problems at senior-care facilities, they quit in frustration.

I know because the ombudsman I sought help from hit a wall of managerial apathy the ancient Chinese wall builders would certainly covet. She finally had to admit to herself that all of her good faith efforts to persuade the “caregivers” to care was falling on deaf hearts. Four years of it was enough for her.

There are multiple sources who see problems at care facilities – family, doctors, therapists, the state, ombudsmen – and have constructive advice for improving care. but managers and boards of directors don’t seek it out and when offered, ignore it.

“We don’t have the money or we would make changes,” is the standard excuse.

When a resident is injured or dies through negligence or apathy, the company will pay the heirs but not change its practices. These corporations can afford to pay for a tragic end to a life, or take you, the family member, to court to fight it. But they can’t afford to hire more aides and improve protocols.

Fred Dillon, Fresno