COVID-19 Proves the Need for Regulation in Elder Care

Elder care experts like Nadia Kiderman have been forewarning for the better part of the last decade of the need for additional regulatory and oversight procedures for elder-care facilities. Unfortunately, much of these warnings have fallen on deaf ears, with little to nobody paying attention to them. Even as genuine and sincere as those calls have been, they have yet to be received with the care, attention and grace that they were always deserving of.

Nadia Kiderman has expressed these sentiments in an array of different forums. The need for more protections to be in place for the elderly residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the like, is an issue that deserves to be taken far more seriously than it presently is. The power that many nursing home and assisted living facility executives have in a political context in many cases, is overwhelming. This is especially true in the Northeast region of the United States.

But even on a national scale, they have been very effective at making sure their relationships with lawmakers and those that hold elected office are taken seriously. This is something that elder-care advocates have sought to change. Ultimately, politicians and those holding elected office are constantly seeking to appease their constituents. And although bankrolling their political campaigns might be a justified concern for them, so too is the need for appeasement of their broader constituency.

Ultimately, office holders need to be elected and that’s the concern they all share and have on their mind regardless of the day. So if there is a proper and adequate public outcry for issues of public and social concern, it can and even will make a difference. There are issues that need to be highlighted by the media as well, and that’s a discussion that media barons need to have.

It is grossly unfair that certain issues of social and public concern get far more attention and air-time than others. The issue of neglect of residents that are elderly in healthcare facilities has never gotten any media attention. And certainly, to the extent it’s received minimal attention, that attention has been grossly inadequate.

Due to the numerous fatalities in the wake of the emergence of the Coronavirus, there has been considerable media coverage of the nursing home industry in particular. And of course, this media coverage is wholly justified. But why did it take a pandemic of this magnitude with the considerable fatalities in nursing homes, in order to finally warrant the media coverage this situation has gotten? There should have been a light shined on this issue a long time ago.

It is a true travesty of justice and journalistic malpractice that it has not. Journalists do a good job on balance of muckracking and exposing deceit and fraud where it may exist. There is no underestimating the important role they play in our democratic society. Their function is integral to our working democracy. So it is time for people to ask , and ask it vocally – why has this sort of abuse and neglect of our population’s most vulnerable not gotten the attention it so sorely deserves?

This is a question that has been a long time coming. There ought to be considerable attention drawn to it . It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to finally get to it ; and expose the sort of corruption taking place within the ranks of the elder care industry. But alas we are now here; and now let the spotlight shine as brightly as ever before. It’s integral that this is done. For lives are literally at stake. Our elderly community’s safety and health should matter to us all.