Multidisciplinary Initiative to Prevent & Prosecute Elder Crimes Agenda

On May 2, 2018, from 9AM to 12PM, two of Diane's children, Alvin Franklin and Jacqueline Carney, will be participating in the Jefferson Area Coalition to End Elder Abuse (JACEEA) Multidisciplinary Initiative to Prevent & Prosecute Elder Crimes.

This event will highlight the work of the Jefferson Area Coalition to End Elder Abuse (JACEEA) and the importance of multi-jurisdictional cooperation to prevent, identify, refer, and prosecute elder abuse and exploitation. We welcome representatives from area nursing facilities, law enforcement, attorneys, financial institutions, and others to emphasize the importance of reporting potential abuse.

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McKnight's Senior Living Follows up on our Legislative Progress with House Joint Resolution No. 118

Lois Bowers of McKnight's Senior Living first reported on Diane's Story in February 2017, after the arbitration decision, and followed up with Jacqueline after learning of the Legislative progress Diane's Representatives have made with the introduction of House Joint Resolution 118.

The study is needed because independent living communities increasingly are providing healthcare services to residents through third parties and “are sometimes providing services to residents that are substantially similar to the care provided in assisted living facilities,” according to House Joint Resolution 118, sponsored by Delegate Robert Bell, a Republican, and Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Democrat.

NBC 29's Matt Talhelm Follows Up on House Joint Resolution No. 118

Matt Talhelm, who wrote a piece on our story earlier this year, followed up with Jacqueline Carney, Delegate Robert Bell - Patron of HJR118, and Doris Gelbman, Elder Law Attorney, this week to discuss the House Joint Resolution No. 118 to study regulating Independent Living Facililities.

"We need to make sure they know what they’re getting, what they’re not getting and what the safeguards are. This is a study and will give us a chance to look at this new thing and help us decide how we want to handle it." -- Delegate Robert Bell

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Delegate Bell and Senator Deeds introduce Joint Resolution 118 - Requesting the Department of Social Services to study regulation of independent living communities

Since arbitration ended, the family has been working to change the criminal and civil laws of Virginia. Meetings occurred with: the General Assembly representatives for Diane’s district, Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds, General Assembly representatives for Jacqueline’s district, Robert Bell and David Toscano, Albemarle County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office, Robert Tracci, and the Office Of The Virginia Attorney General, Chief Section Counsel, Steven Buck.  

Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds have now proposed House Joint Resolution No. 118 for the 2018 General Assembly, which requests a study by the Department of Social Services "regarding potential regulations and oversight may help to ensure that residents of such independent living communities are adequately protected" in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Please reach out to your Representatives to voice your support for this resolution - you can find info to contact your Representatives using the Who's My Legislator tool.

Steven Buck and his task force are currently drafting legislation to criminalize acts or omissions that lead to elder abuse and/or neglect like that which Diane suffered, and we will continue to update as this effort makes progress.

We are hopeful that our voices are being heard and Virginia will lead the way towards reform of the independent living industry and in the protection of the elderly. 

CBS6 takes Thorough Look at Check-in Program Failures

While Carney’s mom was in ‘independent living,’ which is not regulated by the state, Commonwealth Senior Living also operates 23 “assisted living” communities, which are regulated. CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit did some research and found that nearly two-thirds of their facilities only have either a one year or provisional license from the state. That means the state has found enough violations that they feel the need to visit the facility more often than those who did a better job meeting state standards, which are visited every two to three years.

Daily Progress Op/Ed: Independent Living Facilities Need Oversight

Over-regulation is on lawmakers’ radar screens these days — but there’s also such a thing as under-regulation.

And Virginia under-regulates independent living facilities. In fact, it doesn’t regulate them at all.

A dangerous gap exists, and the distressing case of an Albemarle County woman who was forgotten in her room for four days demonstrates the need for action.

McKnight's Senior Living thoroughly covers Diane's Story

"Better recordkeeping and adherence to corporate protocols could have prevented the incident that led to an arbitration decision that a Virginia senior living community pay $900,000 to the estate of a former resident who died four months after not being checked on in her independent living apartment for four days, the resident's daughter told McKnight's Senior Living." 

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