One of several stories that must be told. A regular user of the Senior Center lunch program was at the center for lunch. He didn’t feel good because he had spent the night at the emergency room with bronchitis. The Oregon Health Plan wouldn’t cover the cost of the prescribed codeine cough syrup. And he told the parks staff that he didn’t have heat in his home. Those same staff didn’t know what to ask him. She sought the aid of the one professional on the senior center staff, Katie, who had staff give him some cough drops. She didn’t even talk with him.
The prior experienced and qualified staff would have asked him key questions to assess his needs and identify resources that could have helped him. Why was he without heat? Could someone have spoken to landlord? There are local community services that can help people who cannot afford certain needs.
The staff in their effort to assist the ailing man came back to him with an electric space heater. He told him that it wouldn’t work in his house because of the wiring. What if he had taken the heater and that caused a fire; the liability to the city is huge with this kind of care for our elderly.
The critical services to seniors are not in place and continuing as asserted by APRC. The outside I&R specialist is not filling the critical needs of seniors as was performed by prior staff. Seniors who come in for help with the specialist leave with a phone number. When a senior comes in cold and ill, he/she deserves more. Seniors’ welfare are endangered.
Where are the commissioners when we need them? They laid off the experienced and trained staff who knew how to engage an elder in crisis. Where is the oversight of the current inexperienced staff? What are the liability risks for wrong information that could lead to a catastrophic event for an elder? Commissioners mismanaged personnel that is now causing untold suffering.
Ashland Chronicle Staff