The ongoing shutdown of the federal government stands to wreak havoc on the most vunerable populations not only in the community, but in long term care facilities. Currently, those who advocate on behalf of those in need of quality care, those being abused and/or neglected, are not receiving essential advocacy services due to furloughs and cut backs on essential services by agencies holding their breath if closing becomes necessary. Complaints at the state level are restricted to those who find themselves in immediate jeopardy or who have been harmed, something none of us should have to allow to happen in the first place. Federal funds from the Older Americans Act since 1965 have allowed us to intervene and assure safety for our elderly and frail and cannot afford a lull in our efforts to provide for their health, safety and well-being. A significant majority of our residents have no family and/or someone willing to step in on their behalf, and these elderly rely on our assistance and our voice to protect them. This shutdown needs to not only come to an end, but policies need to be put in place to keep this from happening in the future.
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