Advocates from AARP New York have called for an increase in funding for the long-term care oversight program in New York. The program sends ombudsman into nursing homes and long-term care facilities to ensure the well-being of residents. The organization has requested a $15 million increase to add 235 full-time staff and achieve the goal of weekly visits to each of the state’s 1,400 adult care facilities and nursing homes, including more than 500 facilities in New York City and on Long Island.
According to a report released by AARP New York, most nursing homes in the metropolitan area have not received a visit from the program in the last three months. Beth Finkel, the AARP New York State Director, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that the failure to properly fund the program, especially after over 15,000 people died in New York nursing homes during the pandemic, is unacceptable. Finkel urged Governor Hochul and the Legislature to provide the funding needed to adequately staff the long-term care oversight program and protect the most vulnerable members of society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the vulnerability of nursing homes and long-term care facilities to the spread of infectious diseases. The ombudsman program serves as a safeguard against abuse in these facilities, said state Assembly Committee Chairman Ron Kim. Kim deemed the current funding for the program insufficient and unacceptable, given the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact. As such, AARP New York’s call for additional funding for the program is crucial to protecting the state’s most vulnerable populations.
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