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Dennis Lanane column: Indiana Legislature must step forward to help seniors

Triad had their Christmas Party on December 21 in the Mounds Mall theater area. We had a lot of good food and desserts and good Christmas music from Buddy Patterson and his wife Joyce. We also had a lot of good door prizes, and everybody seemed to have a good time and plenty to eat.

The next meeting is set for January 18, also in the theater area of the Mounds Mall at 10:30 a.m. Our guest agency will be Central Indiana Orthopedics and Natalie McClintick will be the presenter. There will be other personnel from Central Indiana Orthopedics to provide information about what you do during rehab and when you get home.

As seniors grow older, they can become more fragile and a fall can land you in the emergency room and later in a nursing home for rehabilitation.

Seniors need to be aware of their need for rehabilitation if they suffer a broken hip or leg. You also need to know what kind of therapies you need to keep improving.

A new session of the Indiana Legislature will be starting up soon and God only knows what kind of new bills will become laws. I have been advocating for seniors and people with disabilities for 24 years now. I have lobbied with Indiana Home Care Task Force, United Senior Action, Alliance for Retired Americans, Indiana AARP and others. Indiana government has for years cut budgets for home health care, food, medical assistance and other needs.

Since 2011, I have tried to get our Indiana Legislature to join the all the other states and have protection for seniors and people with disabilities. We are the only state in America that runs the programs out of prosecutors’ offices.

One county prosecutor told me after I told him in front of a judge that many older people have been treated in emergency rooms and complaints were filed with the state’s Adult Protective Services program and nothing was done. He had the excuse that poor people that end up in ERs don’t have insurance or enough money to pay their bills. Many of them showed signs of abuse and neglect.

I was then told, “Nobody cares about poor people because they can’t pay their bills.” The prosecutor is the highest office holder in the county. If he doesn’t protect these people, who will?

We have good Indiana legislators in Madison County, but they are in a minority and I have watched some of the bills we initiated to help seniors and people with serious disabilities stopped in Legislature committees.

Triad has had a lot of good volunteers and has helped a lot of Hoosiers, but we can’t overcome lobbyists with lots of money.

Dennis Lanane is chairman of Madison County Triad. His column appears the first Sunday of each month. He can be reached at qparadigm1@gmail.com.

Article source: http://www.heraldbulletin.com/opinion/columns/dennis-lanane-column-indiana-legislature-must-step-forward-to-help/article_09c4a87e-fbeb-507b-ab8c-b89bc377e60e.html

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