By Maria Dibble
On December 13, 2020, Barbara Jarvis, aged 84, who lived in a nursing facility near Syracuse, NY, was found dead. She could not walk without assistance, and the staff were supposed to help her go to and from the bathroom, according to her care plan. They didn’t help her, because they hadn’t read the plan. She tried to go on her own, slipped and fell, and hanged herself when her nightgown caught on a doorknob. She had only lived there for three months, during which she lost 27 pounds.
This facility—Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing—had been cited numerous times over the past decade for deficiencies, including failing to provide 18 residents with their medications on a single day because no nurse was assigned to the job, and keeping a rotting body in its morgue at a temperature between 80 and 90 degrees. In fact, the facility had three times the New York State average number of deficiencies over a period of four years, and it was sued for malpractice or negligence 20 times since 2016. Although the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to staff shortages in nursing facilities, inadequate staffing was a longstanding problem at Van Duyn, which was cited in 2017 for not having enough nurses or aides…
Despite a major influx of money to the state, the final New York State 2021-22 budget continues the Cuomo Administration’s austerity approach to supports and services for people with disabilities.
The state was awarded around $12.7 billion in “direct aid” from Joe Biden’s American Rescue Act. Billions more—some reports say as much as $100 billion total—will potentially come into NY from that law for special purposes such as COVID-related support for schools and a higher federal matching share of Medicaid for home and community based services. This last item is quite slippery though; see below…
By Charlie Kramer
Dear friends and fellow travelers in the Disability Rights Movement, and my wonder-filled friends at STIC:
August 16 is my retirement date. Thirty-five years to the day I started. I can not express how grateful I am to Maria and Frank who brought me on. There were only eight of us. I will not forget the day Frank and Connie Head came to my office to check out the accessibility and talk.
This is a difficult time for me, saying goodbye to this portion of my life. It has been an honor to work with so many individuals who have taught me as we walked the road of life together. Sometimes it was short; some have been with me for many years. I am richer for it…