Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota Victims of Nursing Home Abuse Challenge Arbitration Clauses (1/29/2017) Arbitration agreements are proliferating in the senior care industry. Many times potential residents are required to sign them as a condition of admission. The clauses require residents to forfeit their right to a court hearing in cases of neglect, abuse, wrongful eviction, and even death. The nursing home industry uses these agreements to block residents and their families from pursuing lawsuits. A new federal rule that is part of new nursing home regulations implemented last fall bars long-term care facilities that receive federal funding from requiring residents enter into arbitration before a dispute arises. “More and more people are waking up to the essential unfairness and lack of transparency of these clauses,” said Eric Carlson, directing attorney of Justice in Aging.” The rule has been blocked in court, but the government’s case is being cited as evidence that many such clauses are invalid and that victims of maltreatment have a right to their day in court.
Consumer Reports: How Seniors Crushed by Old Student Loans Can Get Relief (12/21/2016) Many seniors are being pushed into poverty due to old student loans. An increasing amount of seniors are having their Social Security income garnished by the government to pay off student debt. Justice in Aging’s Kate Lang says that “this is something that was not common till recently. The rising cost of higher education means that the debt itself is much larger and it’s much more difficult to pay it off over time. What’s really troubling is that there will be more and more people in this situation.” The number of seniors affected is expected to rise as baby boomers retire.