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Fight for your loved ones rights

We read with interest your great article on the Pearl and its neglect and abuse of residents. We are well aware of what goes on in these homes and have had to take my mother out of two assisted living homes and call Protective Services twice. We never saw the reports that are open to the public in the (Washington) County seat in Hillsboro because they are always understaffed.

The public needs to be more involved in how these homes are run and about their 'budgets.' Avamere and other corporations will not take away from their profits by hiring or paying for the costs of needed RNs and trained personnel. Most of these employees have no education and cannot afford a CNA certificate, which is very basic.

Dementia/Alzheimer's is a very difficult disease and most of these homes really do not have the training to deal with this very devastating disease. Calling the police to control a resident would not have been necessary had the caregivers been given the correct training. Many of these residents act out this way. It is not unusual. My mother is in foster care now, and she is given a drug to keep her calm; otherwise, they could not have taken her. She is doing great and it does not cause any side effects.

When I speak to state aging agencies, they will tell me that there are no resources to help. The state of Oregon has no money to answer all of these very important calls to enforce the law or do anything about them.

Corporations like Avamere are buying more and more buildings and then cut back on staff to pay for the new buildings. People in Lake Oswego expect to pay for trained staff and they pay plenty, but the staff hired still cannot deliver the needed services. The corporations have a very strong lobby. There is a real disconnect between the state and the corporations and the administrators who have to deal with their corporation management.

We send our deepest sympathy to the William Balmer family and others who have been abused and are glad that Judy Hurliman is pursuing a lawsuit. It is important that more people fight for their loved ones' rights.

Gale and Gary Gipson are residents of Lake Oswego.