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Governor promises reform following 5 On Your Side Investigation into exploitation of the elderly

Posted at 5:21 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 19:23:10-04

CLEVELAND — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is promising to reform the state’s oversight and regulation of home health care agencies and caregivers that often leaves the elderly vulnerable to financial exploitation.

Dewine’s pledge follows an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation: Unprotected, that revealed a broken system of oversight and regulation that allows convicted felons to be hired as caregivers and agencies to go without inspections.

“First of all, these are shocking stories you put together,” said DeWine, after viewing our series of reports uncovering serious deficiencies in Ohio’s system to protect the elderly from losing their life savings to unscrupulous caregivers.

“I think it’s time for us to re-examine our adult protective services in each county in Ohio,” said DeWine.

Our investigation uncovered how Adult Protective Services is a state agency that’s poorly funded, staffed and lacking in criminal investigative skills to adequately evaluate claims of financial exploitation.

It also uncovered a critical lack of oversight and regulation of both caregivers and the home health care agencies that hire them.

“For them to really operate, they probably need a trained investigator—at least one in every county and bigger counties more than that,” said DeWine.

As a first step, the Governor promised “to talk with members of my cabinet, in particular the Department of Aging and others, about what we can do to really take a hard look at this again.”

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