Elderly have rights guaranteed by government
Ted Hubert

A t life’s start we are totally dependent on others to sur vive, and toward its end the same care from others is necessary.

Through the ages in most societies the aged are respected and even revered for their journey through live.

The measure of government is noted in how it treats its youth and its aged. We can see the standard set in the beginning of this nation and understand the plan written by our founding fathers that every individual has the right to live free and to pursue happiness.

There is no question that babies and the aged must be protected and the difference in these two groups is that one is penniless and the other has had a lifetime to earn or inherit wealth.

These groups are defenseless against fraud and physical abuse and must be protected.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott points out all Americans share equal rights under the law. However, those Americans that have reached the age of 60 and above have more rights than those younger. The Texas Human Resource Code states: “An elderly individual has all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and privileges granted by the constitution and laws of this state and the United States, except where lawfully restricted. The elderly individual has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these civil rights.”

Also, An elderly individual has the right to be treated with dignity and respect for the personal integrity of the individual, without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or source of payment.

This means that the elderly individual:

• Has the right to make the individual’s own choices regarding the individual’s personal affairs, care, benefits, and services.

• Has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

• If protective measures are required, has the right to designate a guardian or representative to ensure the right to quality stewardship of the individual’s affairs.

Caregivers are family members or people that have chosen a career of service that is so important. It is love that drives us to watch over the care of the elderly.

However if the best interest of these patients are abused and unfair advantage is taken to harm the senior citizen then those guilty will be punished.

The Texas Attorney General will aggressively prosecute businesses or con artists that deliberately cheat or deceive the elderly. Nursing homes are held to a high standard of care for its patients.

Medicaid fraud control unit in Austin (512)463-2011 takes complaints for this type abuse of the program. Unfair treatment of the elderly in financial transactions should be reported to the State Securities Board (SSB) or maybe the situation would be covered by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Other agencies help protect senior citizens from torture and torment is the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) (800)353-5400.

There are other advocacy organizations working for the elderly the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, and of course The Milam County TRIAD and other.

If you are not sure where to take your concerns, call 2-1-1. They can direct your call.

Gov. Perry called a special session to finish business not done during the regular session. Watch how programs are treated, particularly the children and the elderly.

Senator Steve Ogden may be reached at 512-463- 5713 and State Rep. Charles Schwertner at 512-463-0309.

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2011-06-09 digital edition

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