Independent from Long Beach, California on March 19, 1976 · Page 14
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 14

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Friday, March 19, 1976
Page 14
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LMU Ruth, Cllll., Frl.. Mirch It, It71 INDfcftNUENl (AM) PRc.SS-lclL-ORAM(PMh-A-l3 tells of scandal in treatment of mentally ill By NANCY HICKS WASHINGTON - An investigation by the Senate--aging subcommittee on long-term care has produced evidence of a growing scandal in the care of . the elderly -- the "ware- · housing 1 ' of old, mentally .' ; ill people who' have been - pushed out of state mental hospitals into substandard profit-making b o a r d i n g houses supported by a federal welfare program. T h e l f i n d i n g s are in- cluded'jn a report to be released in New York City Friday by the subcommittee chairman, Sen. Frank E. Moss, D-Utah. The report ^ells of boarding houses-that provide room ancTboa'rd of questionable Equality and no recreational activities or medical , services for the cost of the · resident's Supplemental ;SeciMty I n c o m e (SSI) . check. ; POTENTIAL residents in these homes are 2.5 million elderly people in need .of-mental-health services ". that-do not exist, the re- · portiatd. "Th'roughout America, ;.' a .boarding-house industry · is expanding to meet a · 'need;-- a roof for unwant- ; cd tKbiisands caught in a · bureaucratic r e v o l v i n g I door which sends them '.· from mental hospitals to ·;-nowhere and back again," '.- the report says. ' It cites as an example · 12 patients, in Nebraska who were admitted and discharged f r o m s t a t e mental hospitals a total of 127 times among them. T h e b o a r d i n g - h o u s e problems include many of the unsafe, unsanitary and inhumane conditions found in nursing h o m e s and single-room o c c u p a n c y hotels, which have become repositories for patients EXCLUSIVE N.Y. TIMES SERVICE discharged f r o m s t a l e mental hospitals. In t h e p a s t d e c a d e , federal figures s h o w , almost half of the half-million state mental hospital patients were discharged as part of a decade-old community menial-health m o v e m e n t . A disproportionately high percentage were elderly. The move to discharge patients, begun by President Kennedy, sought to end warehousing in state institutions through t h e development of about 4,500 community-based mental- health centers, most of them clinics. Only 443 are in operation, and federal support has been reduced. In t h e i n t e r i m , t h e federal government in 1974 began the SSI program for the elderly poor and disabled -- as former inmates of mental hospitals are classified -- and set a basic level of out-of-insli- lulion support for them. Without federal support, comprehensive local pro- g r a m s never developed. The result was that patients, m a n y of w h o m spent years in institutions, w e r e d i s c h a r g e d i n t o s t r a n g e c o m m u n i t i e s a w a y f r o m families or friends, without c o m p r e - hensive services. Some find their way into nursing homes, but, the r e p o r t s a y s , n u r s i n g homes do not want them and many are too dangerous to be placed w i t h health patients. Many have no access to medication they received in hospitals and engage in bizarre behavior such as drinking from toilets, the report said. Others are "over-medicated" without medical supervision. It costs a state at least $12,000 a year to house a mental patient, the report says. As outpatients, however, the former inmates are entitled to a federal welfare stipend that is not available to them or the institution when they are state patients, the report says, and the slates have a financial incentive not to readmit them. INTO that void stepped the profit-making boarding homes, which are gov- e r n e d by no f e d e r a l standards and by slate s t a n d a r d s in o n l y six stales, the report says. "The inevitable conclusion is that the quality (of the homes) is al best marginal, and at worst it is a cruel act and intolerable exploitation of helpless h u m a n beings, ranking with prisons and concentration camps as prime e x a m p l e s of m a n ' s inhumanity to man," the report says. It recommends congressional action, including changes in the Medicare, M e d i c a i d and SSI programs to provide m o r e psychiatric care for the elderly The report is the seventh of a series by the subcommittee on the failure of various types of n u r s i n g - h o m e c a r e in America. It supports in detail one released last month by Andrew Stein, Democratic New Y o r k a s s e m b l y m a n , t h a t described poor care in 428 "adult h o m e s " in the state, many in Queens and Long Island. Moss said he had visited many of these homes. "I h a v e seen broken windows letting the cold air i n t o rooms without radiators," he s a i d . "I have seen leaking roofs and holes in ceilings. "I I1AVK seen hungry people with their faces up against vending machines begging for a quarter. "It became evident to me that operators were cutting corners every day t h e y could in order to maximize profits. A p p a r - ently, mental patients are a good investment in New Y o r k as w e l l as in Illinois," Moss said. One C h i c a g o h o m e operator reported earning $185,000 in p r o f i t f r o m $400,000 in federal annuiij payments for 180 former mental patients. Moss said that Congress must accept part of the blame for the creation of the "boarding-house scandal" jusl as it must (or the w a y i t s l a w s c r e a t e d nuring-home abuses. "Clearly, the enactment of SSI has been the prim a r y reason t h a t t h o u sands of former mental patients are being dumped i n t o boarding homes in w h a t is euphemistically known as 'returning them lo the community,'" he s.i id. "If stales are going to use SSI funds to house patients in boarding houses, the federal government must al least insist such facilities be licensed by the stales, that Ihcy meet certain federal minimum standards a n d t h a t a l l states supplement f c d e r n l payment enough lo be able lo provide an acceptable level of care," he said. PENNY OWSLEY DOES IT AGAIN! 198,000 WORTH OF NEW PIANOS ORGANS DISCOUNYED FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY! IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. '130,000 WORTH OF KIMBALL I "68,000 WORTH pHCIMBALL DELUXE ORGANS AUTOMATIC RHYTHM, LATEST FEATURES SPINET PIANOS DECORATOR STYLED BEAUTIFUL TONE SAVE M 50, *200 and *300 OFF PENNY OWSLEY'S LIST PRICE! ABOVE INSTRUMENTS AVAILABLE AT ALL 12 SO. CAL. LOCATIONS was never u Communist' Hiss again ^explains' typing . ' New York Times Service .;-· NEW YORK - Alger ·;;Hiss said Thursday night ! that newly available FBI . ; f i l e s show t h a t agents ] knew that a former maid's · son had the typewriter of ; Hiss's'wife, Priscilla, before the time that Mrs. :" Hiss was alleged to have ':· typed documents on it for -. a Soviet spy network. '.· He also said the Dies ; show that agents told the ; late FBI D i r e c t o r J. ·; Edgar" Hoover t h a t the Hiss · t y p e w r i t e r was bought in 1928 but that the typewriter put i n t o evi- '·· dcnce in his 1!M9 and 1950 ! perjury trials had a num- · bcr indicating it had been ' manufactured more than a year later. It was the first time Hiss had declared that such points, similar to · those he had unsuccessfully argued in Uie past, were supported by F B I f i l e s released under a Freedom of Information Act suit. Hiss went to prison in (951 on a perjury charge in the case. Once again, this lime to an audience of 250 at the Overseas Press Club, he declared, "I never handed 'Whittaker Chambers any - S t a t e Department docu- ~ merits, I never engaged in · espionage and I was never _a member of the Commu- nist Party or involved in any of their aclivities." The statements by Hiss, a f o r m e r Stale Depart- m e n t o f f i c i a l whom Chambers had accused of being a spy partner, came a day after a Smith College professor asserted, on the basis of (he newly released FBI material and s t u d y of Hiss defense records, that he believed Hiss had lied and stolen the documents. The professor, A l l e n Weinslcin, whose suit had made the FBI materials available, said he f e l t "sorry" for Hiss. Bui he said, "I tried lo piece lo- gelher the whole fabric of evidence, which seems to me, much lo my surprise, to have gone I h e other way in terms of the position I began with." Hiss's appearance al the Press Club was to help announce a new b o o k , "Alger Hiss: The T r u e Story," by John Chabot Smith, former New York Herald Tribune reporter, w h i c h supports H i s s ' s assertions of i n n o c e n c e and suggests how Chambers could have obtained the documents by other means. Smith urged Thursday night that Congress, whose invesligalions started the Hiss case, should use its investigative p o w e r s to undertake a new study of material now available. The examples Hiss cited as found by his supporters in the FBI files included: -- A bureau report that Perry Catlett, son of a former Hiss maid, had re- s p o n d e d a f t e r lengthy questioning that the Hiss lypewriler had been given to the Catlett family when the Hisses moved lo a new home about Ihe beginning of January 1938. Typed ex- c e r p t s a n d summaries f r o m documents Hiss as- sertedly gave Chambers w e r e dated January to April 1938. -- An FBI "urgent" telegram of May 17, l!M9, asserting t h a t "investigation had established" that a Woodstock typewriter found by the Hiss defense and introduced at the trial could not have been (he f a m i l y machine. Comparisons were used al the trial lo cite products from the machine as the same as (he Chambers documents. -- FBI knowledge before the trial that Navy Department d o c u m e n t s reproduced on two so-called "pumpkin microfilms" released only lasl summer had been "kept on open shelves al the Bureau of Standards library," available lo anyone. Hiss's denial to a grand jury that he had given documents lo Chambers in a spy plot led to his perjury conviction in Federal Court here Jan. 21, 1950. He served 4-1 months in prison f r o m Mnrch 22, 1951, to Nov. 27,195-1. SELECT LIST OF USED AVAILABLE AT L.B. STORE ONLY! 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