Down Manor receives warning from state

Down Manor was notified by the state last week that it would not be penalized for advertising personal care services it was not licensed to give.

However, the independent senior living center was warned by the state Department of Justice not to take that route again or it would face a fine of up to $25,000 for unlawful trade practices. The business was also directed in a letter dated Sept. 28, 2001 from the civil enforcement division that it was to reimburse any client who had paid for, but who had not received, assistance with bathing, dressing, etc., after these services were discontinued on Aug. 1.

"It was satisfying to receive the note from the state that we faced no sanctions and that this was behind us and had been resolved well for both the residents and hospital," said Jonathan Emerson, head of the three Hood River senior and disabled housing projects owned and managed by the Providence health care network.

Emerson said Down Manor personnel were very careful to make sure that no residents paid for extra help they did not receive when the facility gave them a 30-day lead to hire outside assistance. In mid-July the 99-unit retirement complex also quit posting notices on the internet that advertised the availability of personal care assistance.

The state investigation was initiated by the family of an 88-year-old Down Manor resident who was cut off from medication reminders and become ill after taking a double-dosage of prescription drugs because he couldn't remember taking the first allotment.

That complaint termed Down Manor's actions as consumer fraud since the business advertised personal care which had been instrumental in the family's choice to place their relative there. They said that because these services were discontinued, they had been forced to traumatize the elderly man by moving him from his home of five years because he could not mentally or physically cope with the withdrawal of on-site services.

Emerson said personal care stopped at Down Manor shortly after he came on board in May and became aware of the illegal practice. He said the complex had been providing between 10-12 residents with daily help and medication reminders since it opened in 1989 at 3260 Brookside Dr.

At that point he said the hospital, which took over ownership/management of the elder housing complex in 1998, made the decision to risk further penalties by giving its clients 30 days and a listing of referrals so they could hire outside assistance.

"The best interests of our clients has always been behind our actions," said Emerson.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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