Republicans Refuse to Investigate Reported Deaths, Abuse, and Neglect in Iowa Care Facilities; Democrats Go to Work

Iowa Democrats Move to Protect Iowa Seniors

Iowa Senate Democrats have announced a new legislative package to support Iowa’s seniors living in Iowa nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Even though Iowa Republicans rejected Democrats’ request to investigate the reported deaths, abuse, and neglect in Iowa care facilities, Iowa Democrats have stood firm in our mission to support Iowa seniors.

“Iowa seniors deserve dignity as they progress through this stage in their life,” said IDP Chair Rita Hart. “By investing in Iowa’s long-term care facilities and Iowa’s workforce, Iowa can prove that it will not allow for abuse, neglect, and severe staffing shortages to go unchecked.”

Iowa Democrats believe everyone deserves quality care throughout the later stages of life. Our seniors deserve to age with dignity. Long-term care facility staff deserve dignity as well. By investing in fair wages for these staff, we can help address both problems at once, attracting workers to Iowa and helping to resolve the staffing shortages faced by these facilities.

The bills address the crises of abuse and neglect in Iowa long-term care by:

  • Increasing oversight and transparency: Senate File 2304 increases the oversight and transparency standards required of long-term care facilities, allowing regulators to be able to adequately monitor nursing homes.

  • Expanding alternatives: Iowa Democrats believe that we should trust the experts to know what needs to be done. That’s why Senate File 2306 launches a study of alternatives to long-term care facilities led by advocates from the field — not politicians.

  • Supporting Iowa workers: Senate File 2305 establishes a $15/hr minimum wage for direct care workers, which rises to $20/hr over a few years and matches for inflation. Through this wage increase, Iowa can attract direct care workers at a time when a shortage in nursing home staff is more pronounced than ever.

  • Ensuring independence: Senate File 2303 raises the allowance provided by Medicaid for long-term care residents’ self-care items from $50/month to $85/month.