Opinion

Federal Way Mirror Letters to the Editor | Oct. 22

Quality care for seniors: Approve I-1029

Many of you have probably read the articles in The Mirror over the past few years about my wife and my journey through her Alzheimer’s disease.

As you may know, since January she has been in an adult family home where she is receiving good care. My concerns have been and continue to be the training and background of the workers in long-term care facilities.

Initiative 1029 resolves these issues. Currently, the requirement for long-term care workers is 34 hours of training with 10 hours of continuing education each year. Under the current law, this will increase to 12 hours continuing education each year and up to 65 hours of voluntary advanced training (the key word is voluntary). This training is also only required of the owner and/or resident manager, not all workers in the facility. There is no state certification or licensing required of these workers by the state.

The state requires hair dressers 1,000 hours of training, and a dog masseuse 300 hours, and both require a certification test. Why only 34 hours with no certification for those taking care of our most vulnerable loved ones?

Criminal background checks are currently only done through the Washington State Patrol records, and if the worker has lived less than three years in the state, they do an FBI fingerprint-based check. Sounds good on the surface, but what if the worker committed a felony of, say, rape in another state and has lived in Washington over three years? No FBI check is done currently and we could have a felon working in a facility taking care of our loved one.

I-1029 will require all long-term care workers to complete 75 hours of training and pass a certification exam. They will also be required 12 hours of continuing education each year to retain their certification. There are provisions in the initiative that would exempt non-paid long-term care workers such as a parent taking care of a child at home.

Background checks for all long-term care workers would be done against the FBI fingerprint identification records and against the national sex offender registry.

Opponents refer to the cost of this initiative, but when it is broken down, it amounts to 7 cents per day per worker. I-1029 opponents also infer that families would be forced to undergo 75 hours of training. This is not so; this requirement only applies to paid long-term care workers.

I would suggest that you visit the website www.yeson1029.org and get all the facts. Also, take a look at the list of those that support I-1029. Examples are the governor, police, prosecutors, many long-term care facilities and a large number of state representatives and senators.

Please vote yes on I-1029. Our loved ones deserve good quality care by well trained long-term care workers.

Dick Lundgren

Federal Way

Support for Carol Gregory

Carol Gregory is the type of leader we need in the 30th District and the state Legislature.

Carol’s 45 years of service in education and workforce development in South King County give her the exact credentials she needs to make a difference in our community.

Carol’s leadership in education at every level — as a former teacher, as director of community engagement in the Highline School District and in shaping state policy for State Superintendent Judith Billings — provides the experience that is needed to represent us and to help improve our lives in the 30th District.

Federal Way schools are short $12 million. While Republican incumbent Skip Priest has been in our community for some time, he unfortunately hasn’t followed through on his commitments, especially in education, as he voted against the education budget for the past four years. How can we expect him to help solve our current school funding crisis?

I have been a resident of Federal Way since 1977. I retired from teaching in this district and have known Carol Gregory for over 30 years. She understands the issues and is an experienced leader. In this historic election for our country, it’s time for us to elect representatives who will truly deliver the change we need for our community. Carol Gregory deserves your vote.

Lee Ann Prielipp

Federal Way

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