These include convictions for violent crimes such as homicide, assault and sex offenses, as well as financial crimes such as fraud or theft.
How can anyone in their right mind justify the hiring of someone with this kind of criminal past to work with senior citizens? Many of these seniors are doing everything they can to live independently and avoid the cost of assisted living homes.
Would we allow someone with such a history to open a day care facility? No, we wouldn’t.
Would we hire them to work at a bank? No, we wouldn’t.
We wouldn’t even hire them to carry our mail, but we allow some of our most vulnerable people to be subject to their care.
This is wrong in so many ways, and the state must step up and eliminate this from continuing to happen.
Do people deserve second chances? Sure they do, but it must be within reason, and the current situation is far from reasonable.
The state will begin doing background checks by Oct. 1 and will notify individuals whose caretakers have a criminal history of any sort.
That’s great, but we must remember the nature of some of the individuals being notified. Will they understand about what they are being notified? Are they of a sound mind to be able to make such a decision?
What happens to those people who say OK, and then are left in the care of an individual with a sex-related criminal past? This same person might be helping our parents bathe, and that is just not acceptable. Likewise, someone convicted of a financial crime could conceivably lure money — or control of a checkbook — from the elderly after trust was built.
The state has a great deal of work to do with this matter. Falling short of providing seniors with the protection they deserve should also be considered a crime.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.