What Good is a Law if Nobody Knows About It?

Posted by Kathryn Roberts, CEO and President of EcumenWhat good is a law if people don’t know about it? It’s a question I had today when I heard news of a baby born in a Twin Cities suburb, who police say was stabbed 135 times and then placed in a garbage can. A state program is set up to prevent this type of tragic incident. Called the Safe Place program, it allows a mother to leave an unharmed newborn up to three days old at any hospital in the state anonymously and without fear of prosecution. Unfortunately few people know about the law.Vermont has received a great deal of press nationally for its ‘Choices for Care’ program, which allows people who qualify for Medicaid to use dollars to pay a loved one to provide care at home rather than in a nursing home. In our Age Wave survey of baby boomers, nearly 90% of Minnesotans said this is a good idea.Guess what? We already have a version of it in Minnesota. It’s called Consumer Directed Community Supports. According to the Department of Human Services, 120 people are enrolled in it. It could be a great tool for vital, successful aging. But how do people use it if they don’t know about it?As we face an unprecedented age wave, we have to look beyond senior housing and look at ways to keep people where they want to live. This could be one such tool.