Posted on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 4:40 am
A detailed investigation into nursing home abuse by CNN has revealed as many cases of abuse in Texas as any other state. The investigation specifically targeted sexual abuse of elderly or disabled residents of nursing homes in several U.S. states and has revealed a horrifying state of affairs. In many cases, the accounts of abuse are thought to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the underlying real story of abuse that exists right across the country.
Many cases of abuse labeled as “unsubstantiated”, then ignored
CNN’s investigators found time and time again that when residents or their families brought an incident to the notice of the residential care managers that their concerns were in many cases labeled as “unsubstantiated.”
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or residential home anywhere within the McAllen region, and suspect that she or he has been a victim of any type of abuse, physical, psychological, emotional or sexual you should first bring the matter to the management or supervisors at the home or center. If you don’t think you are getting full cooperation or satisfactory action from them, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced nursing home negligence attorney in McAllen.
The attorney will make sure that a full and thorough independent investigation is carried out and that action is taken where necessary. This may involve;
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against any care worker, or the institution itself who is found to be responsible for harm against your elderly loved one;
- Removing your elder from the institution if necessary and placing him or her with a better provider.
Testimony of victims usually judged too unreliable to be investigated properly
Most of the cases that the CNN investigation looked at showed just how hard it can be to bring systematic offenders of nursing home abuse – and the places that they worked at- to justice. One of the reasons for this was that the victims were often Alzheimer’s sufferers, in wheelchairs and could not fight back against their abusers or were known to be suffering from mental problems and their testimony was usually rejected as being “unreliable.”
Example of sexual abuse in a Texas nursing home
One harrowing case from Texas serves to illustrate exactly what is happening all over the U.S. A Texas nursing home resident was raped by a male nurse working at the home three times. In the third incident, the victim managed to spit semen that had been ejaculated by force into her mouth, into her bra. She kept the evidence there for three weeks before revealing it when she gave an account of the attacks to investigators.
The nurse in this case was arrested initially after an investigation by state authorities. The DNA of the semen was identified as belonging to the nurse, but the case was eventually dismissed because prosecutors could not obtain a testimony from the victim. The forensic lab had reported that there was only a 1 in 1000 trillion percent chance that the semen belonged to anyone else!
In many cases, victims of abuse in nursing homes are terrified of their assailants and are afraid to speak out about the attacks in case they are not believed and they are then attacked even more ferociously in revenge.
The companies, corporations or in many cases mom and pop businesses that are responsible for providing residential care facilities for over a million elderly Americans rarely attract quality staff as they do not generally pay any more than $11 to $12 an hour. There are also usually very few supervisors on duty during night shifts when many of the abuse cases take place.
In some cases, even when a home has been found to be responsible for nursing home abuse and fined or punished by canceling federal reimbursements, the fines are soon canceled or reduced and the reimbursements reinstated because of a facility’s perceived financial status.
Nursing home abuse attorney ready to provide legal assistance in McAllen
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or residential care home in the McAllen area and suspect that all is not right at the home the sooner this is brought to notice, the better. Call the Patino Law Firm in McAllen at (956) 631-3535 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.