Texas Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Incidences Increase
According to Defenders Investigation, nursing home abuse and neglect cases are on the rise in Texas, and facilities considered repeat offenders rarely lose contracts with the state. This means that millions of taxpayer dollars continue to go to nursing homes that are repeatedly cited for abuse and neglect of residents. Increase of Incidences According to the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), deficiencies increased from 14,215 to 15,113 between 2011 and 2012, and those that put patients in immediate danger increased by 35 percent. The family of one of those patients, Minnie Graham, who was 97 and suffering from dementia, noticed that the elderly woman was suffering from bruises on her hands and face after they placed her in a Dallas area nursing home. The family placed a clock with a hidden camera in her room to see how she was becoming injured, and was horrified when they viewed two aids slapping her. A male aid was also seen shoving her head into the bed and making an obscene gesture with his hand. Both aids were fired, but Graham died about a month after the recording. Worst Nursing Home State According to Brian Lee, the executive director of Families for Better Care, alarms should be going off all over the Lone Star State, as Texas is the worst state for nursing home care, based on the report. However, the DADS disagreed, saying that the report can be interpreted in many different ways. In 2010, the state found 79 deficiencies at the nursing home where Graham was mistreated, including reports that they failed to protect residents from mistreatment and neglect. However, the state continued to pay the facility more than $8 million in Medicaid payments, despite the recommendation that the contract be cancelled and funding rescinded on two separate occasions. Legislation Proposed State Representative Eliot Naishtat, a Democrat from Austin and member of the Human Services Committee, agrees that not enough is being done to protect seniors. He has said he will introduce legislation to increase fines and sanctions for nursing homes that are found deficient. Naishtat also questioned whether there were too few inspectors to identify abuse and neglect, but DADS says that there are sufficient inspectors, and that Texas is one of the best states in the nation for nursing homes, according to rankings recently published by U.S. News and World Report. When nursing home abuse or neglect is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in an injury to a resident, a lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by abuse or neglect at a nursing home.