- Published: Wednesday, 20 June 2012 12:11
Earlier this year Esther died in a nursing home in San Antonio, TX, and when interviewed by the local news Esther’s sister, Isabel stated that her sister was not treated well. She said that her sister was left in the floor for “a couple of hours” after she fell, her personal possessions were stolen from her, and when she passed away looters “picked her clean.”
Isabel filed a complaint with the state, and also filed a report with the San Antonio Police Department, but said no one took any action. Perhaps it was due to a lack of evidence, or manpower, but although perhaps valid reasons it most likely did little to help Isabel’s concerns.
When the story was reported by KSAT News in San Antonio attorney Marynell Maloney stated that due to recent tort reforms, and a cap on damages which discourages lawyers from taking cases against them, nursing homes have little to fear. Maloney went on to explain that in the course of representation of two former nursing home employees, she was told “horrible” stories about of verbal abuse, physical abuse, and “all kinds of neglect.”
Many of us have heard someone say they would rather die at home than go to a nursing home. Perhaps it’s because by the time they have reached their golden years they have seen the horrors first hand while visiting friends and family in one of these facilities. So how do we protect our parents, grandparents, and others we care about when they can no longer care for themselves?
Ideally one would do their due diligence before hand and conduct a thorough investigation on the nursing home. This would include a check of all reports filed with the state and finding about violations as well as charges of abuse and criminal reports filed with local law enforcement agencies. Interviewing many of the residents is also a very good idea to find out how they’re treated, and as always and most importantly, constant visits conducted at different times and on different days so the staff never knows when you may arrive. When handling regular spot visits for our clients, our investigators normally arrive undetected and will often watch the room first from another location just to see how long it takes between visits from the staff. In cases where it’s deemed necessary we even employ hidden cameras in the family member’s room to track how often the staff checks on the resident as well as stands guard to 24 hours a day to watch for neglect or abuse. But what do you do if due to time, family, or distance constraints you are unable to handle this yourself?
As licensed private investigators we handle these types of investigations for concerned family members, and it’s a privilege we don’t take lightly. If you’re concerned about someone you love who is confined to a nursing home or who is under the care of a caregiver in their own home, contact us at 972-617-9210 to speak with an investigator. There is no charge for the consultation and all calls are confidential.