Sunday, January 11, 2015

State fails to report hundreds of abuse cases to law enforcement

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thousands of senior citizens live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Texas, and family members want to know their aging loved ones are safe in the care of those facilities. When a report of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation comes in to the Department of Aging and Disability Services, no matter who reports it, state law requires DADS to notify law enforcement within 24-hours so a criminal investigation can begin immediately.

 But A KXAN investigation into a family’s allegation its elderly mother was sexually assaulted at an Austin’s Longhorn Village assisted living facility has uncovered more failures in the state system that’s supposed to protect elderly and disabled.

Our investigation revealed the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, which regulates elder care facilities and investigated that case, broke the law by not reporting the Longhorn Village case to law enforcement. As a result, the state launched an internal review that now reveals DADS investigators failed to follow the law in hundreds of other elder abuse cases.

“You know they broke the law. People should be concerned about this,” said Amanda Fredriksen with the AARP.

Fredriksen says AARP is concerned DADS never reported 1,533 cases of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation to law enforcement according to the internal review triggered by a KXAN investigation. That’s 78 percent of all cases DADS investigated in only a 29-month period between January 1, 2012 and May 16, 2014. In 314 of those cases the allegations were substantiated by DADS investigators.

“It’s appalling quite frankly,” said Fredriksen. “I mean, folks are depending on the state agency that regulates and licenses these facilities to follow the laws and the regulations and the fact the agency is not following the law, that’s designed to protect these folks, that’s appalling,” Fredriksen continued.

Full Article & Source:
State fails to report hundreds of abuse cases to law enforcement


honeybear said...

I just bet this is happening in a lot of states.

Anonymous said...

There should be very stiff fines imposed for this infraction.

Mike said...

What we're putting together from this article is that the statistic quoted by the experts don't reflect a true picture because of stories like this.