Abuse of the elderly and disabled seems to have reached new heights.
Throughout the years, there have been numerous stories of child abuse by foster parents and worse, child abuse by a child’s natural parents.
A person that I worked with, who turned out to be an alcoholic in later years, which is really no surprise after what he went through, told us the horrid story of his childhood. His mother was a drug addict and died while in jail, and his father was nowhere to be found, so he was placed in the foster care system in Utah.
He said he was abused as a child, by his foster parents, who kept him and his sister locked away for years. He claimed not to have seen daylight in years and was emaciated when finally found.
It was only after his biological father’s numerous inquiries into his children’s whereabouts, that an investigation was conducted and the truth uncovered.
To this day, he suffers psychological consequences of his imprisonment.
Why would people do this? In the case above, as it is in many cases, the motivation was pure and simple greed. They wanted to collect money from the state without working and without using the provided funds to care for the children they contracted to care for.
Since people are living longer, a growing concern is abuse of the elderly and disabled.
Other than children, the elderly and disabled are most at risk to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people.
Whether it is someone who befriends an elderly person, with the intention of taking their money or harming them, becoming involved with the victim romantically to gain their trust, or being treated poorly in an institution or group home type of setting, the cold hard truth is that abuse of the elderly and disabled occurs on a regular basis.
In Las Vegas, there was a double murder at the Washington Senior Guest Home perpetuated by a resident.
After reading about the crime, we looked up available state records and uncovered information about the staff not being trained properly and residents not receiving their medication.
More examples of abuse of the elderly and disabled include;
The Las Vegas Desert Regional Center. The center is a state run hospital that is a treatment center for people suffering from severe intellectual disabilities and related conditions. Physical abuse of residents was uncovered with parents going public with photographs that they smuggled out depicting horribly injured children.
Some of the allegations made by the parents of the injured children are directed at the staff who, some parents say, goaded the developmentally disabled children into fighting.
The Deputy Director of the facility seemed very measured in her response to the abuse and described the clientele as a “complex clientele”, while denying allegations of abuse
The Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas came under fire after it was revealed that they released hundreds of people from the hospital and put them on a bus with a one way ticket out of Las Vegas.
Allegations have been made that many of those released were still mentally unfit and indigent.
These horrendous abuses occur more than any of us are probably aware of.
In Texas, Walter Renard Jones, 31 has been arrested after authorities found four severely malnourished individuals in the dungeon-like garage of a Houston house. A total of 8 people were found in the home; 4 men and 4 woman.
The Texas house of horrors is owned by Essie Mae Scranton, but it has also been registered to Regina’s Faith Ministries, a nonprofit that is directed by Jones’ grandmother. Unbelievable!
The obvious motive was to confiscate the monthly checks of these eight individuals.
With the economy still not in the greatest shape, parents, caregivers, spouses and other loved ones, when faced with difficult decisions as to where to place their loved ones needing extra care, sometimes do not have many financial resources available to them and, unfortunately this limits their choices for placement.
It has been my experience that very few state run facilities that accept medicare and medicaid insurance are run as well as private facilities. It’s true. Whether they are overcrowded and the workers, perhaps because they are overworked or just waiting for their city and state retirement plans to kick in, seem to have a cavalier attitude.
Of course it is not everyone, and there are some wonderful caregivers working in state or city run facilities, however it sure seems that caring, staff who value human life are in the minority.
Sometimes the elderly or disabled do not have any family members available or advocating for them and they fall prey to unscrupulous individuals, or even to their own caregivers in institutionalized settings because they know there will be no repercussions from family members.
How many of you know an individual who had had personal items stolen while in the hospital? If a loved one is in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, chances are some of their items have been pilfered by either other residents or the staff.
Can you imagine how much worse it is going to get with ObamaCare?
That thought is downright scary. The elderly, the disabled and even those individuls that are relatively healthy but facing an expensive medical crisis will not be deemed a worthy cause to treat and treatment can and will be denied under ObamaCare.
Next, there is the possibility that care will not be given to the general population with an illness that “ObamaCare” deems not worthy.
The quality of life will decline for the elderly population and for all Americans.
Apathetic workers will treat our elderly even worse than they are now.
Many of the provisions of ObamaCare will ultimately decide how long someone lives because under ObamaCare, people, especially the elderly and disabled will not even get the treatment they need to survive and thrive.
The GOP continues to fight ObamaCare and to champion the rights of everyone to be able to receive treatment.
If you are someone that has a parent, child, friend or other loved one that is not living with you, please check on their well being and ask questions. Be involved. Be an advocate! No matter how busy you are, visit.
This is especially important once ObamaCare, God forbid, is fully implemented.
If you are not visiting and advocating regularly, the next time you attempt to visit someone in a hospital, nursing home, group home or a similar type of setting, there is the very real possibility that you will find your loved one has died because they were deemed not worthy of treatment.
That could be because they were simply old – even though otherwise relatively healthy, disabled or had a terminal illness and it was deemed not fiscally smart to pay that much money for health care, so life saving treatment was denied and they were left to rot and die.
Frighteningly, this is allowed under ObamaCare and you can bet your bottom dollar that it will regularly be invoked.
ObamaCare is truly a threat to all Americans and the biggest threat we as a nation will face in upcoming years.
If you do know someone, even casually, who falls into one of the high risk groups, help advocate for them and try to regularly visit them.
Maybe a neighbor with absolutely no family was admitted to a hospital. Even if you did not know them well, take a few minutes out of your schedule to care.
Your visit might make all of the difference and may very well save a life. And hopefully someone will do the same for you when you need it.
If you are a worker at a hospital, group home or some other type of group setting, pay attention to what is going on and report any suspicious behavior or abuse.
It’s so sad, that some workers just don’t care and others are afraid to come forward.
In the Jones case in Texas, someone connected to Jones or his family had to know what was going on and apparently did nothing.
Very, very sad and criminal.
Let’s band together and commit to protect one another.
Isn’t that what America is all about?
Ideally, we should be caring for each other not killing off the weak who contributed to greatness of our country.
Visit the Nursing Homes Abuse Blog for additional free information from Jonathan Rosenfeld, a lawyer who represents people injured in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Signs of Physical and Financial Elder Abuse from The Glenner Memory Care Centers can help you determine if someone you know if being abused and what steps to take.