HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Kathy Green is director of federal and state advocacy AARP Texaswhich means it works with government agencies to make long-term care facilities in the state as safe as possible.
As she had imagined, she couldn’t believe what she saw inside now viral video showing a man at Solidago Health and Rehabilitation in Texas City being abused by two workers who are no longer on staff.
“It’s awful,” Green said. “It’s outrageous that someone should be treated like this.”
Ware Wendell is the Managing Director of Texas clockand he had a similar reaction.
“We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has been advocating safety, justice and accountability in Texas for over 20 years,” Wendell said of the organization he leads.
Medicare.gov uses a five-star scale Rank nursing homes across the countryand Green says Texas leads the country in facilities with just one or two stars.
Wendell said he’s seen a variety of issues over the decades that make Texas a “state where it’s dangerous to be old.”
He said most nursing homes in Texas are for-profit, meaning less money is actually going into patient care.
The second reason he cited is that nursing homes in Texas are not required to have liability insurance, making long-term care facilities less afraid of the consequences.
The third reason Wendell cites is that a law passed in the early 2000s made it harder for state records from nursing homes to be used as evidence in a jury trial.
“Many studies have shown that Texas has some of the most dangerous nursing homes,” he said.
As individuals like Green and Wendell work to make facilities safer, what can you do when you want to place a loved one in a Texas nursing home?
“Walk around: use your sense of what’s going on there. Do the patients look like they are being taken care of? Is it clean?” Green advised. “Ask for facility inspection reports. It is up to you to do the research.”
So much for the Texas City video, that the city police department did not respond to the comment when asked if charges had been filed.
Solidago Health and Wellness issued this statement on Wednesday evening:
We remain shocked and saddened that this disturbing incident has taken place at Solidago Health and Rehabilitation. Protecting the health and safety of all residents in our care remains our top priority which is why we have taken immediate action to ensure the safety of our residents. We have reported the incident to the relevant authorities as required and continue to cooperate with their ongoing investigation. In addition, we opened an internal investigation and immediately suspended the employees involved in the incident. We do not tolerate behavior that endangers the health and safety of our residents, and any violations of our policies will be appropriately punished. Our thoughts are with the resident and his family at this difficult time.
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