It is always upsetting to hear of elder abuse and neglect, especially in facilities that are being paid to care and protect the elderly. State officials cited a facility in Hazel Green, Alabama called Agape Village for several serious violations in September 2012. The home was found to have repeated patterns of abuse, neglect and other problems that put their residents at risk.
Agape Village had many issues that were putting the patients within the facility in danger of both abuse and injury. During the state inspection, a tale of unchecked abuse and neglect began to unfold. Some of the incidents that were contained in the state report were:
- In a little over a year, one resident had 21 documented falls. No change was ever made in her care plan to address the falls and prevent them from occurring.
- A staff member at the home abused at least four residents.
- Patient bruises and abuse were not reported to the state in accordance with correct procedure.
- The facility was improperly understaffed
In addition to the reported abuse, many patients had bruises or had injuries that were undocumented. Unfortunately the true story may never be known on how they were injured as these patients have dementia and are unable to explain how they were hurt.
Reporting Abuse And Neglect
Families and friends can help protect loved ones that are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities by reporting an signs of suspected neglect or abuse. Even if there is no proof of abuse but there are signs, it is worth taking the time to call state authorities. These tips can spur an inspection and often are the first step in getting needed changes made. Some sign to look for in loved ones are:
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Change in behavior
- Not wanting to be left alone with staff members
Reports can be made to state officials. All states have toll free numbers to report abuse. To find the local hotline number, you can call the Eldercare Locator number and operators can help you at 1-800-677-1116. If you feel a resident is in immediate danger, call local police authorities. Facilities like Agape Village may not be the norm in the assisted living industry, but they certainly are not as rare as they should be. The Agape Village is now under watch by state officials and will have one year to make the necessary changes or they will lose their license. Alabama Department of Public Health revoked 25 licenses in 2011.