Assisted living providers make millions yearly to take care of residents; however, there are funding cuts within the care system and protection for care providers by the federal government. This marks the rise of a care system lacking much-needed safeguarding techniques.
Funding is needed to protect those who are most vulnerable, such as those in a vegetative state and senior citizens. And while we may have always suspected there could be a problem, recent news stories have raised our awareness. And if you’ve read the news lately, you couldn’t have missed this story.
A news story brings up questions
As you have most likely heard, a 29-year-old lady was raped while in a coma. She gave birth in December 2018 after being in a coma for over a decade.She gave birth at Hacienda Healthcare center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Following the incident, a nursing home source informed KPHO (a local television company): “None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth. From what I know the baby is alive, and the baby is healthy.”
How many other women are suffering?
How deeply worrisome that there are likely other women suffering within the care system,who don’t have a voice. For this vulnerable group, “No please don’t” isn’t enough to stop the harassment. In the age of “me too”, these victims may be the most overlooked.
Some victims are unable to speak for themselves. And they system that’s meant to protect them may fail. It’s incredible there wasn’t a glimpse of awareness from any of the nursing staff that she was pregnant during her 24-hour care.
And here’s something to question. This one lady may not have been the only target. Meaning it’s possible that others undergoing care within this facility have been exposed to similar trauma and abuse. And they too may not be able to say “times up.”
The concern for aging loved ones
This issue is not just relevant for those with injuries or disabilities. Many of us will have to get care for our parents or other loved ones as they age. And how do we know that they’re really safe?
When you hire someone to care of your loved one, you assume you’ve hired good care. But how do you protect someone who can’t speak for themselves? The answer isn’t easy. And that’s why it’s important to start a conversation on the subject. The more we talk, the better solutions we find. So let’s start talking.
A starting place to keep our most vulnerable women safe
A good place to start is questioning what do we do to make things safer for these woman? Or quite frankly, all people who are vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves. The conversation can lead to action, reform, and change.
But we need to start from where we are now. How do we keep these women safe who are vulnerable today? There is no simple answer, but here’s a good place to start –
- Look for bruising – and check the entire body. Do this regularly and don’t feel rude for doing it. You’re keeping your family safe.
- Look for torn or bloody underwear. Check to make sure clothing isn’t missing or has been discarded.
- Look for any infections or bleeding
And then we have to ask ourselves as a society, how do we keep the system safe? Because if one woman fell through the cracks, surely others have experienced this too. It;s a complicated issue. But we owe it to our loved ones to find answers.
And empower yourself if you have a loved one living under professional care. Check for signs of abuse. Listen to your gut when it tells you something is wrong. Don’t worry about nagging and being pushy. And arm yourself with a good nursing home abuse attorney if you think somethings gone wrong.
(This is a contributor post and contains affiliate links)