The Phoenix Police Department is investigating the sexual assault of a patient at Hacienda HealthCare, as she recently went into labor to the surprise of Hacienda staff.
Imagine your family is being faced with the difficult decision to place a loved one in a skilled care facility, or nursing home. You have done hours upon hours of research on local facilities as well as gotten recommendations from friends and other family members. You’ve gone for visits to get a feel for the place. You make a decision and feel confident that this person you love so very much is in the best of care. You trust these people. You believe that your loved one is being cared for as if they still lived at home, with respect and dignity. That’s what everyone wants to believe. Unfortunately, it is not always the case.
On December 29, a female resident of Hacienda HealthCare, a long-term care facility for the developmentally disabled in Arizona, gave birth to a baby boy. She had been in a vegetative state for 14 years after a near-drowning accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, a patient is considered to be in a vegetative state when he or she is awake but not showing signs of awareness. An investigation is being performed by the Phoenix Police into allegations made against the facility but they have not answered any inquiries for details. The CEO of Hacienda, Bill Timmons, has resigned.
This same facility was cited in 2017 after the state investigated them for not protecting patients’ privacy while they showered. The state issued a report in January 2018 saying that all of the deficiencies cited in 2017 had been corrected.
The families of Hacienda’s patients are in shock and are looking for answers. Their eyes have been opened wide to the dangers that their loved ones face, being at the mercy of someone with ill-intent in a place that was supposed to be protecting them. Regrettably, nursing home abuse is much more common than we’d like to think. Sexual abuse in nursing homes is happening at an astonishing rate, mainly because the victim is unable to stop it or report it, giving the abuser free reign to do as they please. Many people in skilled care facilities have issues with memory or even dementia, which makes it difficult for them to remember or to be able to accurately communicate what is going on. As in the case of the Hacienda HealthCare patient, being in a vegetative state makes being victimized even more likely. A patient who cannot move or speak is a prime target for a sexual predator.
If you suspect that someone you love is being sexually abused in a nursing facility, you should immediately call the police and have the problem investigated. It is also critical to procure the help of an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse so that your loved one has the best chance of getting the justice they deserve. KBA Attorneys is a highly-skilled and experienced law firm whose number one priority is advocating for their clients. Contact them today to discover how a lawsuit can help you recover compensation for your loved one’s suffering. The compassionate lawyers of KBA are committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse while offering professional service that is always confidential.
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