Sick, dying and raped in America’s nursing homes
“You prepare for a phone call your mother has passed. You don’t prepare for a phone call that your mother has been RAPED.”
By Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, CNN Investigations
“Wow I couldn’t believe it when I read the headline but it made feel good that our services could keep one person out of this type of trauma situation, for any period of time, then CareCallingNow has achieved more than its Vision. Read on below to see what I mean or click on the link to get the whole story”
Some of the victims can’t speak. They rely on walkers and wheelchairs to leave their beds. They have been robbed of their memories. They come to nursing homes to be cared for.
Instead, they are sexually assaulted.
A CNN Investigation
Luis Gomez appeared to many to be the perfect nursing aide. He loved his job and went the distance for residents in his care. But now a different image has emerged: Gomez, who insists he is innocent, is accused of being a serial abuser — moving from facility to facility despite a history of allegations against him. CNN documents his trail.
A daughter describes the resilience that helped her family not only heal but fight for reform.
The unthinkable is happening at facilities throughout the country: Vulnerable seniors are being raped and sexually abused by the very people paid to care for them.
It’s impossible to know just how many victims are out there. But through an exclusive analysis of state and federal data and interviews with experts, regulators and the families of victims, CNN has found that this little-discussed issue is more widespread than anyone would imagine.
Even more disturbing: In many cases, nursing homes and the government officials who oversee them are doing little — or nothing — to stop it.
Sometimes pure — and even willful — negligence is at work. In other instances, nursing home employees and administrators are hamstrung in their efforts to protect victims who can’t remember exactly what happened to them or even identify their perpetrators.
In cases reviewed by CNN, victims and their families were failed at every stage. Nursing homes were slow to investigate and report allegations because of a reluctance to believe the accusations — or a desire to hide them. Police viewed the claims as unlikely at the outset, dismissing potential victims because of failing memories or jumbled allegations. And because of the high bar set for substantiating abuse, state regulators failed to flag patterns of repeated allegations against a single caregiver.
It’s these systemic failures that make it especially hard for victims to get justice — and even easier for perpetrators to get away with their crimes.