Failure to Keep Safe

How can a nursing home allow a vulnerable adult under their care and supervision to suffer sexual assaults? The whole point and purpose of a nursing home is to allow elderly people to live safely with respect and dignity. Many are defenseless and vulnerable.

Samuel Wambugu was an employee of The Heritage of Overland Park. Documents say he forced himself on an 86-year-old female resident. Police charged Wambugu with rape on Jan. 20.

The facility also admitted it may not be an isolated incident. Why can’t they? Did the facility do a criminal background check? Did they fail to supervise or investigate prior complaints?

Mitzi McFatrich is the interim director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care. McFatrich said:

“Thinking about an older woman who likely was not able to protect herself being sexually assaulted is just heartbreaking. One in 14 instances of elder abuse will be reported. Many of those will never be reported. And of those that are reported, many of them will not have justice.”

The problem continues. Safe staffing can prevent these incidents. Paying a living wage would help to get better caregivers to apply. Video cameras in resident rooms will deter waste, fraud, and abuse.

The nursing home industry need solutions to prevent these incidents. If not, they need to close the doors.

Tips to Consider

Here are tips if you suspect abuse:

  • Call 911 if you suspect anything.
  • Check for blood on clothes, look for things like skin tears, bruises, and bite marks.
  • Has there been any recent injury of unknown origin?
  • Has the person’s behavior changed–more anxious, more depressed, more withdrawn?
  • Is there a new resident or caregiver in the facility?

Here are tips to consider when looking into nursing homes:

  • Research before you ever go into a facility.
  • Visit facilities in-person.
  • Talk to residents and other family members.
  • Check prior surveys and complaints.

Do your due diligence. Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to help. We have the experience and compassion to address any concerns.