On March 6, 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance gathered for a hearing to discuss cases of nursing home abuse and neglect that have plagued residents throughout the nation. Predominantly, the hearing shed light on the lack of preventive measures The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have in place to protect residents from abuse and neglect. Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led the hearing along with Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR).
During the hearing, several family members of abused and neglected residents shared testimonies about the harm and suffering their loved ones endured as a result of the grossly substandard care provided. One Minnesota woman recalled her mother’s rape by a nursing home caregiver, which left her mother crying and hitting her private parts for days, unable to communicate what happened. “We assured my mother that she would be safe: she would not suffer. I can never overcome the guilt of realizing that these promises were not kept: She was not safe, she was raped,” the daughter shared.
A woman from Iowa detailed her mother’s death while in a nursing home facility that had been given the highest rankings in quality measures by CMS. According to testimony, her mother was transferred to a hospital where she was found to be extremely dehydrated. The emergency room doctor stated the woman had not been given fluids in the last four to five days and said he planned on reporting the abuse. The woman passed away shortly after.