In a cinderblock nursing home, cradled in the
Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the twin cities of Bristol, Tenn., and
Bristol, Va., workers say a predator stalked the elderly in its halls.
They say that for nearly a decade, he fondled, groped and may have
even sodomized patients—some of whom couldn't walk, speak or see.
Affidavits, an investigator's memo and other documents identify the man as a nurses' aide. But despite repeated complaints from fellow employees, managers at
the facility allowed him to
stay on the job.
The aide's co-workers were bewildered by what they describe as
management's lackadaisical attitude toward their allegations. Many left
in disgust. Wright only resigned in 2007, several months after a police investigation of the home. For more, read this story.
This situation is a
terrible tragedy for the victims and families of the victims. When
someone makes the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing
home or assisted living facility, they should be able to trust that the
persons entrusted with their care will not intentionally abuse them.
Many residents are not capable of reporting abuse but still would be
traumatized by it. It is important to investigate any and all signs of
abuse and neglect.
W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated
to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted
living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg,
Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.