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Lawsuits Allege Care Center Abuse

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Denver, COCare center abuse, which can involve nursing home abuse, residential care abuse, elder abuse and other forms of abuse, neglect or mistreatment, can occur at any center charged with the care of individuals. Although care center abuse is commonly associated with nursing homes, it can also involve day care facilities and residential homes. Furthermore, care center abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

According to The Denver Post (5/13/12), five families have filed lawsuits against Adolescent and Family Institute of Colorado, alleging serious violations on the part of the facility and its staff. Among the allegations are that residents were taken off medications without justification; that residents were ordered to lie to justify treatment; and that residents were isolated from their families.

The facility, reportedly created to help teens address psychological and behavioral issues, has already faced several lawsuits regarding its practices, which allegedly involve abusive conduct on the part of staff. These practices reportedly included discontinuing psychiatric medications, decreasing a diabetic patient's insulin and conducting invasive sexual exams on residents.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuits seek in excess of $100,000 in damages.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently announced its investigation into a Georgia man charged with Medicare/Medicaid fraud resulted in a conviction against the accused. On May 8, the organization announced that George Houser would be punished for fraud, after an investigation showed that the three nursing homes he owned operated under horrible conditions. Those conditions reportedly included leaking roofs, trash piled in dumpsters, deficient services—which a judge later called "worthless"—inadequate staffing and failure to pay vendors.

Houser's failure to pay vendors resulted in improper meals for residents, delayed garbage removal and dirty and unsanitary living conditions. Money that Houser received from Medicare and Medicaid was reportedly spent on real estate investments, luxury cars and new homes. Houser's three nursing homes were reportedly shut down by the state.

Care center abuse can cause not only emotional damage to residents, it can cause permanent physical harm and can even result in the death of residents. A home's failure to provide adequate medicine, failure to respond to medical needs and failure to provide adequate care can all have a devastating impact on care home residents. Even if residents survive their ordeal, they may have permanent injuries or emotional trauma.

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