In order for authorities to prosecute people charged with committing crimes they must have evidence. In some cases authorities can rely on physical evidence to prove their case. The most effective evidence comes in the form of testimony from crime victims- the people who can describe what happened to them and what the perpetrator looked or might have said.
What happens if the victim is unable to testify? Unfortunately, the chances of the assailant walking free increase substantially. Further, when a crime occurs within the confines of a nursing home or long-term care facility has little incentive to report the crime to authorities.
This is where nursing home advocate Wes Bledsoe wants to step in. Bledsoe is the founder of A Perfect Cause, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of unreported rapes, robberies, and attacks involving vulnerable nursing home residents.
Bledsoe is getting involved in a case involving a 41-year-old man who was raped at the Oak Hills Living Center in Jones, Oklahoma. The victim suffered from Pick’s Disease, a deterioration of the brain, and is unable to describe the crime. Although the nursing home was aware of the crime, the case was not reported to law enforcement agencies. Bledsoe says the man was attacked, raped, neglected and abused when he lived at the center from August of 2007 through February of this year.
This story demonstrates the importance of families becoming actively involved in the care of their loved ones in nursing homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities. No one can look after a loved one 24 hours a day, however regular visits with your loved one allow detection of any improper treatment early on before it becomes an ongoing problem. If you suspect an incident involving a violent crime or nursing home neglect, report the situation to your state ombudsman or health agency.