I recently had a case of an adult disabled woman who was mentally and physically impaired - very impaired. She was in an assisted living facility that was licensed by the Department of Social Services, and that facility had poor Safety Programs. They would say their facility was staffed “lean and mean”; I would say it was understaffed.
One day my client was in the kitchen of the facility where the staff was preparing boiling water for cooking. My mentally and physically impaired and disabled client ended up with scalding burns down her face and internally down her throat. The facility claimed that my client took the boiling pan of water and drank it. Do you believe them?
She had scalding burns down her face and internally down her throat. And, of course, she had to be hospitalized and almost died. The facility tried to argue that it was the disabled client’s own fault – what sane person tries to drink boiling hot water, right? What nonsense! They were getting paid to take care of and keep safe their mentally disabled resident --- which is why she was in their facility in the first place. She wasn’t able to take care of herself; she was mentally disabled and needed someone’s attention and supervision.
A disabled person who suffers scalding burns while under the care of a care facility is typically a case of neglect or abuse. When someone fails to accurately set the temperature before a disabled, elderly person takes a shower, that’s neglect. Boiling water is left in a kitchen purportedly with nobody watching a mentally and physically disabled person such that they have access to it, that’s also neglect. Or maybe something worse – possibly abuse.
Our disabled friends and family need us to protect them. Let’s make it happen.