Individuals with severe developmental disabilities often require specialized care to address specific medical and behavioral issues. But every year, dozens in Connecticut are placed in nursing homes designed to serve a different population. It is a situation that both state officials and advocates oppose but it continues, sometimes with tragic consequences.
The Courant today wraps up a three-day investigation into neglect and abuse of developmentally disabled adults with a look at deaths in nursing homes. In addition to cases of inadequate care, the story also reveals that nursing homes sometimes fail to notify state officials when a resident with intellectual disabilities dies, which can hinder efforts to determine whether there were deficiencies in treatment.
The series, which began Sunday, also included a broad look at deaths among the developmentally disabled who were receiving state services – revealing that from 2004 to 2010, neglect was cited in investigations of 76 deaths – and a story on physical and sexual abuse of the disabled. Details on those who died are presented on a timeline of the 76 deaths and several individual victims were profiled.
Monday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy responded to the series, calling for a federal investigation into deaths nationwide.