They are among the most vulnerable of the state’s citizens – developmentally disabled adults living in facilities large and small under the supervision of the Department of Developmental Services. But in a scenario all sides agree occurs too frequently, those vulnerable citizens lose their lives to neglect.
From 2004 to 2010, investigators cited neglect in the deaths of 76 developmentally disabled adults receiving services from the Department of Developmental Services, a Courant investigation has found. One was placed in a scalding bathtub without workers checking the temperature. Two drowned during poorly supervised outings. Several choked to death despite protocols designed to keep them safe. Others fell ill and received inadequate medical intervention.
The Courant today begins a three-day investigation, exploring the reasons behind the spate of deaths at group homes, institutions, hospitals and nursing homes, and the efforts to keep their fragile residents safe. Read that story here. On Monday, the Courant will reporting on the thousands of reported cases of non-fatal abuse and assault involving developmentally disabled residents. And on Tuesday, the paper will explain a trend toward placing developmentally disabled adults in nursing homes, despite near-universal agreement of those involved that the practice is undesirable.
The package of stories will also include several profiles of developmentally disabled adults who lost their lives to neglect. And an interactive timeline provides details on all 76 who died.