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AARP Study: Quality of Nursing Home Care in Texas ‘Shamefully Poor’

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Friday, July 07 2017 Jul 7, 2017 July 07, 2017 6:49 PM July 07, 2017 in News

SAN BENITO - Guadalupe Vargas' son is in nursing home care in the Rio Grande Valley. In 2013, first responders found him unconscious in his home in Minnesota. What happened to him is still unknown. 

“They said they found him on the floor," said Vargas. She said a relative called to check on him, since they hadn’t heard from him and he usually called her twice a day.

Francisco Vargas is now in a vegetative state. His mother said it took her family three tries to find a good home for her son. She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he contracted a near-fatal case of pneumonia after he was denied the care needed.

She recommends families keep their loved ones at home. "I tell everybody, I tell people who have their mothers, or I see them with older parents, take care of them! Don’t put them in the nursing homes, because they’re not loved. They’re not cared for,” said Vargas.

AARP conducted a study in January. They found one in four nursing home facilities in the state of Texas had repeat "serious" violations. Amanda Fredricksen, the AARP associate state director of advocacy, said the "right to correct" violation allowed nursing homes to delay fixing these problems before facing fines. In 2017, more than 17,000 violations were reported. The state took 40 actions. 

“That’s the challenge here," said Fredricksen. "There’s a lot of violations and very, very little actions. And we think a large part of why there was very little action was because the facilities are always getting to correct these violations."

A new law going into effect in September eliminates a nursing home's right to correct. It allows nursing homes to be fined after the first violation. 

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