Valley Woman Raises Concerns for Caregivers Following Her Mother's Murder
MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley woman is voicing her concerns for health care providers following the murder of her mother.
Andria Salinas says her mother, Alisa Garza, was killed last October while at work in the 600 block of North Broadway in McAllen.
Salinas says her mother had been caring for an elderly woman at that address for about a year.
The 61-year-old spent five years as a caregiver. Her daughter blames her death on what she says is a system with no safety regulations.
Salinas says Garza was murdered by her patient's son, who also lived in the home she worked in.
“She had a stab wound to her right rib area, the worst I had ever seen her,” says Salinas.
The man charged with the crime was 34-year-old Juan Manuel Hernandez.
He had previously been charged with theft and aggravated robbery.
“I don't feel that it's fair that these individuals are going in with the best of intentions of helping and caring for an individual and in return, they're being attacked or they're being belittled or they're being killed,” says Salinas.
Salinas worries other care providers are at risk.
Following the death of her mother, she is left wondering how safe are caregivers while at work.
Salinas suggests this first step is to require background checks on clients before a provider is sent to any home for work.
“For them to be going into a safe environment or at least knowing the type of environment that they're going into. I don't know if she would have been OK with it or if she would have requested that he not be in the home while she is working. It can happen to anyone, it's just unfortunate that it happened to my mom,” says Salinas.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS background checks are not required for those receiving care services. The agency says they are required for Home and Community Support Service Agency employees.
Salinas knows that is not enough. She wants the murder of her mother to serve as a call for change in care provider safety.
We also reached out to the U.S. Department of Labor for information on employee safety. They told us the department is working to provide information.
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