Two Southeast Texas nursing home employees have been arrested for elder abuse.
On October 7, the Texas City police department stated in a news release that both employees, Lisa Jo Cooper and Kecia Danielle Johnson, were charged with elderly abuse. In Texas, this is a second-degree felony.
The resident was Cornelio Salinas. Lizandro Solis told KHOU that his grandfather had been telling the family about the abusive treatment for a few years. There was no proof until the surveillance video was released on October 2. The family installed the camera a year or two prior.
The video shows the resident being dragged back into his bed.
“We got a phone call that our grandpa was going to the hospital because he supposedly fell out the bed. We saw the bruising around his eyes, and he was in a neck brace, so we went back on the ring camera, and we saw what happened,” Lizandro told KHOU. “We were angry. We wanted to go do something, but what can you do?”
Lizandro added that the family would like the facility to be shut down and the employees charged.
“We don’t even know how long that has been happening or if anybody else is going through it,” he said.
Solidago Health and Rehabilitation is investigating; an investigation is also being conducted by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas City police.
The facility issued a statement on October 5 to address the incident.
“We remain shocked and saddened that this troubling incident occurred at Solidago Health and Rehabilitation,” the statement reads. “Protecting the health and safety of all residents in our care remains a top priority, which is why we took prompt action to keep our residents safe.”
Explaining what steps had been taken by management, the statement read, “We reported the incident, as required, to the appropriate authorities and are continuing to cooperate in their ongoing investigation. Additionally, we have launched an internal investigation, and the employees involved in the incident were immediately suspended.”
The concluding statement expressed, “We have no tolerance for behavior that jeopardizes the health and safety of our residents, and all violations of our policies are addressed appropriately. Our thoughts remain with the resident and his family during this difficult time.”
The facility used to be known as The Resort at Texas City, according to ABC 13. Cornelio will be transferred to another facility, his family shared.
He was still in the hospital as of October 3, KHOU reported, with a few injuries and bruises.
“It’s horrible. It’s outrageous that somebody should be treated that way,” Green said.
Ware Wendell, the executive director of Texas Watch, a non-partisan citizen advocacy organization, claimed that Texas is a state that is dangerous for older adults.
“Many studies have shown that Texas has some of the most dangerous nursing homes,” Wendell told ABC 13.