4 Deaths in D.C. Group Homes Raise Concerns About Neglect

Source: Karlyn Barker, Washington Post, Tuesday, November 29, 2005; A01

The District government is failing to provide adequate care for mentally and physically disabled residents in its group homes, according to a court monitor who found that a pattern of neglect led to four deaths in the past year. One woman and three men “are dead because they did not receive timely and competent health care,” court monitor Elizabeth Jones said in a newly released report. ….. Jones attributed the deaths to serious neglect by two contractors that operate some of the homes and to shoddy oversight by the city, particularly case managers assigned to track the care of individual residents. Two of the people who died were in the same home. ….. In 1999, a series of articles in The Washington Post disclosed 350 documented cases of abuse and neglect, as well as profiteering, in the city’s group homes. The series found that none of the 116 deaths that had occurred in the homes since 1993 had been investigated.