A Perfect Cause is an advocacy group that pushes for reform of nursing home laws, regulations, and requirements. Recently, they got the Oklahoma attorney general and the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office to support a push to make crimes against nursing home patients immediately reportable to police.
Jack Crow, who says he believes his wife was abused at a nursing home, is pushing to change the statutes. Crow’s wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, was badly bruised in July. An investigation found that she suffered the injuries in a fall.
Crow disputes the findings and is working with A Perfect Cause to change the reporting procedures.
Current Oklahoma statutes call for someone with reasonable cause to believe abuse or neglect is occurring at a care center in the state, it should be reported to the Department of Human Services or the Sheriff’s department. However, reasonable cause is subjective and no guidance is given to nursing homes as to what constitutes neglect and abuse.
The district attorney and attorney general’s offices believe police should be called first.
"When you have a crime scene, there is evidence," said Scott Rowland, of the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office. "There is witness testimony in these crime scenes."
A Perfect Cause wants to make sure facilities follow that procedure by requiring them to report suspected abuse to police first, before anyone else.