Texas accused of ignoring mentally disabled in nursing homes

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Some intellectually-disabled people have sued Texas, accusing the state of warehousing them in nursing homes without evaluating whether they could live in the community.

It took about 40 years for one man to finally get to choose a community home, even though he can read, write and drive. A 29-year-old woman died after she was left in bed for about 165 hours a week.

A federal judge says the suit can include more than 4,000 people in nursing homes who are potentially affected.

The state denies it is ignoring the disabled. It says that care providers are required to determine the services each patient needs and whether a patient wants to live in the community. Lawyers for the disabled say Texas denies “any meaningful access” to those services.

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