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Criminal Caretakers: Lax regulations put violent offenders at nursing home residents’ bedsides

Nursing homes can hire certified nurse aides with serious criminal histories -- and in some cases, it's legal.

Charlotte Huffman, Mark Smith

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Part 1 (See Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of our continuing investigation of nursing home abuse and neglect.)

The images are hard to watch -- vulnerable, elderly residents of Texas nursing homes beaten and abused by their caretakers.

The abysmal care is more than anecdotal. Using data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, WFAA discovered the patient abuse rate in Texas nursing homes is nearly four times the national average.

But there’s a heartbreaking story behind these numbers.

News 8 investigator Charlotte Huffman spent months analyzing state data, and made a disturbing discovery: violent criminals are working as certified nursing aides (CNAs), and in many cases, it’s legal.