A case that was reported earlier this week serves as a grim reminder of the dangers our seniors may face while under the care of others. Three assisted living center employees were arrested after posting a Snapchat video documenting a shocking lack of care for a 76-year-old woman who was dying in hospice care. The video showed the three employees in the woman’s room, vaping and shouting obscenities at the camera while the woman lay dying in the background. The woman had suffered a stroke, and the employees had been instructed to monitor the woman while waiting for a hospice nurse. The employees titled the Snapchat video, “The End.”
Also recently reported, a 54-year-old certified nursing assistant who worked at Chaplinwood Nursing Home in Milledgeville was indicted on abuse charges. She allegedly struck an elderly resident in the face while trying to put dirty pants on her.
Nursing Home Abuse Happens More Often Than You Think
As the above cases illustrate, nursing home abuse happens far more often than we would like to believe. According to some sources, as many as 5 million seniors are abused every year, with many more cases going unreported. Many of us can’t afford in-home care, or our loved ones need more intense care than we can provide. These cases are alarming reminders that our seniors are in the care of people who may not only be careless but may be engaged in active abuse of our loved ones.
Who is Responsible?
Any nursing home, assisted living facility, or other residence for the elderly owes its residents a duty to ensure that they receive proper care and are safe from harm. After all, this is what they are paying for, right? Unfortunately, and as illustrated in the cases above, these facilities are often understaffed or staffed by unqualified people without adequate oversight. In the “Snapchat” case, the two of the employees were 21 while the third was only 19. The fact that they were completely unsupervised while monitoring the patient and waiting for a hospice nurse suggests that the facility was not properly staffed and had failed to provide adequate supervision.
What Can We Do?
Vigilance is the first and maybe the most important step. If you have a loved one in an elder care facility, visit them as often as you can and make note of the level of care they are receiving. Here are some signs that your senior may be suffering abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, scrapes, or cuts
- He or she is dirty or unkempt
- His or her room is dirty; trash needs to be emptied, bedclothes need to be changed, etc.
- He or she reports that she can’t get help with everyday tasks
- He or she appears to be undernourished
- He or she isn’t receiving necessary medications in a timely fashion
Look and listen carefully for signs of trouble. Our seniors are often reluctant to tell us what is going on out of embarrassment or shame.
Contact an Atlanta Area Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Putting our loved ones in an elder care facility is never an easy decision. We place our trust and our loved ones in these facilities, which is why nursing home abuse is so horrifying. If you suspect that one of your loved ones is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact us right away. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have been fighting nursing home abuse in Georgia since 1992. Contact us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation today.