A 44-year-old former nursing home employee recently pleaded guilty to abusing an 84-year-old resident of the home back in 2012. The incident occurred in an Arlington, Texas nursing home and was captured on video through the use of a hidden camera, a tactic that has been gaining support and opposition in recent years.
Concerns about the care provided in the nursing home led to the installation of a security camera which captured the 84-year-old woman being abused by an employee. It is not clear whether the employee knew of the camera’s existence or its use before the abuse was captured, a requirement in some states that allow hidden camera use in nursing facilities. The video captured a female employee “roughing up” the elderly woman, including lifting the patient by her hair to put a pillow down on a bed and apparently pinching at the woman’s skin in an aggressive motion.
After seeing the abuse on video, the patient was moved to another nursing home last fall but she passed away in December of 2012, before any resolution to abuse could be reached. The employee captured in the video was criminally charged with abuse and pleaded guilty earlier this week to her role in the incident. The employee is now awaiting sentencing for her crime and will face anything from probation to a potential 10 years in prison for her crimes. The nursing home itself was subject to an investigation by state authorities that resulted in a $137,000 fine for improper procedures regarding the treatment of the elderly victim. Since that time, the owners of the nursing home have stated that their current employees have been retrained and that their roles have been narrowly defined to prevent abuse of this nature in the future.
Though this incident of abuse happened in Texas, it is similar to situations that occur in Illinois every day. Nursing home abuse is believed to be drastically underreported as many victims are not able to communicate the harm inflicted on them or do not have the ability to contact the proper authorities. Even as nursing home abuse and neglect continue to threaten the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, society finds itself on the verge of substantially increasing the number of patients in these homes. The Baby Boomer generation is aging, retiring, and preparing for the final phase of life. With this shift comes an increased demand on skilled nursing professions and the care of the elderly.
A greater demand in nursing home services has encouraged some homes to cut corners by understaffing facilities and providing substandard care. When this happens, abuse and neglect almost always follow in some degree. If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim, call the Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation. We can help you understand whether your loved one has a case and may be entitled to a financial recovery, including payment for any medical bills that were incurred. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in fighting for the rights of victims and we understand that you may want to speak with an attorney right away. For that reason, we keep a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442. There is no obligation with the free consultation so call us today and let us help you understand your loved one’s legal rights.
Prior Blog Entries:
Repeated Falls Lead to Death of Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2013.
Nursing Home Abuse Continues to be Serious Threat In Illinois and Across Nation, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published August 11, 2013.
Family of woman abused at nursing home await worker’s sentencing, by Dionee Anglin, myfoxdfw.com, published September 18, 2013.