Advances in technology are altering nearly every facet of our lives, including how nursing home abuse cases are approached.
Our Broward nursing home abuse lawyers know that the biggest advance, of course, is the proliferation of video cameras, cell phone cameras and similar recorders that can help to document incidents of abuse that occur when the aggressor thinks no one is watching.
Take, for example, a recent case out of Texas.
There, family members of an 83-year-old female nursing home resident became concerned. She had bruises on her body that went unexplained. She began to become fearful of people in general. When anyone would try to hug her, she would shy away.
Suspicious that there was more happening at the home than they were being told, they placed a hidden camera in her room. What they later saw sickened them.
The camera shows a 43-year-old female caregiver pulling the elderly woman up by her hair. Another worker can be seen roughly pinching her leg as a punishment for some perceived wrong.
This was a home that had a considerably lower rating than the state average, and had three serious violations throughout the previous 12 months.
After the video was used to file a criminal report, one employee was arrested and the state initiated an investigation. That state investigation has just concluded, with four other employees suspended for their role in the alleged abuse, including one administrator. Additionally, the home was cited for failure to prevent abuse.
The family isn’t satisfied with the severity of the outcome, and have expressed a desire to possibly pursue civil remedies against the home and the staffers.
Another recent case in Alabama involves a similar scenario. In that case, family members began to suspect that their paralyzed family member was being mistreated when they weren’t there. They reportedly hired a company to install hidden cameras at the home.
What they discovered sparked a criminal investigation. Among the incidents of concern was where a person appears to be pulling a cord attached to a patient repeatedly. An employee is seen doing the same thing. In another incident, it appears an employee is punching a patient. In another portion of the tape, an employee is seen screaming at a patient.
The tape was sent to police, who arrested one man on charges of intentional abuse of a protected person. They have also issued a warrant for a female staffer for emotional abuse of a protected person.
While the tape revealed evidence of mistreatment against one of the patients, it’s likely that several more were impacted as well. Incidents like this don’t occur in a bubble, and when staffers are caring for multiple patients, it’s likely more may be effected.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, before you install a hidden camera, contact our Belle Glade nursing home abuse attorneys. We can help guide you through the best legal way to confirm your suspicions and seek justice and compensation for your loved one.
Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Nursing home cited, 4 suspended for alleged abuse, Oct. 23, 2012, By Dionne Anglin, KDFW Fox 4 Dallas
More Blog Entries:
Fellsmere Nursing Homes Have Average 7-8 Health Deficiencies, Oct. 16, 2012, Belle Glade Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog