Nursing home abuse at a center in Minnesota has reportedly been uncovered via hidden camera, resulting in the termination and arrest of two nursing assistance and the suspension of nine others.
Family members of numerous family residents collaborated to install cameras in the private rooms of their loved ones. They suspected wrongdoing when they began to notice bruising and cuts on the faces of their loved ones, but they couldn’t seem to get a straight answer. They were worried for the safety of their elderly relatives.
Now, they know those concerns were valid.
The video, which was shot over the course of several weeks, was turned over to the local police department, and thus far, two arrests have been made. A city attorney who viewed the video called the behavior of the assistants viewed on camera as “inappropriate conduct.”
Understanding the full extent of the abuse hasn’t been clear because police at this point have declined to release the incident report, video or names of the alleged victims. (Such information would be much more readily available in Florida, which has broader public record laws.) However, the nursing home itself, in a letter sent to guardians and family members of current residents, the conduct was described as “abusive” and was a cause for great concern. Still, no details of exactly what happened were provided.
The center did label the conduct “intolerable,” and explained this was the reason for termination of two workers.
Affiliated with the Catholic Church, the facility is connected to three other affiliate senior living homes, which in total receive $46 million in revenue annually.
Some family members say they are frustrated that they have been unable to obtain specific information about the alleged abuse, and a few are already taking steps to move their loved ones to somewhere else. One of those noted her mother had numerous bruises on both her arms and legs. She assumed they were simply the result of being transferred from her wheelchair or bed. However, now, she fears those bruises may have been intentionally inflicted. Her mother has Alzheimer’s disease, so she wouldn’t be able to tell her what was really going on. She can barely speak in complete sentences, so relaying the difficult details and emotions of an abusive situation would be impossible.
Although there are some states that have implemented limits on “hidden cameras” in nursing homes for privacy reasons, it’s something our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorneys are seeing at an increasing rate. The electronic surveillance technology is more widely available than ever, and family members who can’t be there 24/7 want to know their loved ones are not being mistreated or neglected.
Just a few years ago in New York, hidden cameras in several residents’ bedrooms resulted in the arrests of 19 staffers at a single facility. Workers were seen talking and watching movies as opposed to carrying out their duties of caring for patients.
Cuts, bruises, weight loss, even broken bones may not necessarily in and of itself be concrete proof of abuse or neglect. Video evidence provides concrete proof of what’s going on. It shows what happens behind closed doors, when staffers think no one is looking.
In the case of this facility, it’s the second time in as many years it’s been investigated for accusations of physical abuse. In the previous incident last year, it is believed a staffer slapped a patient with severe dementia and then laughed about it while leaving the room.
Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Hidden camera catches abuse at nursing home, two arrested, July 15, 2015, By Chris Serres, Star Tribune
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Nursing Home Lawsuit Alleges Woman Died From Neglect, July 15, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer