Too often, people in the Chicago area suspect that a loved one living in a nursing home is being abused by staff members. Perhaps the relative, who may not be able to communicate, acts fearful during visits or has suspicious bruises. In cases where the facility’s management is unwilling to investigate possible nursing home abuse, many families in that situation turn to placing a hidden camera in the resident’s room.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘granny cam’, a hidden camera acts as an objective witness to how staff members are treating the resident, including whether they are being violent or abusive. Cases where nursing home employees were caught on tape abusing residents are becoming common around the country.
In a recent example, four employees of a nursing home in another state were suspended indefinitely and one was arrested after state officials concluded in a lengthy report that an elderly woman was a victim of assault. The investigation was based on video footage collected by the woman’s family that depicted staff members pulling her head up by the hair, pushing her head, pinching her leg and committing other abusive treatment.
Among the suspended is the nursing home’s administrator, who allegedly ignored the family’s reports of bruising on the resident’s body and her fear of being touched by relatives. It appears that the administrator is not accused of abusing the woman, but of allowing it to continue by failing to properly investigate.
The nursing home itself is cited in the government report for neglect. Officials laid out a plan for the facility to take resident abuse more seriously, including retraining of staff, which the report says the nursing home has fulfilled.
Source: KDFW-TV, “Nursing home cited, 4 suspended for alleged abuse,” Dionne Anglin, Oct. 23, 2012