When family members suspect that their loved ones may be being abused in a nursing home, they may feel helpless. Families are often at the mercy of the facility’s administration to guarantee their vulnerable relatives are treated with dignity and kept safe.
Unfortunately, an investigation into possible nursing home abuse can sometimes take a long time. Valuable time can be wasted while nursing home residents are further subjected to abuse and neglect, perhaps ending in irreversible harm or even death.
This was the unfortunate reality for a 96-year-old Oklahoma woman who was the victim of nursing home abuse. Her daughters became suspicious about the quality of her care when they realized that personal property was being stolen from their mother’s room.
In order to find out what was going on, they set up a hidden video camera to keep an eye on her.
What they saw on the video was far more tragic than simple theft — it was painful, devastating video of two nursing home workers taunting and hurting their mother.
The video captured two nursing home employees stuffing wadded up latex gloves into the helpless, wheelchair-bound woman’s mouth.
The camera also showed a so-called caregiver shoving the 96-year-old’s head and then performing chest compressions on her without explanation.
“It’s still painful because our mother wouldn’t have hurt a fly,” one of her daughters told reporters. “We couldn’t have imagined what happened to her.”
“[She] was a silent victim,” said Wes Bledsoe, a nursing home watchdog. “Nobody would have known if it had not been for this camera.”
“What we want is awareness,” he added.
One of those perpetrators recently pled guilty to the abusing this woman and will serve 13 months in prison before being deported. The other was charged but apparently fled and is still at large.
The 96-year-old woman died just a few months after the abuse came to light.
It’s so tragic to think that nursing homes may need to consider video monitoring of all patients in order to protect the safety and dignity of our elderly or disabled loved ones. Would you consider hiding a “granny cam” in your family member’s room?
“Every nursing home room should have a camera,” said another of this woman’s devastated daughters. “Every one. Because we had no idea this was taking place with our mother.”
Source: freedom43tv.com, “Hidden camera captures nursing home abuse,” Ted Malave, Dec. 3, 2012
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