No family likes to put their loved one in a nursing home. However, if they pose a danger to themselves or others, it may be necessary. This is sometimes the case, for example, for those with Alzheimer and other dementias. When that happens, the hope is that they receive love and understanding. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true, and, in rare cases, the staff that is responsible for their care becomes abusive. Let’s look at an example and find out what can be done.
Nursing home abuse results when a caregiver purposefully inflicts, harm, pain or suffering on an elderly person in their care. Nursing home abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional.
- Physical abuse includes shoving, hitting, slapping, scratching, force-feeding, and excessive restraint.
- Sexual abuse includes battery or sexual assault, non-consensual sexual activity and inappropriate touching.
- Emotional abuse is verbal or nonverbal and involves threats, humiliating, ignoring, scolding, cursing, or intimidating a resident.
Some cases are clearer than others, but the following example is one of the more extreme cases.
According to CBS Local New, attorneys filed suit in December 2018 against a South Holland nursing home. Staff were accused of abusing a 76-year-old man, referred to as “Reggie Doe.” A video corroborates the charges.
Holland Home, located at 6300 Louis Avenue, Chicago, and six certified nursing assistants who work there are named in the suit. The claim states that Doe, who has dementia and is a stroke survivor, was abused by the staff.
“Doe’s” daughter stated that her father was mocked, taunted and abused. She related that the staff pressured the resident into taking off his pants and showing his private parts.
In the video, six workers circle Doe and tell him to pull down his pants.
The family’s attorney, Margaret Battersby Black, stated her disgust after seeing the video. Unfortunately, it’s not the first allegation against the home. In a 2005 case, an elderly woman overdosed and her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against South Holland.
Dorothy Byrd, 98, and five other seniors were hospitalized after allegedly being sedated by a nurse. That civil case is still pending.
The first thing you should do is remove your loved one from harm’s way as soon as possible. However, you also have legal recourse.
“If you suspect that your loved one is in immediate danger, call the police right away. If there is no immediate danger, but you suspect nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect has occurred, you can alert your state’s ombudsman, the Department of Public Health, or the administrator of the facility “according to Steinberg Goodman & Kalish.