In a report on the unbelievable abuse against nursing home residents, Fox 4 in Dallas details the shocking and alarming treatment that four residents suffered at the hands of caregivers.  The original report, in video format, shows videos and photographs of the abused. The photos are shocking, detailing injuries that arose from workers’ abuse and carelessness, but the videos are much worse.

Three videos detail the horrendous treatment that these gentle vulnerable residents suffered. Among the abuses were pinching, slapping, name calling, hair pulling, and general roughness. Minnie Graham suffered numerous abuses at the hands of her caregivers, two of whom consistently used unnecessary force when handling her, and one slapped her in the face multiple times in the course of a few minutes. Her helpless cry of ‘Somebody help me’ is heart wrenching. When she gathered the courage to say something back to her tormenters, the aide shoved his middle finger in her face. Mrs. Graham died about a month later. Her granddaughters, who had placed the hidden camera in her room and captured the abuse, said that they believe she died because of a broken spirit.

The authoritative body in Texas never charged Winters Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center with anything. Had the home been charged, they would have faced a paltry fine. Texas, like South Carolina, is among the lowest states in the nation for nursing home fines. If the facility agreed to pay the fine, another 35% would have been taken off. In Texas, the home is responsible for the abuse, and when paying the price, they get a discount.

The two aides who abused Mrs. Graham still held their licenses, one even worked at another nursing home. Fox 4 asked the police why one aide had never been arrested. The police response: We couldn’t find her. But Fox 4 found her – at the same address that was listed in her records. The lack of concern for prosecuting this woman, investigating the home, and enforcing the rights of nursing home residents reveals a terrifying lack of consideration for the elderly on all levels, the nursing home, the police, and even the department responsible for nursing home regulations and investigations.

Many times, reading the statistics, or looking at figures of beds and financial costs, it is easy to forget the reason that nursing homes exist: to care for those who cannot care for themselves. However, when the care that one is receiving more closely resembles abuse than assistance, it is clear that nursing homes need to constantly be reminded that their residents are people. They hear, they talk, they feel. They should be treated like the human beings that they are. Instead, they are treated as less than human, simply because they cannot fight back. Don’t let this become your mother, or your father, or you.

CTV News reported that four employees from St. Joseph’s at Fleming long- term care facility in Ontario, Canada have been suspended with pay after video footage showed them abusing a patient. The footage was captured by Camille Parent, who installed a camera in the room of his mother, Hellen MacDonald, an 85 year-old patient at St. Joseph’s suffering from dementia. Parent was prompted to install the camera after his mother suffered a suspicious black eye.

The footage shows a staff member blowing his nose in Mrs. MacDonald’s sheets while making her bed, another staff member changing her diaper with the door open, and yet another shoving a rag covered in fecal matter in Mrs. MacDonald’s face. The incidents all occurred within a period of three weeks.

In 2010, the Long- Term Care Homes Act was passed, enacting a zero tolerance for abuse policy in Ontario extended care facilities. When asked whether or not the footage depicted what he would classify as abuse, Alan Cavell, CEO of St. Joseph’s, told CTV news, “I don’t want to give my opinion directly. I would think that most people would say that it was.” Investigations are under way by both St. Joseph’s and the Ontario Ministry of Health.

CTV News reported that there were over 10,000 incidents of seniors suffering abuse in nursing homes in Canada last year. In light of these disturbing figures, Parent continues to raise awareness about residents’ safety and the quality of care they receive in long-term care facilities through his new organization, Ontario Cares.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported another incident of abuse and neglect recorded by hidden camera.  The family suspected abuse at Gold Crest Care Center after noticing bruising and unusual markings on her grandmother, Ana Louisa Medina.

Granddaughter Valentin told ABC News that the hidden camera recorded 600 hours of footage including employees grabbing her grandmother’s arm, twisting it back, lifting her off the bed and slamming her into the bed, the report states.  After watching the videos, Valentin said she transferred her grandmother to an emergency room and later to a different nursing home, the article said.

 

 

The Houston Chronicle reported another nursing home incident uncovered because of a hidden camera.  Dorcas Gbenda was arrested at The Gardens of Bellaire and was taken from the property in handcuffs.  The camera was installed by the resident’s relatives after management ignored their complaints that items were missing from his room.

 

 

Oklahoma’s Fox23 News reported on Senate Bill 587, also known as the “Protecting Our Loved Ones” Act, which would put video cameras in nursing home resident rooms and common areas if it is passed.  Wes Bledsoe, who runs A Perfect Cause which is a statewide advocacy group for nursing home resident rights, is a big supporter of the bill. “Video monitoring can protect the residents. It can protect the industry. It can protect employees. It can protect owners,” he told FOX23.

When it comes to the cost of installing the cameras, Bledsoe says the State Senator proposing the bill has a plan. “We’re proposing in the bill that cost be reimbursed back to the faculties through a program right now called “Focus on Excellence.” That state program right now gives nursing homes in the Sooner State about $1 million a month.

While all nursing home rooms would have a cameras, families or residents could opt out of having the camera turned on to protect their privacy.

 

Just last week, hidden cameras caught the abuse of a South Carolina man at Mount Pleasant Manor, caused two nursing employees to be arrested for abuse in Pennsylvania, and recorded abuse in Oklahoma City.  Each of these cases higlight the need and benefit of hidden cameras.  Clearly with the lack of adequate staffing in most nursing facilities causing burnout, frustration, and abuse, there is a need for families to place hidden cameras in their loved one’s rooms to prevent abuse and neglect that is common in the industry. The industry will claim privacy concerns and cost but the real reason is that the facilities want to hide the daily abuse and neglect.

 

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A "caretaker" named Cornelius Dwayne Neal has been charged with injury to an elderly person, a felony, after police say he was seen on surveillance video pinching a woman in the face several times.  According to the arrest affidavit, the victim’s daughter told police that she placed a recording device in her room after noticing several unexplained injuries while the woman stayed at the Summit at Lakeway nursing home.  On July 30, the woman showed police video of Neal pinching the victim in the face several times, to which the woman “reacted in pain each time,” the affidavit said.

How would you feel if this was your mother, wife, or daughter?

 

The Dallas News reported the tragic case of abuse suffered by Mynez Carter at the hands of nursing home employees at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Home.  The abuse and assault were recorded on video.   Daughters of Mynez Carter, 83, secretly installed a “nanny cam” in their mother’s room at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Home, which captured the abuse.  The relatives bought a surveillance camera that downloads images to a computer.  They hid the camera, smaller than a preschooler’s crayon, in her mother’s room.  Mynez Carter has Alzheimer’s disease and requires continuous care.

The family became suspicious when Carter had unexplained bruises, was acting fearful and dodged away from anyone trying to embrace her. They believe the hidden camera they installed in her room explains why.  The video showed rough treatment and abuse.  In one instance a worker putting a pillow under Carter’s head can be seen pulling her hair and pushing her head. In another instance a worker pinches her leg.

The Star-Telegram reported that CNA Maria F. Acosta was arrested for assaulting an elderly person.

Heritage Oaks received an overall score of 50 out of 100 on its last inspection by the department.
In the most recent comprehensive inspection of Heritage Oaks, conducted Feb. 10, 23 deficiencies under federal standards and 38 violations of state standards were cited.

 

An Oklahoma facility Quail Creek Nursing home claims to be just as outraged as the community concerning two of its employees being arrested for neglect and abuse in April of 2012. Two staff members of Quail Creek, Lucy Waithira Gakunga, 23, and Caroline Kaseke, 28, were caught on video abusing a 96-year old patient. Family members of the patient were concerned that someone was stealing from the patient so they placed a hidden camera in her room. Gakunga was seen slapping the patient with a glove and then forcing the glove into the patient’s mouth. All the while Kaseke stood by and watched. Both women were fired from Quail Creek.

 

Two articles on this can be found at NewsOK and News9.

I wish every family could place a hidden camera to protect their loved ones from assault and neglect.

Hidden cameras caught neglect including 45 falls over a 6 month period!  The alleged falls happened at the Champlain des Pommetiers residence in Beloeil, Que., a bedroom community south of Montreal. The family of Guy Courville, 68, became suspicious after they noticed several scars on his body last summer.  Not satisfied with the answers she received from the private home, his wife, Jacqueline Rioux, hid a camera in Courville’s bedroom. The video showed a number of cases of alleged neglect and abuse including one time in which a staff member chastised Courville rather than help him up when he fell.

The nursing home said it will launch an internal investigation into the case.  I think it is too late to investigate after 45 falls.

Noted malpractice lawyer Jean-Pierre Menard, who is representing Rioux, encouraged Canadians to use hidden cameras if they suspect an elderly loved one is being mistreated.

See article at CNEWS.