The more cases of nursing home abuse that one reads about, the more certain patterns to the mistreatment become clear. No matter where the home is located, when senior abuse or neglect is at issue it almost always stems from one of two scenarios: an understaffed facility or facilities that hire individuals who pose dangers to residents. Understaffing is likely a more common problem. Most nursing home nurses, assistants, and physicians have the best interests of the residents at heart, but because of time pressures they can make glaring mistakes that lead to resident harm. Yet, individually reckless and intentionally abusive employees also exist. When they are given charge of residents, the damage can be extreme.
This problem of personally abusive nursing home employees exists at more facilities than many community members might suspect. For example, the Spec News discussed a new investigation which uncovered a string of nursing home abuse, including even extreme physical abuse and rape. In one case uncovered by the investigation, a 71-year old dementia resident was raped while lying in her nursing home bed. The perpetrator was a male nurse whom other staff members had suspicions about. They had previously noted that the male nurse regularly disappeared on his shift without any explanation. The rape was only uncovered when other staff members walked into the nurse raping the senior in the middle of the night. It remains unclear how many other residents the attacker also abused. Considering that so many seniors cannot explain their abuse to others, particularly those with advanced mental issues, it may never be known.
Unfortunately, there are times when staff members are not forthright about the abuse and mistreatment that they see existing among their co-workers. For example, in another documented case, a nursing home staff member was seen by at least two co-workers physically assaulting a resident. The attacker told the witnesses not to tell anyone. Instead of prioritizing the well being of the resident and ensuring that other residents were not similarly harmed, the co-workers decided to stay quiet. It is easy to imagine how much mistreatment and neglect occurs without being brought to light when even non-participating employees refuse to demand accountability.
This latest investigation found over a dozens situations where the abuse in question was so serious that the police should have been called. Not only were authorities not called, but no disciplinary action of any kind was taken by the facilities in questions. It is a sad reminder that far too many nursing homes and their administrators prioritize their own positions over those of the seniors who are counting on them for proper care.
No senior should have to endure this damage in their golden years. Far too many elders are forced to spend their golden years in fear of their very caregivers or wondering if they will receive the basic help they need to get by each day. Please do not let this condition persist without stepping in. If you suspect that any senior in your area has being mistreated, get in touch with our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers to share your story and see how we can help.
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