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Nursing Home Aide Pleads Guilty to Seven Counts of Elder Neglect

According to the News Gazette, a case of seemingly systematic nursing home abuse has led to several criminal charges against the involved care workers. As blog readers are well aware, not only is the mistreatment of the elderly at these facilities often a violation of the civil law, but in certain case of intentional misconduct or nursing home abuse can give rise to criminal charges. These criminal charges are much less common that civil lawsuits. That is because criminal prosecutions are always limited by the number of resources that police departments, prosecutors offices, and other involved parties can devote to punishing this form of wrongdoing. Conversely, civil lawsuits are not filed by any government body, but they instead represent a private citizen exercising his or her rights and ensuring that harm suffered is compensated.

While criminal charges in these cases are not necessarily common, they do occur. When they do, in the vast majority of cases they arise after an individual resident or (more often) their family member comes forward and demands accountability. At the end of the day, our nursing home abuse lawyers know that rooting out mistreatment at these facilities almost always requires the close care and observation of fellow friends and family members. For example, in this latest case a man began having serious concerns about the care that his mother was receiving. He did not feel like he was receiving straight answers from her caregivers and facility administrators, and so he decided to take matters into his own hands. To do so, he installed a camera in his mother’s room at the facility. The camera’s presence should not have come as any surprise to his mother’s caregivers as he also included a signed that warmed them of the cameras presence.

However, even though the employees should have known that their actions while in the room were being recorded, the camera still caught instances of clear mistreatment. For example, the man found that the aides mocked his mother on many occasions. One of the aides was also caught virtually throwing her roughly into a wheelchair and pushing a hand into her face. Another employee seemingly sprayed something into the 78-year old resident’s face, though it remains unclear what the substance was. One of those aides was since charged with criminal abuse of the elderly. He recently pled guilty to seven counts and awaits criminal sentencing at the beginning of next year.

As our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers have seen time and again, this mistreatment continued long after family member complained to nursing home officials. The adult son in this case had filed multiple notices with the facilities explaining that he believed his mother was being mistreated. He first became concerned when he found her sitting in soiled clothes in a wheelchair. In addition, he began seeing suspicious marks appear on her face. That is when he installed a camera. At first, employees covered the camera with a towel when they entered the woman’s room. However, that led the man to move the camera to a hidden location. However, he left the sign alerting employees that the camera was recording. Yet, in only two days he had captured the footage of aides mistreating his mother repeatedly.

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