The Oklahoman recently shared the story of two aides who were arrested for nursing home abuse and charged with crimes for neglect by a caretaker. The charges stem from the treatment of a 96-year old dementia patient at the facility where the aides used to work. They were both fired shortly after they were arrested by authorities.
The elder abuse was apparently uncovered as a result of footage caught by a hidden camera in the senior’s room. The woman’s family had placed the camera in the room after having concerns about the quality of care that their loved one was receiving. They were also worried that someone was stealing from the woman’s room Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers know that use of these surveillance cameras is increasing in virtually all locations-including nursing homes. We have worked on many different civil cases where camera footage played a crucial role.
In this case, the family was likely shocked when they watched the tape and saw the conduct of the two aides who were paid to provide reasonable care to the senior. The footage shows one of the aides shoving a latex glove into the resident’s mouth and then forcibly kept it inside. The aide then lifts the patient into bed before pushing the side of her face onto the pillow to force the woman to lie down. The other aide merely watches as this all takes place.
It remains unclear why any of this nursing home abuse actually took place. Each Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer understands that it is shocking to most that anyone would engage in this sort of unnecessary abuse of vulnerable seniors. Sometimes there is little explanation for the conduct other than naked displays of power or use of their position to take out frustrations on those too weak to properly defend themselves.
Intentional elder abuse is perhaps the most egregious type conduct that often leads to nursing home abuse lawsuits and/or criminal penalties against those who engaged in the conduct. Nursing home residents are protected by the same criminal laws as others against unwanted physical intrusions. In addition, some criminal laws are specifically written to protect seniors from this sort of conduct and discourage other from taking advantage of the individual’s vulnerable position.
Of course, those criminal charges are wholly separate from civil actions that might result for intentional nursing home abuse. Criminal charges essentially represent society taking umbrage with the conduct of the citizens and demanding that they face a punishment as a result of the conduct. Punitive, deterrent, and rehabilitative motivations are involved in these criminal charges.
On the other hand, civil lawsuits represent private citizens seeking accountability from other private citizens for the specific losses that they experienced as a result of the unreasonable or intentional conduct of the other. These suits often also involve the companies which own the nursing home, because the law logically requires businesses to be held accountable for the conduct of their employees when on the job. This is another incentive for these companies to ensure that they hire employees who are properly trained and without the disposition to unnecessarily harm those who are relying on them.
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