The Daily Herald reported this week on another tragic example of a nursing home worker violating their position of trust to take advantage of a resident and her grieving family.
Thirty-two year old Vanessa May was a staff member at a Wheaton nursing home, Wynscape Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. On Tuesday she was arrested for allegedly stealing a 14-karat wedding band off the finger of an elderly woman after she died at the facility. Police were luckily able to recover the jewelry, and May remains in jail.
Unfortunately this grotesque violation of patient and family rights is not a rare occurrence. Just a month and a half earlier, an employee at the Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove stole a $3,500 ring off a deceased cancer patient as the staff member was moving the body to the morgue. In that case, police were able to find the ring just as a pawn shop owner was preparing to melt the gold band.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys remain disgusted with each of these abuses of human dignity at facilities where our loved ones are supposed to receive superior care. The fact remains that many nursing home administrators fail to perform due diligence when they make hiring choices. Because of that, many people become employees of these facilities who are all too willing to take advantage of vulnerable residents. When that happens it is only a matter of time before nursing home abuse and negligence occurs. As is shown in these examples, the problems continue even after a resident passes on, because many staff members are willing to steal precious family heirlooms, even before many loved ones know that their family member has died.
These actions can never be tolerated, and all those paid to run these nursing facilities need to be held responsible for the decisions that lead to this abuse.