Margaret Battersby Black appears on Fox & Friends with her client Joan Biedel, whose mother is the subject of a nursing home abuse case that has gotten national attention.
Nursing home resident Margaret Collins, a 91 year old woman with dementia, was the subject of repeated harassment from two nursing home employees. The upsetting viral video has caused a backlash of anger against elder abuse and an outpouring of support for Margaret Collins and her family.
Ainsley Earhardt: Hi everyone. Good morning.
Pete Hegseth: Good morning.
Ainsley Earhardt: Thanks, Janice.
Griff Jenkins: Thanks, Janice.
Ainsley Earhardt: Okay, it’s 43 minutes after the top of the hour. The next story is something that you never expect to see. Disturbing video showing two nursing home aides apparently taunting a 91-year-old resident who’s suffering from dementia. You can see here one of the aides repeatedly putting a hospital gown on top of Margaret Collins as she swats it away. The other aide is recording it with the caption, Margaret hates gowns.
Griff Jenkins: The two aides were fired and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Now Collins’ family is suing the home and staffers.
Pete Hegseth: Joining us now is Margaret Collin’s daughter, Joan Biebel and the Collins family attorney, Margaret Battersby black. Thank you very much for being here this morning. Joan. Disturbing to watch. I can’t imagine what it was like to see yourself. First of all, how did this come out? How did you learn of this?
Joan Biebel: A former employee of the nursing home saw the video and reached out to our family, and my brother sent it to all of us.
Ainsley Earhardt: What did the former employee say? Did that employee leave because things like this happen all the time?
Joan Biebel: I can’t speak to that, but she just said that she loves our … She had worked with my mom and she had loved her so much and she was just really brokenhearted that somebody would do this to her. And she wanted to let the family know what had happened.
Griff Jenkins: Joan, my mother is a senior, and I’ve got to tell you, when I saw this video I became unglued. I mean, I would be on the next airplane down there. How did this make you feel?
Joan Biebel: When I saw it, it was total disbelief. You’re just trying to wrap your arms around what happened, and you’re disgusted by it and then you’re almost in a panic. What do you do next to protect her? We’re at a place, at a nursing home where she thought that she was absolutely safe.
Pete Hegseth: Margaret, as an attorney, what do you do next?
Margaret Battersby Black: Well, the family wanted answers, and unfortunately when the nursing home was given the opportunity to investigate this, they determined there was no findings of abuse or neglect. It wasn’t until the family and the police got involved that this was brought to light and we finally got the CNAs to admit that this is what they had done and that they didn’t have her permission to do it. So we’re bringing this lawsuit to create awareness that this kind of thing goes on.
Margaret Battersby Black: I mean, just imagine that you place your trust in a place like this for your 91-year-old mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and these CNAs befriended her, earned her trust, and then they violated that trust. Imagine what was happening when the cameras were off, if this is what they’re broadcasting.
Ainsley Earhardt: Yeah. I can’t believe they didn’t have the wherewithal to know not to do that A, but then they posted it. It’s almost like they thought what they were doing was okay. What’s your advice, Joan, to folks, all of us, are facing similar situations. We hear stories like this. What’s your advice to people that are watching, that are debating whether or not they’re going to put their parent in a home?
Margaret Battersby Black: You have to be vigilant. Joan will say this family was vigilant. They were there all the time and this still happened to them. So you have to wonder for those folks who don’t have advocates and family members. And to all the nursing home staff out there, if you see something like this, it’s not okay. You have to say something, and you have to report this kind of thing. Many states like Illinois have mandatory abuse reporting requirements. If it wasn’t for the braveness of this former employee, this family may never have known.
Griff Jenkins: Let us show you a statement from Abington of Glenview to one of our Fox affiliates. They say this. “The privacy and dignity of our residents are of the utmost concern at The Abington. Recently, two employees were immediately terminated when it was determined that they violated our standards and policies.” Joan, I want to ask you very pointedly, is that sufficient, that statement, to you?
Joan Biebel: No. I mean, they didn’t act swiftly. They were slow to react. It was a very cool reception. They really weren’t, in my opinion, interested in my mom’s welfare or the impact that this act had on her. And I would like to say it’s my opinion that this is probably not the first time that this has happened.
Pete Hegseth: Joan, how do you regain trust? I mean, this impact on your family and moving forward?
Joan Biebel: Well, you’re always damaged by it. We did move our mom as soon as we could find a place that met her needs, but still to this day, you just feel like she has been forever impacted by this. It was a terrible thing to have to move her at that age to a new facility.
Griff Jenkins: Yeah. How is she doing?
Joan Biebel: Well, she’s doing fine, but I do say that she will be forever impacted by what has happened to her. She has nightmares. She went to the hospital after this incident and they tried to put on a hospital gown and she went into whole tilt mode over it. So yeah.
Ainsley Earhardt: Joan, I’m so sorry. I know you’re already dealing with so much. It’s hard to have our parents get older and and have bad health, so God bless you. We’ll say a little prayer for your mom. Wish her our best. Thank you, both of you, Joan and Margaret for being on with us.
Griff Jenkins: Thank you for speaking up because this shouldn’t happen anywhere, not in Illinois or any other place in the country.
Margaret Battersby Black: Thanks for covering this.
Ainsley Earhardt: You’re welcome.
Joan Biebel: Thank you.
Griff Jenkins: Thank you.
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