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Jail Time for Employees who Committed Nursing Home Abuse “Prank”

Last year our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys read in disgust as reports began to filter out of a nursing home abuse case. According to reports released at the time, two nursing home employees decided to play a prank on their fellow care workers. They amazingly thought it would be acceptable to use a petroleum jelly to coat several dementia residents from head to foot. The abusive employees distortedly believe that it would be funny for the workers in the next shift to provide care for the residents in their slippery condition. Besides the two masterminds of the prank, several other care workers learned of the abuse but said nothing.

Fortunately, some others learned of the nursing home abuse and reported it to relevant authorities before serious physical injuries arose. As a result criminal charges were filed against all involved care workers. Two were charged with elder abuse while the others were cited for failure to report elder abuse. Last week a judge finally sentenced the two leaders of the event. They will spend twenty days in jail, be on probation for two years, and will be required to perform community service. Those convicted of failure to report the abuse will not face jail time, but they will be required to perform community service. All those who were involved had their nursing home assistant licenses revoked after the event was brought to light.

The disgusting events attracted widespread attention for their mean-spiritedness. The state’s governor even commented on the abuse, calling it “cruel and shocking.” It remains troubling to learn about this abysmal treatment. However, any Illinois nursing home lawyer who gains some experience in the area understands just how frequently the basic dignity of nursing home residents in our area is disrespected.

It seems shocking that anyone would consider the mistreatment of our vulnerable seniors to be a humorous situation-let alone those paid each day to work with these vulnerable elders. However, when a culture of lax regulations and cut corners is allowed to fester at a facility, then employees often forget that they are required to provide reasonable care to vulnerable residents at all times. That is why it is often the same facilities that are cited time and again for providing inadequate care. Considering that most residents in these facilities are in perilous health anyway, even just a single instance of neglect can be life-threatening. The death of many residents at these facilities could often have been avoided if only they had received the level of care which the law demands.

If you or someone that you know has been jury because of negligent nursing home care, be sure to consider your legal rights. A senior does not give up their basic right to be treated with respect and dignity when they enter these homes. We urge all community members to keep an eye out for these vulnerable citizens and step up on their behalf if they are disrespected or abused in any way.

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