According to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the owner of a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients and some 21 of her current and former employees are facing more than 70 criminal charges for allegedly abusing elderly patients under their care.
According to the statement, the allegations stem from employees reportedly using bed sheets to restrain patients, and further subjecting them to “inhumane and undignified conditions.”
The allegations include accounts of physical abuse, which included staff members reportedly striking patients and throwing water onto them. Additional claims state that employees engaged in a practice of “double diapering” patients, whereby they would therefore not have to change soiled diapers as often.
A spokesman for the Bureau revealed that the owner of the home’s individual criminal charges include charges of cruelty to a person 65 years or older, abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. As of earlier this month, 11 of the 21 suspects had been arrested, with the owner remaining at large.
According to investigator reports, when authorities arrived at the nursing home, 27 patients were still in the home’s care, three of whom were then transported to a local hospital in order to receive medical treatment. Due to the nature of the charges, the remaining patients will be removed from the home following consultation with their family members.
The allegations in this case are absolutely deplorable. However, sadly they are not that uncommon. The alleged target of the abuse is Alzheimer’s patients, who are common targets for abuse and neglect in nursing home and assisted living facilities, since they may require a greater level of care, and due to their memory impairment may be unable to recall instances of abuse.
According to a Congressional report released in 2012, nursing home patients are believed to suffer abuse or neglect at a rate of one out of every three nursing homes within the United States. The statistics are upsetting. According to the report, the most common sorts of consequences to patients included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Additionally, the report included instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents, causing injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.
In Maryland, nursing homes are monitored by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Nursing homes are governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations, a set of strict regulations that all of the licensed nursing homes in the state must abide by. Among the requirements, all nursing homes within the state must have a set of policies and procedures in place that will prevent abuse and neglect of its residents. The failure to have these policies in place can serve as grounds for a lawsuit against the nursing home.
If you suspect that an elderly friend or relative living in a nursing home or assisted living facility within the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas might be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC immediately. Our attorneys have many years of experience advocating on behalf of victims of negligent care or abuse within nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Contact us today in order to schedule your complimentary and confidential initial consultation. We can assess your situation and advise you regarding how to best proceed. You can reach us by calling (800) 654-1949 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Attorney General Raises Concerns Regarding Nursing Home Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 12, 2013
$90.5 Million Verdict Upheld in West Virginia Nursing Home Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 1, 2013