A 26-year-old Ellicott City assisted-living caretaker has been charged with abusing a 93-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who was under her care. According to a prominent Baltimore newspaper, the woman was arrested for abuse of a vulnerable adult and second-degree assault. Evidently, the victim’s family had certain suspicions regarding the care that their family member was receiving and set up a hidden camera in his room to verify their concerns.
The video footage shows the caretaker hitting the man several times by striking him across his arms and torso. The disturbing footage also shows the caretaker pushing him several times. This abuse resulted in several bruises. After viewing the footage, the family immediately contacted Howard County police. The officers arrested the woman at her home, and she is currently released on bail.
In the above case, it was fortunate that the man had family members who were concerned about his well-being and were able to notice the signs of abuse. Unfortunately, in many of these cases the victim is so ill and frail that they are often unable to notify anyone of the abuse they are suffering. This can result in serious injuries and even in the death of a patient. There are some signs that families can look for that may indicate that their loved one is being abused.
At times, unexplained bruises can indicate that there is some sort of abuse or neglect occurring. Even if the patient is falling on their own, the nursing home has a duty to ensure that the individual is safe in their room and quickly gets treated for their injuries. Additionally, persistent and severe bedsores may indicate that the patient is being ignored or neglected. Often, when individuals are left alone for a significant amount of time, these sores can develop. If they are untreated, they can become infected and may result in serious irreversible injury or death.
Federal Regulations Guiding Nursing Home Practices
The Nursing Home Reform Act was enacted in 1987, and it provides that nursing homes that receive federal funding must comply with certain standards of care. The rules were enacted to ensure that all individuals are treated with dignity. The Act mandates things such as the efficient and effective use of resources. Nursing homes must have enough staff and nurses to provide adequate and appropriate care to their patients. Furthermore, within two weeks of admission the nursing home must evaluate the patient to assess their needs and abilities. The act has many more requirements, and it is recommended that if you feel that a nursing home has violated these rules that you consult with an attorney.
Has a Loved One Been A Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?
If a family member has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you should contact a qualified attorney to discuss what steps need to be taken to hold the facility accountable. There are varying rules for privately and publicly funded assisted-living and nursing-home facilities, and an attorney can assist you in determining what you need to establish to succeed in your case. If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the harm that your loved one has suffered. Contact 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Family of Nursing Home Resident Sues Facility After Accusations of Rape Substantiated, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 27, 2015.
Sexual Assault of Elders Occurs Most Often in Nursing Homes in Maryland, Nationwide, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 26, 2015.