In a recent nursing home abuse case that our Maryland attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have been following, a 56-year mentally disabled resident in Minnesota was physically abused by being force-fed against her will.
According to a Fox 9 News report, an employee from the Homeward Bound Group Home was charged last week for allegedly physically abusing the nursing home resident by forcing her to eat against her will. The Minnesota Health Department investigated the case over a period of four months, and concluded that the resident—who is mentally retarded, has cerebral palsy, and swallowing problems—was forced to eat by an employee, even when she was not hungry.
According to the Minnesota Health Department report, Alemayehu Seboka Abdi, placed his hand on the victim’s head while he would force-feed her, even when she nodded that she did not want food, and tried to stop the employee. He was reportedly seen retelling the story to other employees and laughing about his forceful behavior.
In an incident from May of this year, Abdi allegedly took the woman outside in the cold, wearing only a t-shirt, and forced her to eat— pushing her head back, forcing large quantities of food down her throat with a spoon that was larger than what the resident would normally use to eat. Abdi would then let her head drop forward.
By shaking her head in response to questions asked by investigators, the resident communicated that it was very difficult to breathe during the force-feeding. Because she had swallowing difficulties, she claimed that it was necessary for her to take small bites to eat. She told investigators that the physical abuse left her feeling scared, upset and sad for a week.
The report detailed that a co-worker witnessed this force-feeding event, and tried make the Abdi stop. Abdi reportedly claimed that the resident had to be forced to eat, as she was losing weight, but the nursing home resident resisted and tried to push his hand away. After repeatedly voicing concerns about Abdi’s abusive treatment of nursing home residents, the co-worker allegedly filmed the abuse on her cell phone for proof.
If you or someone you know at a Maryland nursing facility has experienced unlawful nursing home abuse or force-feeding, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation, so we can help you receive the personal injury compensation you are owed.
Force Feeding Charges at Maple Grove Nursing Home, November 19, 2009
Public Record: Employee of Supervised Living Facility Force-fed Client, Star Tribune.com, November 23, 2009
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