Social Media Posts May Be Key Evidence in Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases

Maryland nursing home abuse takes a significant physical and psychological toll on the victims and their families. Recently, a national news outlet reported on a disturbing nursing home abuse case. Evidently, nursing home aides were accused of abusing a resident, recording the incident, and posting it on SnapChat. Maryland nursing home residents may face these situations, and families must be aware of this type of abuse.

Historically, people thought nursing home abuse to be mostly physical in nature. However, verbal abuse and public shaming through social media is a very real form of abuse in today’s society. Some common signs that a loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect are weight loss, changes in temperament, and unexplained injuries. However, sadly, many elderly victims suffer from severe memory loss or dementia and may not be able to recall the abuse. If a family suspects abuse and emergency medical treatment is needed, the family should contact police officials.

Additionally, the family should gather information to substantiate their claim of abuse or neglect. Loved ones should take photos, speak with other residents, and save anything that may contain evidence. Evidence gathering includes taking screenshots of any internet posts and keeping videos posted on social media platforms. Loved ones must be removed from an unsafe living arrangement. Finally, families should contact a Maryland nursing home abuse attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

The prevalence and access to social media is a double-edged sword for those engaging in these appalling actions. Perpetrators may be encouraged by others who share their anti-social propensities; however, the swiftness of “viral” videos and permanence of the internet has led to quicker identification and arrests.

In the case mentioned above, two health aides at a nursing home took a video of a 91-year-old woman who suffers from dementia while she was refusing to put on a hospital gown. According to the report, the aides were aware of her fear of hospital gowns, yet they continued to shove it in her face. They took a video of the woman as they bullied her with the gown. They posted the video of the woman with the caption “Margaret hates gowns,” with two laughing emojis. The woman’s family became aware of the video and notified the nursing home.

The nursing home initially suspended the aides but, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), an investigation found that the claims were “unsubstantiated.” However, the two aides admitted that they filmed the woman and claimed that it was an “inside joke.” The aides stated that they sent the videos to some co-workers, but that they did not post the video.

The woman’s family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home and alleged that they did not follow the required protocol. The family stated that the nursing home was negligent because they did not file a report until the aides confessed and police charged them. The family argued that the nursing home did not take any of the required steps and continued to deny the allegations despite a confession. The IDPH report found that the nursing home did not implement its “Abuse Prevention Policy.” This policy is designed to ensure that residents are safe from emotional abuse by their staff. The family is suing the nursing home, the parent company, and the two aides for more than $1 million.

Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries at a Maryland Nursing Home?

Maryland nursing homes should take certain precautions to prevent nursing home abuse. However, sometimes, nursing home administrators do not enforce their policies and procedures. The consequence of this dereliction can be severe. If you suspect that a loved one has suffered injuries because of nursing home negligence, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The attorneys at our Maryland personal injury law firm have extensive experience handling Maryland nursing home abuse cases. Contact us online, or call 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation today.

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