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3 face criminal charges for nursing home neglect

As the population of the country ages, more attention needs to be given to the quality of care provided to the elderly. Pennsylvania families entrust the safety and care of their aging loved ones to nursing homes, but sometimes, that trust is misplaced. Nursing home neglect is a serious problem since many nursing home residents are unable to care for themselves and rely on the staff to be compassionate, caring and diligent.

This is why a recent report of three nursing home workers who face criminal charges for neglect of an elderly woman could inspire outrage. The three failed to check on the woman for approximately 11 hours one night, and when she was finally looked in on, she had suffered somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 ant bites. An investigation into the incident revealed that the three workers lied about checking on the woman during the night of Sept. 3, 2016 into the morning hours of Sept. 4, 2016.

The Alabama woman is bedridden and was helpless to protect herself from the ants. The nursing home reported the incident right away, and the three workers could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The Attorney General of that state applauded the home for its quick reporting, but other factors might need to be looked at as well.

Elderly residents are often at the mercy of the staff, and it is the responsibility of the home's managers and owners to make sure that the home is properly maintained, as free from hazards as possible, and that the people hired to care for residents actually do so. As would be the case here in Pennsylvania, the woman and/or her family might benefit from speaking with an attorney about the matter. If the circumstances warrant it, legal action might be appropriate against a worker or workers believed to be guilty of nursing home neglect, along with the home.

Source: wbrc.com, "3 nursing home workers arrested for neglect of elderly patient", Brianne Denley, Feb. 24, 2017

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