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Nursing home neglect can easily cross over into abuse

Many families here in Pennsylvania and across the country struggle with relinquishing the care of their elderly loved ones to other people. When they do, they expect their loved ones to be treated with respect, care and compassion. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is not uncommon and can easily cross over into abuse.

For example, one family decided not to take any chances and put a hidden camera in the room of their loved one. The images captured by that camera are difficult to watch. Two members of the nursing home staff crossed the line and mistreated the woman.

The video shows the woman being roughly "thrown" into her wheelchair by one staff member. As the 98-pound woman -- who suffers from dementia -- attempted to fight back, the other staff member pulled her head back by her hair. The elderly woman appears to lose her balance, but manages to stay upright in the chair.

Since the video came to light, the two staff members, a 49-year-old woman and a 61-year-old woman, were arrested and face criminal charges for assault and battery on a person over 60. The nursing home fired the two as well. The company that owns the facility also reported that all staff are being retrained in how to compassionately and appropriately care for residents.

The steps taken by the nursing home might help prevent another resident from suffering the same fate, but that does not quite rectify the situation for the abused resident. What the company calls an isolated incident at its facility is actually part of a larger problem in the industry. Nursing home neglect and abuse affect numerous elderly residents here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the country. Depending in the circumstances, legal action in the civil courts might be appropriate to provide restitution to families and the victims.

Source:, "Hidden camera captures nursing aides allegedly abusing grandmother", Christine McCarthy, March 17, 2017

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