Nursing home abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report that 21 personal care aides, along with the facility owner, were recently charged with 70 counts of physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of residents. The abuse occurred at the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients in Georgia.
An employee of the nursing home, not one of the 21 charged, filed a complaint with local police about the abuse. By the time police raided the facility, there were 27 residents living there and three had to be taken to the hospital for emergency medical treatment. The remaining patients will be moved to other facilities after consultations with family members.
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The details of abuse at Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce are gruesome and horrifying. Elderly residents were hit, sprayed with water, and verbally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. One resident suffered a broken nose from a nursing aide; another was repeatedly whipped with a leather belt. One resident was hit over the head with a large book and locked in the bathroom for an extended amount of time.
Among the many accusations against employees include “double diapering” of residents, which was done so that staff did not have to change soiled diapers as regularly. The residents were forced to sit in two layers of diapers for hours, even days at a time. Residents were also tied to their beds with sheets in order to restrain them, and some of the female patients were even subject to sexual abuse while being bathed.
What is perhaps most alarming is that investigators discovered that many staff members were convicted felons, guilty of crimes such as manslaughter and identity theft. It is therefore no surprise to learn that many, if not most of the residents at Commerce were stolen from and financially abused.
Experts say and have known for years that Alzheimer’s patients are much more vulnerable to abuse because they cannot easily remember the abuse and harm done to them to report to family members or authorities. Dementia patients are also, generally, less likely to defend themselves against attackers.
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Investigations also revealed that the nursing home failed to prevent numerous attacks by a resident who was known to be abusive. The violent resident attacked other seniors at the home at least 50 times. Despite this, no measures were taken to protect vulnerable residents or to restrain the violent patient in any way. Dementia patients can sometimes become violent due to the diseases’ harmful and not fully-understood effect on the brain. Nursing homes are expected and have the responsibility of keeping track of residents prone to violence and doing everything in their power to prevent other residents from being harmed.
The facility’s owner, Donna Wright, is among those charged with an array of crimes, including cruelty to a person 65 years or older, financial exploitation, and abuse and neglect of a vulnerable person. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released a statement on the investigation, stating that the conditions in the facility were inhumane and undignified.
Two caregivers in Kentucky were recently arrested and criminally charged with abuse and knowing neglect of vulnerable adults. The two were employed at Oakwood Manor, which is a center for the developmentally disabled. One of the men is charged with enticing one resident to hit another disabled patient and then recording it on his cellphone. The other man is accused of knowingly participating in the incident and failing to report the abuse.
Nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins are constantly trying to create a society where substandard care of elderly patients will never be tolerated in nursing homes, or any other long-term care facility. If you believe a loved one was victimized by employee neglect or abuse at a nursing home, you need to take action quickly. We can be contacted online using the form at the right of your screen or by telephone (1.800.310.2222) and always provide free initial consultations.