After catching proof of nursing home abuse on a hidden camera, a family notified the facility and the police. A few days later, police said they had arrested a suspect; the 43-year-old woman now faces a charge of assaulting an elderly person. The facility is not in West Virginia, but the family's actions serve as an excellent example of the need to monitor the health and welfare of loved ones in nursing homes.
The suspicions and concerns grew when the family of an 83-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease noticed unexplained bruises and her change of demeanor when they tried to get close to her. Immediately, two of the woman's daughters set up a hidden camera in the room to capture exactly what was going on and how their family member was being treated.
What they saw alarmed them. During the video, different nursing home employees performing routine tasks did so roughly, according to the family. In one section of the video, it showed an employee pinching the woman, while another part showed hair pulling and pushing the head of the elderly woman when trying to replace a pillow.
After viewing the video, the family said they took it to the home's administrator, but complaints fell on deaf ears, they said. The administrator tried to explain away the actions caught on tape. However, he did perform an internal investigation and said he filed a report with the state, as required by law.
The daughter of the nursing home resident said she was in disbelief that the administrator tried to justify the treatment captured on film. A second daughter said she was not only horrified, but extremely angry at the sight of her mother being treated in such a way.
According to the nursing home, job applicants are subject to criminal background checks, and the facility verifies certifications and licenses before extending a job offer. State regulators inspect nursing homes regularly, and this facility's most recent inspection resulted in a score of 50 out of 100. The average score in that state is 66.
- KDFW-TV, "Family: Video is proof of nursing home abuse," Dionne Anglin, Aug. 28, 2012
- Star-Telegram, "Arlington nursing home aide arrested on elder abuse complaint," Mitch Mitchell, Aug. 31, 2012
- Our firm helps families who believe a loved one is being abused or neglected at a care facility. To learn more about our practice, please visit our West Virginia nursing home, elder abuse and elder neglect page.