Videos in nursing homes are revealing an unfortunate reality for many elderly residents across the nation. In a recent story by CNN, a Florida nursing home surveillance camera shows a violent altercation made by one resident to another over a cupcake. A male resident age 52 is caught on camera striking an 86-year-old man suffering from dementia with over 50 punches as he lay on the ground. Allegedly, the older man ate the younger man's cupcake and video shows over two minutes of a violent reaction ensuing.
Consequences for the retirement home
The retirement home in this story tells of one of the many allegations of abuse and violence within their facility. In fact, recent arrests were made against two former facility administrators charged with elderly neglect. There have been many incidents that occur in common areas where other residents are nearby and cameras are recording the events. In this particular event, the video shows no staff members present where the beating occurred. The older resident was eventually found on the floor with a swollen face, bruising and hip damage.
Soon after this occurrence, staff ignored the need to take an elderly woman to the hospital after she hit her head, which resulted in her death and the shut down of the retirement facility. Administration later accredited the failure of their business and its ability to provide a safe environment for residents due to inadequate training and a lack of staff.
Protecting the vulnerable
Not only are residents in a vulnerable situation being away from loved ones and having to rely on staff for intervention, but also the lack of staff and trained knowledge on protocol further aggravates this unfortunate reality. While it may be a common occurrence in many retirement homes across the country, there are legal resources and other ways to protect loved ones if you suspect elderly neglect or abuse.
Contacting a lawyer and collecting information related to the failure of a nursing home to protect its residents is often the first step taken when seeking protection for our elderly community.
What can nursing homes do to prevent stories like this from happening?