20 nursing home employees arrested for abuse, neglect

The decision to admit an aging parent in a nursing home in Philadelphia is very emotional. You want to find a facility that will provide best level of care possible; the same attention that you would give them if it were possible. Pennsylvania law supports this, requiring nursing homes to provide residents the care they need to achieve top health. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes follow the letter of the law. Budget constraints can sometimes lead to poor care—even neglect or abuse. In extreme examples of elder abuse, patients are treated inhumanely as was the case at a Georgia facility that recently made national news.

After a three month investigation that stemmed from a tip from a former employee, Georgia law enforcement authorities arrested 20 employees of an Alzheimer care center on 72 counts of abuse, neglect, financial exploitation and failure to report crimes. The nursing home also violated state law by employing convicted felons. The criminal charges were a result of incorrigible actions such as not changing diapers often enough and punching patients in the face. More charges are expected, possibly even homicide charges. According to court documents that were just filed, authorities are now investigating the suspicious deaths of three residents as homicides. The deaths occurred in the two months preceding arrests at the facility and were documented as strokes. It has been alleged that the deaths actually occurred from overmedication, however.

If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from elder abuse at the hands of nursing home employees, you should report it to the nursing home administrator immediately. If may also be a good idea to seek the advice of a lawyer who can connect you with the right agencies to launch a thorough investigation as well as explain your legal options.

Source: Athens Banner-Herald, “GBI probing deaths of Commerce Alzheimer’s patients as possible homicides,” Joe Johnson, July 21, 2013



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