Three nursing home employees were arrested after a Snapchat video showed them "vaping" over a dying resident.
According to a Newsweek article, the assisted living employees appeared in a video where they used profanities and were seen smoking from a vape pen. In the background was a 76-year-old woman who was dying after suffering a recent stroke. The Snapchat video, with the title “The End,” was posted online.
The incident is a chilling reminder that sometimes, the trust we place in nursing homes can be broken. In this case, the three employees were charged with exploiting an elderly and disabled person. They were waiting for a hospice nurse to arrive and were supposed to monitor the patient, but allegedly fell far short of their duty.
A Jefferson Police Department spokesperson told the Athens Banner-Herald, “They were completely ignoring [the critically ill patient] and posting the Snapchat video.” The video came to the attention of law enforcement after another employee saw it and reported the matter.
Elder exploitation is a serious crime. According to the Georgia legal code, “any person who knowingly and willfully exploits a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, willfully inflicts physical pain, physical injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, or unreasonable confinement upon a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, or willfully deprives of essential services a disabled adult, elder person, or resident shall be guilty of a felony.” A conviction can result in up to 20 years' imprisonment.
Holding negligent nursing homes accountable
While we applaud the work of the police in bringing the alleged perpetrators to justice, it’s important to remember the impact such crimes have on victims and their families. No one in an assisted living facility deserves such treatment. When you choose a facility for your loved one, you want to go home knowing that your parent, grandparent or other relative who needs care will be treated with dignity and respect.
An experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorney knows that a full investigation is warranted. Were the three employees properly trained? Did the management of the facility conduct proper background checks when they were hired? In many cases, employees who neglect or abuse nursing home residents should never have been hired in the first place. A lawyer can help by asking questions and holding the negligent parties accountable.
A comprehensive investigation is necessary to ensure that other residents have not been treated similarly. Legal action against the facility will send a strong message that abuse and neglect will not be tolerated.
If you suspect your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact the Law Office of George S. Johnson today for a free consultation.