Nursing home abuse affects thousands of U.S. families every year.
Two nursing home workers in Florida were arrested and charged with battery on a person aged 65 or older after surveillance footage captured the employees whipping a male resident with a lanyard and laughing, leading to a further altercation.
The incident, which occurred on March 12, 2023, at the Inspired Living Ivy Ridge Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, FL, resulted in the arrest of two women, ages 19 and 21, according to a Newsweek report published by MSN.
This incident highlights the ongoing issue of nursing home abuse, with thousands of complaints filed annually against facilities across the United States.
Nursing home abuse caught on camera
According to investigators, surveillance footage captured the two nursing home workers initiating an altercation with a male resident who was pushing a female resident in a wheelchair.
The footage reportedly shows one worker whipping the man with a lanyard while laughing, after which both workers are seen grabbing the man and attempting to take him to the ground. In the process, the wheelchair falls sideways with the woman still sitting in it.
According to a press release by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, both accused individuals ran away from the incident, leaving both residents on the ground. While police say one worker admitted to using excessive force during the altercation, both accused individuals initially denied involvement, stating that the male resident had battered the female resident.
No injuries were sustained by the nursing home residents involved in the incident. According to the police press release, the accused have also been suspended from work pending official termination.
Common examples of nursing home abuse
Nursing home abuse is a growing concern among families who entrust the care of their loved ones to these facilities. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse can and does happen in many forms, including physical, mental, emotional, financial, and sexual:
- Physical abuse involves the use of physical force that results in pain, injury, or impairment. This type of nursing home abuse can take many forms, including hitting, slapping, or beating residents. Physical abuse can also include the improper use of restraints or force-feeding, which can lead to physical harm.
- Mental and emotional abuse involves verbal or nonverbal communication to cause emotional distress, humiliation, or fear. This can include belittling, insulting, or isolating residents from others. Mental and emotional abuse can also involve threats or intimidation, making residents afraid to speak out or report abuse.
- Use of unnecessary force or restraints, whether physical or chemical, can also be a form of nursing home abuse. Physical restraints may include lap trays, tightly fitted sheets, bedrails, and other devices used to restrict residents' movement. Chemical restraint is the highly dangerous practice of using sedatives or other medications to keep residents docile, without proper justification or medical necessity. Unnecessary use of force or restraints can lead to physical harm, such as bruising or bedsores, and can also cause psychological harm.
- Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized use of a resident's funds or property. This can include fraud, double-billing, or stealing a resident's money outright. Financial exploitation can also include misusing a resident's credit cards, ATM cards, or other accounts.
- Sexual abuse or assault is a serious form of abuse involving sexual contact with a resident who does not or cannot consent. This can include unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault, or even rape. Sexual abuse can cause physical and emotional harm and lead to other health problems.
Staff, visitors, or other residents within long-term care facilities can perpetrate the above acts of nursing home abuse. Regardless of the perpetrator's identity, these facilities are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their residents. That includes performing background checks on staff, closely supervising staff and responding promptly to allegations of abuse, and implementing security protocols on the premises. When facilities fail to uphold this duty, they can be held liable for any resulting harm.
It is crucial for families to stay vigilant and familiarize themselves with the signs of nursing home abuse and to take action if they suspect their loved one is being mistreated. Such actions can include reporting the abuse to the facility's administration, involving the authorities, or seeking legal counsel.
Your loved one deserves justice. We can fight for it.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are entrusted with ensuring that their residents are safe and receive high-quality care. Unfortunately, these facilities often fail to meet their obligations, with tragic consequences. Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are deeply troubling, and it is alarming that such incidents often go unreported.
If you suspect a loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is essential to take action immediately. Watching a loved one suffer is a heart-wrenching experience, especially when that suffering is caused by those who are meant to provide care and comfort.
Attorney George S. Johnson is a passionate advocate who is committed to holding negligent facilities accountable for their actions. With his experience and expertise, he works tirelessly to pursue justice and financial compensation for victims and their families. To see how an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help you, contact us today for a free case evaluation. The Law Office of George S. Johnson, LLC, is located in Decatur, and we proudly serve clients in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Attorney Johnson is also licensed to practice law in Florida.