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Nursing Home Abuse Caught on Hidden Camera

It’s difficult to write this blog without losing our professional voice. We want to use words like disgusting, reprehensible, repulsive, sickening and outrageous. We’ll try to restrain ourselves.

Last month, we told you the story of nursing home abuse in New Jersey: an 87-year-old resident, who was paralyzed after a stroke, was slapped by a caregiver. We know this because a camera hidden in the room recorded the violence. (Read the blog here: Granny Cam)

Today’s story ratchets up the abuse factor.

According to an article by ABC News, a hidden camera in the room of nursing home resident Lois McCallister captured images of three employees abusing the 78-year-old dementia patient.

“During the majority of the 12-minute encounter recorded by the camera, McCallister stood naked from the waist up attempting to cover her breasts,” the court affidavit reads.

She is naked because the caregivers forcibly removed the elderly woman’s shirt.

Once her shirt is removed, the three employees can be seen laughing at her.

McAllister is shown heading toward her bedroom to escape the nursing home employees, but they pull her back.

The 21-year-old Griffin [one of the abusers] begins dancing on one of the posts belonging to McAllister’s bed as if dancing on a “stripper pole,” according to court documents.

“After putting a shirt on McCallister, Griffin is shown slapping at the left and right ear of McCallister, which are overly sensitive after the loss of her hearing aids,” the affidavit reads.

McCallister was also poked in the eye, verbally abused, and mocked.

McCallister had previously complained of being hit, but nursing home officials attributed the allegations to her dementia. So the family began their own investigation by planting a hidden camera in the room’s clock.

According to the article:

The video that was taken is legal because it had no audio, and McCallister’s daughter and son-in-law had legal authority over the elderly woman to put a camera in her room.

Our most fragile citizens need protection. We’re appalled–but not shocked–that the nursing home officials dismissed the family’s earlier concerns. The employees who abused McAllister have been fired, but what will happen to the officials who allowed the abuse to continue…who ignored complaints and bruises? How many other residents were also abused by this trio?

HensonFuerst is dedicated to protecting the rights of people in nursing homes. If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected, feel free to call us at 1-800-4LAW-MED. We’re here 24/7.

RESOURCES

To read the full ABC News article, click here: Pennsylvania Nursing Home Workers Caught

If you want to purchase your own “Granny Cam,” choose a reputable company. Many electronics are manufactured at very low cost overseas, and many are of low quality–some have a fail-rate of 30%. Among the best companies that provide hidden-camera options is Spy Camera Specialists (www.spycameras.com). There are many options that provide flexibility in how you can hide the camera, so peruse the site and choose the model that suits your needs. Be sure to keep in mind: 1) camera resolution; 2) battery life; 3) memory capability; 4) whether you can have motion-detection features (which can preserve battery and camera memory, especially in a relatively quiet nursing home room); and 5) video retrieval (for example, is the camera compatible with your computer).

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