When a family member requires long-term care in a nursing home or other medical facility they want to be sure their loved one is receiving the best possible care available. Family members of one paralyzed patient wanted to know what type of care their loved one was receiving when they were not around. Apparently they were suspicious of abuse and when questions went unanswered they took matters into their own hands. Although this case did not originate in New York, the potential for the same or similar patient treatment is all too possible here.
The family told a local television station that they hired professionals to place hidden cameras at the nursing home and secretly videotaped activities involving their loved one. One of the videos was obtained by the television station and although it showed the majority of caregivers providing quality care, there were some instances of patient abuse at the nursing home that now have police investigating.
In one scene, there appears to be a person repeatedly pulling on a cord that is attached to the patient. This same behavior was also seen by another employee of the home. In another incident a staff member is seen "thumping or hitting" the paralyzed patient. After being made aware of the tape and its content, the director of the Chandler Health & Rehab Center in Alabama said it took immediate action and the employees involved no longer work at the nursing home. Reports have been filed with both local and state agencies that are also investigating the matter.
When a loved one is mistreated at a long-term care facility such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center they have a right to expect quality care at all times. When the level of care falls below expectations and a patient is harmed by the facility and or its employees they may be entitled to damages for any injuries suffered. Damages can include pain and suffering as well as medical expenses related to any physical or mental injuries sustained at the facility.
Police said that three of the employees involved in the suspected abuse have turned themselves in to authorities and are now facing felony charges of intentional abuse of a protected person. If family members suspect a loved one is being mistreated or abused at a long-term care facility it can be incredibly helpful to consult with an attorney who can instruct the family on their rights and steps they can take to remedy the situation.
Source: Fox 6 WBRC, "Nursing home abuse investigated in Alabaster," Ronda Robinson, Sept. 19, 2012
Our Queens, New York law firm handles a range of personal injury claims, including medical malpractice and nursing home abuse and negligence similar to the story described in the above post.