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Nurse to face criminal charges for elder abuse, neglect


Posted by Brendan Faulkner of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Apr 30, 2013 in Nursing Home Neglect

When people make the decision to place an elderly family member in the care of a nursing home facility, we should be able to expect that he or she will be treated with compassion and dignity. Sadly, many people are mistreated at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be providing a safe and caring environment. Too many of the most vulnerable patients in need of assistance end up being victims of nursing home abuse or neglect

Because people who are in nursing homes often suffer from physical or mental limitations, they can often be the victims of substandard or harmful levels of care. Too many care providers assume that they can get away with neglecting or abusing patients because many of them cannot verbalize complaints or they suffer from memory loss or dementia. Care providers who engage in this hurtful and horrific behavior deserve to be held accountable for the damage that is done as a result of their devastating misconduct.

For example, a former nurse is currently facing criminal charges for failure to properly supervise staff members at a care facility. As a result of this negligence, a 77-year-old man died from a severe fecal impaction that was caused by chronic constipation which was not addressed by the nurses. The woman's failure to provide a standard level of care to the victim resulted in criminal charges of felony elder abuse. 

Family members who learn that an elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in a Connecticut nursing home are often understandably angry, confused and hurt. They want the party responsible for the mistreatment to pay for the damage they have done to a very vulnerable adult. While criminal charges are a possibility in some cases, including the one discussed in this post, most people who are accused of nursing home neglect or abuse end up in civil court. People understand that money and jail time cannot undo the horrific actions that an elderly person has endured, but it can serve as punishment for the guilty party and can hopefully prevent other people from being subjected to the same mistreatment.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Trial date set for nurse accused of elder abuse," Marjie Lundstrom, April 27, 2013