Oklahoma City – On December 18, 2012, News9.com released a story about a nursing home abuse case that was accidentally caught on tape. The family of a 96-year-old woman placed a hidden camera inside a Christmas tree in their mother's room because they wanted to find out who was stealing from her. Instead of catching the alleged "thief" stealing their mother's property, the hidden camera revealed nursing home abuse. The 96-year-old woman's daughter said, "It's just something that we could have never imagined."
The elderly victim had dementia and couldn't recall what happened to her so she couldn't tell her family members about it, which is a common problem in nursing home abuse cases. When her daughters hid the camera hoping to catch someone stealing, they never expected to catch abuse instead. Oklahoma advocates say that camera's need to be in every nursing home so that nursing home staff and family members can monitor what's going on in patient's rooms.
The hidden camera video begins with a nursing home aid shoving latex gloves inside the mouth of the 96-year-old elderly victim. Wes Bledsoe, an advocate for nursing home patients said, "I believe there are at least 62,000 cases of abuse that go unreported in our state's (Oklahoma) nursing homes every year. The only way we're going to know what the scope is by using video monitoring systems."
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), there are particular red flags of abuse to be aware of, and as a friend or family member of a loved one in a nursing home, it's important to remain vigilant and be aware of some of these common signs of potential abuse:
- Lack of basic hygiene, not enough food, dirty or inappropriate clothing
- Lacking medical aids such as walker, teeth, hearing aid, glasses, and medications
- A person with dementia unsupervised
- Confinement to a bed and without care
- Unexplained changes in behavior or alertness
- Caregiver doesn't let anyone speak to the elder
- Poorly explained bruises, cuts, welts, sores, burns, fractures etc.
- Sexually transmitted diseases
If you suspect your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact an attorney from
The Williamson Law Firm at once. Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem that goes frequently underreported due to the victim's dementia or fear of retaliation from the victim's abusers; if you think there is a problem, the firm is here to help uncover any potential abuse and help put a stop to it once and for all so that no more innocent victims are harmed in the abuser's wake.