The family of an elderly woman in New York has filed a Notice of Claim alleging that two caregivers neglected to provide their loved one with adequate daily care. The 79-year-old woman suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's disease and relies on the staff at Terrace View Long Term Care Facility in Buffalo for 24-hour care.
According to the state attorney general, a hidden camera that was placed in the patient's room captured footage of two certified nursing aides neglecting to provide the non-ambulatory woman with proper care. The 48-year-old woman and 35-year-old woman were observed failing to employ a mechanical lift to move the patient and failing to perform incontinence care with at least two people. The women are also accused of concealing the neglect with falsified documents. A lawyer for the elderly woman's family commented that the case was representative of many other elder neglect cases where the nursing facility does not employ enough staff.
Each of the nursing aides was charged with two misdemeanors and one felony. If the women are convicted of the felony count, they could each be sentenced to a maximum of four years in prison.
Many cases of elderly abuse and neglect go unreported because the victim is not able to communicate to others about what is happening to them. If a family suspects that their elderly family member is not receiving proper care, an attorney may be able to help conduct an independent investigation and gather evidence for a civil claim. In this case in New York, the filing of a Notice of Claim is the first step preparatory towards bringing an action for civil damages.
Source: WIVB, "Two nursing aides accused of neglecting 79-year-old patient", September 23, 2014