Social media abuse of nursing home residents
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
There are many types of abuse, and not all of them involve neglect or outright physical harm. And now there are reports of nursing home residents being the victims of abuse involving social media. Sadly, there have been instances of nursing assistants taking and posting humiliating photographs of their residents. Many states still do not have laws that prohibit nursing attendants from taking embarrassing pictures of their residents and posting them online, so there is little that the government can do.
A nursing assistant in Iowa took an embarrassing photo of a resident with dementia and then sent it to several of her colleagues through the photo-sharing app Snapchat. This particular assistant was fired by the nursing home when it was reported, but she was not disciplined by the State Board, and she remains eligible to work.
Unfortunately, there is little that the government or social media companies can do to prevent this behavior. However, you are not without options. Taking these photographs and posting them online could be a violation of that person's right to privacy. Your loved one deserves the right to have these private moments remain private and for their nursing attendants to act professionally.
Your loved ones deserve to be treated with dignity. If you believe that the nursing home that is supposedly providing care for your family member is abusing him or her, you may want to call a lawyer. A lawyer can go over the situation with you and advise you of potential claims that you may file. Moreover, a lawyer can help you determine the best way to prevent future abuse and ensure that your loved one receives the care that they deserve.