Hidden camera reveals New York nursing home abuse

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Gold Crest Care Center was placed in the spotlight by the granddaughter of a resident. A hidden camera was placed in the resident’s room, and over 600 hours of footage revealed a nurse at the center was responsible for bruising on the resident’s hand and forehead. The nursing home has not issued a public statement about the abuse incident.

The resident, an Alzheimer’s patient whose granddaughter made inquiries after noticing strange bruises, has been moved to another facility. The granddaughter was assured that the bruises were self-inflicted. She was also told that the bruises were the subject of an investigation. Dissatisfaction with the nursing home’s responses led to the placement of the hidden camera.

Specifically, the nurse was seen twisting the 89-year-old resident’s arm, shoving her against the bed’s metal railing and striking her in the side. The attorney general for New York stated the office’s “zero tolerance policy” for health care workers involved in nursing home abuse and neglect. The nurse faces charges of endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person.

Medical professionals have a legal responsibility to provide a high standard of care for their patients, but the reality is sometimes different. Facilities may neglect standards of care in an effort to reduce costs. Workers may be hired without sufficient background checks, and too few workers can create a dangerous lack of oversight necessary to stop instances of nursing home neglect. A proactive approach by loved ones with the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney may help individuals protect their relatives and force changes through the use of personal injury lawsuits.

Source: New York Daily News, “New York woman uses hidden camera to bust caregiver violently ‘twisting’ and ‘slamming’ her elderly 89-year-old grandmother,” Lee Moran, Feb. 19, 2013.

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