Quick — what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever heard about nursing home abuse?
Here’s one of ours (although — in truth, we’ve heard more scary stories of elderly abuse in nursing homes than we care to count!)
A 77-year-old elderly woman in Atlanta, Georgia was taken to the ER after a 3-inch gash was found on her head. As the doctors examined her in the ER, they found additional wounds. And then they found a wound that was located on the back of her hand. Someone was “thoughtful” enough to put a bandage on it. But they forgot — or failed — to change it, for a number of days.
And — get this — the laceration on her head was so bad that doctors had to use four staples to close it. The doctors also found bleeding in the brain, a potentially very, very dangerous physical trauma.
This woman’s gruesome story was brought to light on WXIA-TV after the elderly resident’s family started speaking about the alleged abuse and/or neglect.
But how does it all happen? For this Georgia-based woman, it was a case of one bad thing happening after another, apparently again and again.
First, the woman suffered from a fall that made her unable to move or communicate. That’s when she was brought to the New London Health Center, where she stayed for several years.
All elderly residents deserve total respect and caution in their care. However — and this is not to pick favorites — elderly residents who are unable to move and/or communicate because of existing health problems require, let’s say, even more.
Instead, they’re often neglected or abused even more. Seen as the “problem residents” these patients, again and again, may be subject to more physical abuse and neglect than their peers in nursing homes. That’s because staff members and nursing homes may think they are too difficult, or because they think that they can get away with it because the resident is not able to communicate the negligence themselves.
When a detective with the Snellville Police Department was interviewed, he reported that he had never seen such a horrible case of apparent neglect since he joined the force 15 years ago.
It’s time we stood up for the members of society that need us the most — and that’s even if they are seen as difficult, even if people think they can get away with it. It’s the right thing to do, and everyone in Atlanta deserves it — either now, as an elderly resident at a nursing home, or in the future when they, too, will find themselves in the need of aid from others.