Placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, whether it is their choice or yours, is almost never easy. It is tough to place your trust in a facility to look after your loved one’s every need — food, shelter, hygiene, medication, and more.
Most of us recognize the truly hard work that caregivers at these facilities perform, often for low wages. But the fact remains is that if you’re in the job, you have to give it your all, because residents are often relying on you for everything.
So imagine the horror that anyone with a parent or loved one in a nursing home must feel when reading that three employees at a North Carolina assisted living facility were arrested recently for organizing a fight club among elderly residents with dementia.
A Gruesome Discovery
Police in Winston-Salem began investigating the facility in June after receiving a tip. What they found shocks the conscience. The employees were encouraging residents to fight, videotaping the assaults, and sharing the videos on social media.
One of the residents was punched in the face and choked during one of the fights.
A further investigation into the facility uncovered a failure to distribute medication, review medical records, and properly train staff. The facility has been prohibited from admitting new residents since August.
Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse
Incidents like this drive home the need for relatives to look out for their loved ones who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many times residents who face abuse or neglect are scared to speak up for fear of punishment.
Some of those signs of abuse and neglect include:
- Bruising, cuts, burn marks, or other wounds
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Confusion and disorientation
- Depression, withdrawal, and a reluctance to interact with people
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, it is important to contact the authorities immediately. After caring for their immediate safety, you should think about what your legal options are for recovering compensation for your loved one’s suffering. A successful lawsuit or settlement can also send a strong message to other bad actors in the industry.