Hidden Videotape Exposes Serious Nursing Home Abuse

Are you concerned that a loved one may be experiencing nursing home abuse or neglect? Recently, New Yorker Diana Valentin suspected that her grandmother’s care in a Bronx nursing home might have been substandard after noticing physical injuries to her grandmother’s arms. Valentin’s grandmother raised her, and she wanted to ensure that her grandmother was receiving quality care. In order to find out whether her suspicions were accurate, she installed a hidden camera in the elderly woman’s room. According to a report from the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the “results were devastating.”

While this case occurred in New York, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a detailed article about this particular instance of abuse, alerting us to the possibility of similar harm in California nursing homes.

What Led to Suspicion of Abuse?

The nursing home at issue is Gold Crest Care Center in the Bronx. According to a local ABC News station, Valentin noticed “unusual marking and bruisings” on Ana Louisa Medina, her 89-year-old grandmother. Medina already suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s according to the report, and Valentin worried that her grandmother’s injuries may have had nothing to do with her illness.

Valentin questioned the staff at Gold Crest Care, who repeatedly informed her that Medina’s bruises were a result of her dementia and Alzheimers. They explained that “she had gotten the bruising on her hands by banging on the bed railing.” However, Valentin decided to find out for herself.

What Were the Consequences at the Nursing Facility?

In June 2012, Valentin placed a hidden camera inside a decorative plant base, from which she recorded “more than 600 hours of footage.” When Valentin viewed the tapes, she was horrified. In the very early segments of the footage, she saw Sandra Kerr, a 55-year-old nurse’s aide at Gold Crest Care, grab Medina’s arm and twist it backward, actually lifting her off the bed and then slamming her back into the bed. Kerr has since been arrested and charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person. After the arrest, Medina was transferred to a nursing home in New Rochelle, where she is reportedly safe from abuse.

It’s important to know the signs of nursing home abuse and what you can do if you’re concerned about a loved one.

How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

According to a follow-up article in the San Francisco Chronicle, there are different varieties and levels of nursing home abuse. It can come in the form of bruises and other physical marks, as in Medina’s case, but it’s also important to stay alert to other indicators. For instance, abuse can also show itself in the form of depression and weight loss in your loved one.

If you’ve seen “slap marks, unexplained bruises, pressure marks, burns or blisters” on your elderly parent, or any signs of psychological abuse or neglect, you should alert the nursing home administrators. Remember, nursing homes have a duty to protect their residents. However, if you have witnessed any unexpected injury or illness, your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect. Do you suspect that your loved one is not being properly cared for? Our attorneys specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Contact us today to discuss your concerns.

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