It is difficult to fathom why caretakers would mistreat elderly patients in nursing homes. Yet, alarmingly, a 2012 congressional report found neglect or abuse at one in three nursing homes in the United States. Authorities in Georgia recently charged 21 current and former employees of a Commerce nursing home with abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of Alzheimer’s patients, Reuters reported. The facility’s owner was among those charged.

Employees at Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, about 60 miles north of Atlanta, are accused of restraining patients with bed sheets and subjecting them to “inhumane and undignified conditions,” according to a statement by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The accusations include “double diapering” of patients so that the staff would not have to change soiled diapers as often, authorities said.

Investigators also discovered that some staff members had felony convictions on charges such as voluntary manslaughter and identify theft, according to the investigators’ statement.

Abuse Knows No Borders

Nursing home abuse can occur anywhere. Often seniors are abused or harmed by people who are directly responsible for their care.

More than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and many other cases go unreported.

Reports of abuse against elderly adults should be taken seriously – and often are. Earlier this year, a circuit judge in West Virginia upheld a $91.5 million verdict against a nursing home in the death of an 87-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s.

As the elderly population increases and social dynamics make nursing home care a plausible option for many, it is imperative to remain alert for signs of neglect or abuse

If you know of someone who may be suffering from mistreatment in a South Carolina long-term care facility, or if you are a resident in a nursing home and need to speak to an attorney in confidence, contact Joye Law Firm online or call (877) 936-9707. We can offer legal advice about your rights.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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