It isn’t easy to care for the elderly–or anyone else who needs full-time care, for that matter. That’s probably why there are so many cases of elder abuse in the United States. Sometimes caregivers are fed up with working conditions or mandated shifts or relentless hours for little pay, and what was once simply irritability turns into something more sinister. Nursing homes are ripe with unseen and unheard abuses. Here are a few of the worst cases of elder abuse ever reported.
- A number of recent lawsuits and arrests have brought light to what is an ongoing trend in nursing homes. The workers will often take embarrassing photos of patients in their care, and proceed to post them on Facebook or Snapchat for friends or family to view. In one case, a worker took pictures of one nursing home resident’s genitals and sent them to a friend. The worker was terminated when the friend decided to post the pictures on Facebook. Thankfully in this case it was the facility that reported the incident to the authorities.
- Peggy Quesenberry was arrested and charged with felony neglect and abuse for her incapacitated mother, who died weeks later. She was found under a layer of feces and urine and living in atrocious conditions. She had bed sores and the blanket under which she lay had become affixed to her skin. Quesenberry was later probed under a psychological evaluation.
- An elderly patient of Kingstree Nursing Facility in South Carolina was found with a broken hip and had bruises all over her body in a 2012 case. She claimed that she had been assaulted by two women, but details of the internal investigation and another conducted by authorities were not released. The patient’s son subsequently worked to have those records–and all such records–made a matter of public record so that future clients of the facility might know how well care is provided.
- In 2011, an 87-year-old patient suffering from Alzheimer’s passed away due to severe dehydration and malnutrition. According to authorities, the caregivers at the Heartland Nursing Home in Charleston, West Virginia failed to provide the patient with barely a drop of water over nineteen days. A judge awarding a $91.5 million verdict against the caregiving facility, maintaining that its owner voluntarily and maliciously kept all like facilities understaffed.