Elder Abuse Can Occur Anywhere – If You Suspect Abuse Is Occurring, Report It

Posted on Monday, May 31st, 2021 at 8:20 pm    

Abuse of the elderly may take place in an institution such as a nursing home or a hospital, or it may take place in a personal residence. Abuse of the elderly may involve one or more of the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Mental abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse

The elderly are especially vulnerable due to their physical and mental condition. They are often unable to report the abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse

In July 2020, a 36-year-old nurse at a nursing home in Madisonville, KY. entered a plea of reckless abuse of a vulnerable adult.  The defendant was originally indicted on one count of abusing or neglecting an adult. She faced up to ten years in jail if convicted, as well as possible professional sanctions.

Pursuant to the plea deal, the Hopkins County Circuit Court sentenced her to 12 months of probation for the class A misdemeanor.

Law enforcement brought charges against the nurse for pinching and slapping an elderly resident whom she was supposed to take care of. The licensed practical nurse slapped the resident across the mouth and pinched and twisted the patient’s arm during a medical procedure. As part of the plea deal, the defendant agreed to be put on the Caregiver Misconduct Registry for seven years. This registry is maintained by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron commented that “Our Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse works hard to investigate and prosecute those who exploit our most vulnerable citizens through abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Kentucky’s seniors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and I am thankful for the work of my Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in this case.”

At-Home Abuse

In Bell County in January 2020, a woman was arrested for abusing an elderly man. The woman was charged with elder abuse and neglect, forgery, and theft by deception. The woman had been the live-in caregiver for the elderly man. She was accused of writing checks to herself in the name of her employer. She also allegedly filled prescriptions that were written in the patient’s name but failed to give the medication to him.

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department claims that the defendant failed to clean the house, including allowing the trash to accumulate. In addition, the defendant allegedly did not purchase food, which resulted in the elderly man losing more than thirty pounds. It is also alleged that the defendant allowed the phone and utilities to be disconnected.

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Abuse of the elderly is never appropriate. People who are unable to care for themselves are often at the mercy of those intended to provide the care and support necessary for the elderly to continue to live comfortably. We should all be vigilant—abuse often takes place where we least expect it.

If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP at (859) 550-2900 for a free consultation. We may be able to help.

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