Abuse at Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles
The Chicago Tribune reports that two young certified nursing assistants (CNAs) at a St. Charles nursing home have been fired after abusing a nursing home resident and videotaping the abuse. Jacqueline Santos and Chemyra Barnett, both 18 years old and students at South Elgin High School, had been working at the Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles for about six months when they videotaped themselves striking a female resident with dementia. There are conflicting reports as to the age of the victim, with some news outlets reporting her age as 96, while others report that the victim was 98 years old.
The Chicago Tribune reported that court documents indicate that the abusers are shown in the video as laughing while they struck the victim. The two women then proceeded to share the video of the abuse with their friends. St. Charles police reported that the two young women will be charged with aggravated battery of a person over 60 years old and unlawful videotaping. Bail was set for each woman at $15,000 and includes conditions such as no entry into the care center, no contact with the victim or her family, no access to a cellphone, and no dissemination of recorded video by any means.
Nursing Home Abuse Regretfully Happens, and All Too Frequently
The Department of Health and Human Services National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging notes that it is unclear precisely how many cases of nursing home mistreatment occur each year in the United States since so many cases are unreported. Abuse is more likely to happen to women of advanced age, and usually to those individuals with mental conditions that affect their ability to remember the abuse. This profile matches precisely with the victim at the Rosewood Care Center – a woman of advanced age with dementia. However, it is reported that in the known cases of elder abuse, nearly 90% of the abusers are family members of the victim, rather than nursing home staff.
The Research on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is Disconcerting
A survey conducted in 2000 found that 44% of nursing home residents who were interviewed indicated that they had suffered from abuse and 95% reported that they had either been neglected themselves or witnessed another resident being neglected by nursing staff. A later study found that 50% of staff admitted to either physically or mentally abusing residents or neglecting residents. Yet another study found that 17% of CNAs admitted to pushing, grabbing, or shoving a resident, 51% admitted to yelling at residents, and 23% admitted to swearing or insulting residents out of anger or frustration.
It is always sad and disheartening to hear about instances where elderly residents are abused by their caregivers. This recent story, so close to home, reinforces how important it is for you to be observant and mindful of how your loved one acts and feels about living in his or her care facility. If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home mistreatment, such as abuse or neglect, at the hands of his or her caregivers, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at The Rooth Law Firm today either by telephone at (847) 869-9100 or online.
Clifford Ward, Two Workers at Care Center Accused of Elderly Abuse, Chicago Tribune, March 14, 2014,
Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging, Statistic/Data Elder Abuse: The Size of the Problem