Video surveillance allegedly shows two aides at a Illinois nursing home striking an elderly woman with dementia.
Chemyra Barnett, 18, and Jacqueline Santos, 18, both of South Elgin, appeared in court Friday on charges of abuse. Each is charged with one count of aggravated battery of a person older than 60, a class 3 felony, and one count of illegal videotaping, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Thankfully, the 96-year-old victim was not injured, according to police. The alleged attack took place Tuesday at the Rosewood Care Center, in St. Charles, police said. An unidentified person reportedly heard about the incident and alerted the nursing home, where officials then called police, according to the Tribune.
Court documents revealed that the women, identified as friends, could be seen laughing as they struck the elderly woman. No additional information was released, as the investigation is ongoing.
The nursing home’s administrator, Ivy Gleeson, told the Chicago Tribune both of the women were fired. Barnett and Santos were certified nursing assistants who had worked at the center about six months, Gleeson said.
The Rosewood Care Center is a 109-bed skilled nursing facility. Rosewood operates 14 facilities, mostly in the Chicago and St. Louis areas, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Nursing home abuse can often go undetected for a long period of time due to patients’ inability to express neglect. Caregivers who are overworked due to a nursing home being understaffed can also overlook injuries. Common problems in nursing homes include bedsores, weight loss and injuries from falling.
Bedsores can occur when a patient is left alone in bed for an extended period of time in the same position. The inactivity, combined with unrelieved pressure, friction and poor nutrition can result in painful sores.
Nursing home management is liable for any injuries suffered by patients who suffer injuries from falls in their facilities.
Elderly patients who require assistance getting through daily life can often be neglected – the result of which can be devastating. Stories have been reported of patients suffering serious falls that have resulted in broken bones, patients left with immobilizing bedsores, malnutrition, and even death.
According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, about five percent of nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence and/or injury. The center believes the number could be even high as many cases go unreported.