Recently, police, along with state public health officials, in downstate Alton, Illinois have been investigating the alleged abuse of a 93 year old nursing home patient. The daughter of this nursing home patient has claimed that her mother was physically abused to the point of bruising, was intimidated by staff and left in her own feces. Carol Fredrick, 72, the nursing home patient’s daughter stated that after finding her mother in the condition she was in that “none of us slept last night, we were so upset.” After discovering these conditions, Ms. Frederick relocated her mother to a rehabilitation facility and called Alton police to report the physical and emotional abuse and neglect her mother had reportedly encountered at the nursing home.
Once the Alton police became involved they photographed the older woman’s brusies on the back of her arms and interviewed the nursing home workers who are alleged to have committed the abuse and neglect. The older woman’s daughter, Ms. Frederick, claims that two certified nursing assistants (CNAs) at the nursing home inflicted the bruises while “roughing up” her mother as they dressed her. Not only that, Ms. Frederick claims that the nurses “got in her [mother’s] face and lifted their name tags with their thumbs,” so the older woman could not read their names. Frederick claims her mother reported all of this to her, and that her mother is alert, sharp and lucid.
The obvious question to all of this is why these nurses, who are supposed to care for the elderly at these facilities, would act in such a way? Ms. Frederick claims it was because her mother angered the healthcare workers by repeatedly activating her call button for help in using the restroom and getting into bed. While this may seem like an outlandish reason to treat someone in such a way, it is not surprising. Often times at facilities, such as this one in Alton, Illinois, nurses and staff are overworked, understaffed, and not paid as much as they should be. As a result of their stress and anxiety, they may act in a way that punishes the elderly patients. Obviously, this is no excuse to abuse and neglect anyone, especially elderly patients. These nursing homes and their staff need to be held accountable for their actions towards their patients.