The short answer to that question is no. When most of us think about Nursing Home Abuse and other similar types of fraud or neglect, we automatically assume the victim is a Senior. Two recent incidents that we came across recently illustrate how that assumption is not always accurate.
In a Southern Indiana City not too far from us in Chicago named Seymour, a 26-year old woman named Kasey Scott plead guilty to Medicaid fraud and neglect of a dependent. Scott, who is a licensed practical nurse, was working for a home respite-care agency when she was hired by a local family to care for their severely disabled 7-year-old son at their home during daytime hours that his parents would be at work. According to the probable cause affidavit, Scott was supposed to follow a care plan which included "providing physical therapy, exercise, interaction, and monitoring the child's vital signs when he experienced seizures." The mother set up a hidden camera to record video during the hours that Scott was to be there due to concerns about the care she was providing. The video showed that on June 5 and 6 of 2011, Scott provided inadequate care which was limited to only feeding, diapering and giving the child medication. The rest of the time, Scott would leave the blind, disabled 7-year old boy on a couch for hours by himself while she would read or watch TV. Scott also falsified notes and stated that she provided care which she did not actually provide which led her employer, Loving Care Agency of Indianapolis, to unknowingly submit false claims to Medicaid for reimbursement of funds that the program paid. Scott will serve one year of her four-year sentence on home detention and the remaining three years on supervised probation.
The second incident is even more troubling. This incident occurred in an Arkansas nursing home/rehabilitation center where a 21-year old female disabled resident told the staff that a man came in and molested her. When police arrived on the scene they tracked down a 42-year old man who claimed that he had visited the nursing home that day, heard the resident call out for help, went to her aid, and called a nurse for her. Police gathered DNA from the man which ended up matching the evidence in the rape kit. The man was charged with the fourth degree felony of gross sexual imposition. The article went on to reveal some startling statistics on abuse in nursing homes: The National Center on Elder Abuse reported that there were roughly 5.9 million cases in 2010 with 58% of these cases relating to neglect. For more up to date statistics on nursing home abuse, you can check out the Center on Elder Abuse's fact sheet which will be attached here.
If you or someone you love has been injured, neglected or abused in a nursing home at the hands of nursing home caretakers, please contact Ed Fox & Associates today.