While people typically view social media activity as a pastime for teens and young adults, a new and disturbing trend has recently developed. Though most would find this behavior craven, authorities have discovered that some caregivers of elderly patients in nursing homes take demeaning pictures of the residents and then post them onto websites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Recently, the federal government vowed to crack down on this form of nursing home abuse, and readers in Illinois may be interested in learning what is being done to prevent it in the future.
Any form of exploitation of a resident in a nursing home is a form of abuse. In cases that have been investigated, staff members have posted pictures of residents who were covered in feces, some who were naked. Most disturbingly, some had passed away. It is a basic tenant of nursing home care that residents are protected from any invasion of privacy, treated with dignity and provided with a safe environment.
Due to recent resolutions by federal health regulators, nursing homes are becoming more aware of many types of abuse. Additionally, many states have added further policies that clearly describe expectations that nursing homes must meet. They also set out policies for investigation and can allow the state's government to impose sanctions on facilities that do not uphold a resident's right to live free from mistreatment.
Nursing home abuse has become a growing concern in the last few years. Those in Illinois who believe that they or a loved one has suffered from demeaning treatment or exploitation via social media while living in a nursing facility could benefit from seeking the counsel of a personal injury attorney. An attorney will be able to discuss the various legal options available in order to seek reparations if harm has occurred.
Source: psmag.com, "Ending the Abuse of Nursing Home Residents on Social Media", Charles Ornstein and Jessica Huseman, Aug. 15, 2016