Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Facilities skirt prosecution in many elder-abuse cases

 As an ombudsman for the Area Agency on Aging sees the best and the worst in Northeast Ohio’s nursing homes.
“Sometimes you see violations that are so serious that — not just as an ombudsman but as a member of the public — you look at that [and ask], ‘Why didn’t someone pay or have to face consequences for this particular activity?’ ”
Across Northeast Ohio, police and inspection reports hint at some of the most egregious actions committed in nursing homes: three sexual-assault cases in a dementia unit at a Canton facility; a 90-year-old woman beaten with a clothes hanger at a Stow facility; two elderly residents physically abused by a nurse’s aide in a Boardman facility; and pending investigations and charges throughout Ohio’s network of 956 nursing homes.

Officer Kevin Green of the Stow Police Department said he believes that officials only find out about and prosecute a small percent of the cases of abuse in facilities.
“It’s the hidden dragon,” said Green, who is the interim senior-services officer for his department. “It’s a very frustrating crime because there is an element of trust that is violated in these cases. These people and families have placed their trust in a facility, and that bond is broken when there is abuse.”Youngstown News, Facilities skirt prosecution in many elder-abuse cases: