A fifty-one-year-old employee of the Esplanade Gardens nursing home facility in South Texas has been fired and is currently under police investigation after being surreptitiously videotaped in the act of slapping an elderly resident. South Texas news media and police officials were alerted to the elder abuse situation after the daughter of the resident installed a video camera device in the room of her mother upon suspecting staff abuse.
Unfortunately, the daughter was correct in her suspicions, which stemmed from previous incidents involving inexplicable injuries on the nursing home resident. Upon being informed of the incident, Esplanade Gardens officials were told by the employee that the injuries sustained by the resident were the result of a fall. Fortunately, smart thinking by this woman’s daughter likely stopped what constituted a long-term pattern of abuse by this nursing home employee against residents across the facility.
Based on video evidence and later cooperation by the employee, Converse police officials now know that the Esplanade Gardens nursing home staff member struck the elderly woman in the face, and then threw her onto a bed, which resulted in a back injury to the resident. The employee is now facing criminal charges of causing injury to the elderly. At this time, police and media officials have not stated why the resident suffering from abuse did not report the incidents to nursing home officials, but as any practitioner in elderly care and elder abuse law understands, these residents rarely report such conduct, if ever. From a legal and familial perspective, this is highly problematic, as patterns of abuse only continue over time and worsen in severity. In this sense, the quick thinking daughter in the elder abuse case did what was necessary to protect her own mother, and in the process, likely other residents at the Esplanade Gardens facility as well.
Other common signs of ongoing nursing home abuse, which almost certainly warrant further investigation by family members or other loved ones, include:
- Repeated injuries lacking a definitive cause
- Resident becomes unresponsive, highly suspicious, and acts evasively, while socially isolating themselves
- Resident makes, implies, or infers instances of elderly abuse, but refuses to elaborate or later retracts statements made to family or nursing home staff members
Per elder abuse advocacy and awareness organizations, one of the most common signs of ongoing elder and nursing home abuse is the presence of injuries on residents, which when addressed by family members, result in dismissive or less than forthright answers from the elderly individual. In these instances, active collaboration between concerned family members and a nursing home abuse lawyer is highly advisable, as pursuing responsible parties typically requires legal action in both a criminal and civil sense.