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Nursing home neglect increasingly documented online

Viral pictures and videos make the rounds of the internet on a seemingly daily basis, but not all of these viral sensations are harmless. Residents of California nursing homes and others across the United States are increasingly exploited by their own caretakers when their pictures are taken and then posted online. This type of thoughtless and even cruel behavior often coincides with nursing home neglect.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are urging nursing homes and other residential facilities to not only educate employees about the ethical aspects of photographing patients, but to also strictly forbid demeaning pictures from being taken in the first place. This comes in light of recent incidents involving nursing home staff recording and sharing instances of abuse. In one case, two workers faced arrests for disregarding their duties to help an 84-year-old resident to the restroom. Instead, police claim they recorded the partially-nude resident while laughing at her.

Another instance also involved two nursing home employees who traded humiliating pictures and videos via the picture-sharing app Snapchat. One video depicts a resident on the toilet as she is asked personal questions regarding sex and marijuana while another video apparently shows a patient being roused by one of the women yelling in his or her ear. In a different Snapchat video, a dementia patient is labeled a jerk after a worker kicks his wheelchair in response to him calling for his wife who previously passed away.

Residents of nursing homes tend to be some of the most vulnerable people in California, and families entrust their loved ones' safety and well-being with the workers who staff these types of facilities. Nursing home neglect not only diminishes this trust, but also places residents in enormous amounts of danger. Families often take it upon themselves to seek justice on behalf of their loved ones for any harm -- both physical and emotional -- that is the result of this type of neglect.

Source: wtsp.com, "Feds crack down on degrading nursing home patient pics", Aug. 23, 2016

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