Ontario, Canada- The son of an 85 year-old dementia patient who is resident of a nursing home in Peterborough, Ont., is outraged that no one will face criminal charges for abusing his mother.
Camille Parent decided to install hidden cameras in his mother’s room after he noticed she was scratched up and bruised. He told CTV that last year his mother had a black eye and he has never determined how she got it.
According to the CBC News, Parent told officials at the nursing home he suspected that his mother was being abused, but they did nothing about it.
After installing the cameras, Parent saw exactly what was happening to his mother over a three week period. The video footage shows a nurse viciously manhandling the elderly woman and shoving a feces covered cloth in her face. Another employee blows his nose on her bed sheets and two other employees can be seen rummaging through her belongings.
The four employees in question have been fired, but crown attorneys—roughly equivalent to prosecutors in the U.S.—have declined to file charges.
“I’m puzzled,” Parent told CBC News. “I’m sickened over this. It’s just totally wrong.”
“If you hurt somebody or abuse somebody, you either go to jail or you get charged,” Parent told CTV News.
He said that he will me meeting with crown attorneys and the Peterborough Police to discuss why no charges will be filed.
Lynn McDonald of Canada’s National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly told CTV that the decision not to prosecute was “disgusting.”
“I think it was an obscenity what they did to that woman and if it had been a child or a younger middle-aged person, they would have never gotten away with it,” MacDonald said.
Since his mother has suffered abuse, Parent has become and advocated for the rights of the elderly in these long-term care facilities.
With an aging population in both Canada and the U.S., abuse of the elderly in long-term care facilities is a growing concern. In the U.S., it is estimated that 1 in 10 seniors are abused by their care-givers either in their own homes or in nursing homes. This is an alarming number of people being abused or harmed by the people who are supposed to take care of them.
A recent study from the Americans for Better Care found that neglect, which is a form of abuse, is rampant in nursing homes across the country. Additionally, in another survey, 50 percent of nursing home employees admit to abusing or neglecting a patient in their care at least once over a year’s time.
Seniors are very susceptible to all types of abuse, ranging from physical assaults, sexual assault and financial exploitation. Their age, failing health, and diminished strength make them easy victims. If a loved one suspects their elderly parent or loved one has been harmed in any way by staff at a nursing home, a nursing home abuse attorney can help them seek compensation for their medical care and emotional distress.