man has been charged with felony caretaker abuse in
connection with the alleged mistreatment of nursing home
residents. Bail was set at $100,000 for the 31-year-old nursing aide. He was charged Thursday with two felony counts of caretaker abuse and
one misdemeanor charge of verbal abuse, all stemming from care provided
in his job as a certified nursing assistant at the 92-bed nursing home (which is in the process of shutting down).
Its residents are being transferred to other facilities.
The wife of a resident complained to police Feb. 28 that she
found a scratch on her husband. According to a court affidavit, the
elderly male victim repeatedly complained that the accused aide stripped off his
clothes and touched him inappropriately, spit in his face and
threatened to hurt him.
The victim's family members told authorities he had complained
for weeks about being abused by a nursing aide, but they initially
thought the complaints were a result of dementia. The family
re-evaluated when the scratch was discovered, the affidavit stated.
Upon further investigation, police learned that situations
involving three patients at the nursing facility were videotaped on
the aide's cell phone and had been seen by several witnesses before they
The videotapes showed the aide yelling at one elderly patient and violently jerking the shirt of another, the affidavit stated.
against Pearl are based on victim testimony, as well as the testimony of witnesses who saw the cell-phone videos.
Staff members who were interviewed by police said most patients
are in such condition that they wouldn't be capable of reporting any
abuse, the affidavit stated.
The family of the man who had been scratched reportedly said
he had difficulty sleeping, was hard to calm down and had been fearful
for his wife's safety at their home. For more, read the story.
This situation is a terrible tragedy for the victims and families of the victims. When someone makes the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they should be able to trust that the persons entrusted with their care will not intentionally abuse them. Many residents are not capable of reporting abuse but still would be traumatized by it. It is important to investigate any and all signs of abuse and neglect.
W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated
to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted
living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg,
Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
Posted on Sat, April 4, 2009
by Robert Carter