An 85-year-old nursing home resident was punched in the chest by a 29-year-old nursing assistant at the Clare Oaks Retirement Community in Bartlett, Illinois. Police said they were notified of the incident by another staff member, and that the victim did not require additional medical treatment, but there were no further details. The attacker was charged with aggravated battery.
Nursing home abuse cases are complicated. A case like this, with witnesses and proper police involvement, is the exception rather than the norm.
29-year-old female nursing home assistants rarely punch 85-year-old women in the chest as their first neglectful or abusive behavior. I think that it’s highly likely that there have been many more incidents of nursing home abuse or neglect happening at the Clare Oaks Retirement Community.
Unfortunately, this may have just been the first incident with witnesses.
If you have loved ones in the Clare Oaks Retirement Community, this would be a good time to talk to them at length about their treatment at the facility. Signs of abuse are often hard to see.
Some common signs of nursing home abuse are unexplained, or repeated bruises or skin tears. Also, look for bruising that occurs on both sides of the body (as if a person were grabbed hard with both hands). Most importantly, talk to your family member.
Nursing home residents are often reluctant to admit that abuse is taking place because they fear retribution from the abuser. In this case, it seems certain that the abuser will not be returning to the facility soon, if ever. That may give residents the courage to speak out.
Nursing homes have an obligation to protect and care for the people in their care. If they had evidence of neglect or abuse, and failed to follow up, they are guilty of committing nursing home neglect.