One of the major issues with nursing home abuse is that the families of victims do not know what is happening and the vulnerable residents may not be able to tell them. This could be due to memory problems, communication issues or a whole host of other reasons. As a result, those who should come forward and expose abuse are the other staff members who witness it. They can protect residents not only by treating them well but by exposing those who do not.
Unfortunately, they often stay silent.
Take, for instance, a case where a resident who needed heavy assistance was abused while not getting up off of the toilet. “The abusive CNA (certified nurse aide) began to pull the resident’s hair and pull the nipple on the resident’s breast to get the resident to stand up,” inspectors noted in a news report that ran on NJ.com.
It’s a shocking case, and another aide did see the CNA abusing the resident. For five days, no one said anything and the elderly person’s abuse was swept under the rug. When the story finally did break, the investigators claimed that the witness had been “afraid” to tell anyone what they had seen. This type of fear could have many causes. Maybe the witnesses were afraid of the abusive CNA. Maybe they were just afraid to lose their jobs. For whatever reason, they stayed silent, at least for a time.
If this happens to one of your loved ones, when the truth, at last, comes to light, make sure you know what legal options you have.