Protecting Your Senior from Abuse by a Health Care Aide

Nursing Home Blog

Doctor Examining Senior Female Patient In Bed At HomeNursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living and in-home care aides are often great solutions for families with aging parents or loved ones. However, elder abuse — defined as an intentional or negligent act by a health care aide or caregiver of a vulnerable senior that causes harm or serious risk of harm — is a growing problem in the U.S. as older populations are living longer and healthier lives.

Even though physical abuse inflicted upon seniors accounts for only 16 percent of all reported elder abuse cases, NYDailyNews.com and SILive.com recently reported on an appalling case of physical abuse involving Peter Mazza, a 99-year-old Staten Island man. Mazza’s family claims in a lawsuit that the senior died in June of this year as a direct result of the negligent acts of three health care aids hired to provide in-home care. The Partners in Care home-health aides were recommended by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Video footage from cameras installed by the family shows aides refusing to help Mazza as he falls trying to reach his walker, resulting in fractures and head injuries, and shoving him roughly into his bed. One video captures an aide masturbating near a conscious Mazza. Mazza died shortly after these events. The family is now suing both agencies and the in-home health care aides in order to raise awareness for consumers who may be considering Partners in Care to look after their loved ones.

To prevent the likelihood of elder abuse happening to your senior family member, it’s important to conduct thorough research of health care facilities and agencies. If you’re a family member or relative looking to hire an in-home aide for your loved one, visit your state police department to obtain a criminal background check before hiring. You should also carry out reference checks on any individuals who will be assisting your senior. In regard to long-term care, family members should interview the staff and administrators of long-term care facilities and check records of the facility’s observance of regulatory codes. Inspection results of all licensed nursing homes in the U.S. can be found at medicare.gov. The site will list regulatory violations.

If you need to contact one of our elder abuse, nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence lawyers, please call Garcia, Artigliere & Medby at 800-281-8515, or submit a free case review online.