Nursing Home Workers Mock Elderly Patient On Snapchat
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has launched an elder abuse investigation after a nursing home employee in Vista was accused of using her cell phone to take footage of a patient getting in the shower and then posting it on Snapchat.
A tipster told 10News that she saw that video, taken at the LifeHOUSE Vista Healthcare Center, on Snapchat.
The video showed a partially nude woman from the shoulders up with the employee standing behind her laughing. The tipster took a screen grab of the video and sent it to the news channel.
Both employees have been suspended without pay and could face charges of elder abuse and computer crime.
Proving the allegation that the women deliberately posted the video and laughed at the elderly woman would be difficult because Snapchat videos and photos are automatically erased within 24 hours.
Since the nursing home in question is a state-licensed facility, the incident will be investigated by the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Justice.
Officials have also notified the patient’s family regarding this incident.
Prior Incidents at the Facility
The Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ online nursing home database shows LifeHOUSE gets a below average overall rating, with two starts out of five. It received a total of 19 deficiencies.
In California the average number of deficiencies is 10.5, higher than the national average of 6.8. This was also the facility featured in a 10News investigation late last year when the family of a woman who died there after being hit by a food cart at the facility filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Holding Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable
It is the responsibility of nursing homes to hire employees who are qualified to care for the elderly and vulnerable. It is also important that these care facilities train their employees and supervise them adequately so there is no room for any abuse or neglect.
To violate the privacy of a vulnerable, elderly woman who was unable to care for herself and post images of her in social media, is despicable and lacks all human decency.
As California nursing home abuse attorneys who represent victims and their families, we hope the police continue investigating this egregious incident and file the appropriate charges against the employees. In addition, the victim’s family can also file a civil claim to hold the nursing home accountable.