More than 70 criminal charges have been filed against twenty-one current or former employees of the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, a facility about 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The nursing home treats patients with Alzheimer’s and eleven of the twenty-one suspects have been arrested, with the owner of the nursing home still at large.
Agents for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a warrant today seeking additional evidence in a three-month long investigation of the facility. Of the twenty seven patients at the home when investigators arrived, three were taken to local hospitals for medical treatment.
The Georgia nursing home abuses included restraining patients with bed sheets and physical abuse such as striking the patients or throwing water on them. Employees are also accused of “double diapering” patients so they would not have to change soiled diapers as often. Investigators also discovered that some staff members had prior felony convictions for such things as voluntary manslaughter and identity theft.
Elder abuse in nursing homes have steadily been on the rise in recent years. A congressional report last year revealed that thirty percent of nursing homes in the Unites States were cited for roughly 9000 incidences of abuse or neglect over a two year period, with many documented abuses that could cause actual harm to the patient, or place the resident in imminent danger of death or serious injury. According to a 2010 national survey, roughly fifty percent of the nursing home staff surveyed admitted to mistreating or neglecting their older patients in the previous year.
The Padberg Corrigan & Appelbaum firm has significant experience in handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases. If you believe that a loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact our office for a free initial consultation.