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84-Year-Old Hope Shepherd Beaten by Nursing Home Caregiver

Written by NHAbuseGuide on May 27, 2015

Wait till You Hear the Excuse

An 84-year-old Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation Lily Kirchmann Complex home resident was placed in the East London retirement home by her family with the understanding that she would receive the care she needed. However, Hope Shepherd’s family used a hidden camera that revealed that one caregiver in the facility resorted to violence as a part of her care.

Shepherd, who suffers from dementia and throat cancer, was placed in Berea Gardens by her family to ensure she received the care and assistance she needed due to her health. However, when the woman suffered an unexplained broken arm in December of last year, Shepherd’s daughter, Bernice Robertson, decided to take matters into her own hands and install a hidden camera in her mother’s room since the elderly woman was unable to tell her family how the injury occurred.

Shepherd’s daughter decided to install the hidden camera in her mother’s room in December in an effort to find out how her mother kept suffering unexplained bruises and other injuries. The camera was secured inside a television set.

February Footage

In February, Johnson went to the nursing home to visit her mother, when she discovered that the senior had a black eye. Johnson downloaded the footage from the camera to determine how it happened, and the video was startling. The video showed a caregiver at the facility, Ncediswa Mkenkcele, hitting, kicking, punching and elbowing the frail woman. The footage showed the much larger 40-year-old caregiver brutalizing the elderly woman, causing a variety of injuries that included significant bruising and the black eye.

Mkenkcele’s Explanations

After the disturbing video was discovered and turned over to Cambridge police, the nursing home caregiver was arrested on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. After her arrest, Mkenkcele did express remorse for her conduct, but explained that her actions were the result of Shepherd’s conduct – the caregiver claimed that the elderly woman had made racial comments against her and tried to throw feces into her face. Additionally, the family was aware that the senior had gotten physical with other staff members in the past.

Mike Schulze, the executive director of the Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation released a statement after the meeting with the Shepherd family, stating:

“We apologize unreservedly for the alleged assaults against her,” adding “to the best of my knowledge, this is the first case of this nature in the history of the foundation.”

Charges Pending

The investigation in this case is ongoing, and charges against the caregiver are still pending. However, Mkenkcele resigned from her post soon after the video was released. Additionally, Shepherd’s family has since relocated her to another nursing home.

Elder Abuse

While it may seem that this type of abuse is out of the ordinary when it comes to nursing homes, according to the World Health Organization, there are significant statistics involving nursing home abuse:

  • 44 percent of long-term residents have reported being abused while in a nursing home
  • More than 50 percent of surveyed nursing home caregivers have reported that they have mistreated an elderly patient
  • 1 out of 4 nursing home aides who were prosecuted for abusing an elderly patient had a criminal record prior to their being hired to work in a nursing home facility

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, the goal is for him or her to receive proper care and attention. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, you should consider speaking with an attorney to determine whether you have a case.




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