Nursing Home Employee Charged with Abusing Elderly Residents
Written by Jeff Meyer on March 10, 2016
For a lot of us, growing older will mean we eventually have to confront the fact that our parents, too, are getting older and may need some help with daily activities. Eventually, it often becomes necessary to find a place for them to stay in a nursing home. There, they’ll have their every need looked after by a kind, supportive and professional staff. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be any less uncomfortable about the decision at first.
Usually, our worries turn out to be completely unfounded, but this isn’t always the case. Sadly, sometimes, the worst case scenario occurs when you find out that your beloved parent is actually being abused by those entrusted to look after them.
Employee Forces Patient to Hit Herself
In Bartow County, Georgia, a few weeks back, an employee at a local nursing home was taken to jail and held without bond one evening. She was accused of forcing an elderly woman in her care—the alleged victim is 95-years old—to strike herself in the face.
According to the Floyd County Jail Reports that came out after the arrest, the woman accused of this heinous crime is Susan Alane Gipson, 49. She lives at 22 E. Rocky Street in White, Georgia and was arrested on the evening of Monday, March 7th. The warrants for her arrest were for simple battery against a person 65-years or older and exploitation and intimidation of elder persons.
If she is found guilty of these offenses, Ms. Gipson could spend several years in jail and/or be forced to pay several thousand dollars in damages.
The Grizzly Details
The incident in question reportedly occurred on February 20th at Susan Alane Gipson’s place of employment, Chulio Hills Health and Rehab. At some point during her shift, Ms. Gipson grabbed hold of and pinched the victim’s earlobe. She then forced the woman’s head down and, at the same time, grabbed her own hand. Then, she proceeded to hit the victim in the face with it—essentially forcing the elderly woman to abuse herself.
What to Do if This Happens to Your Parent
It needs to be pointed out that this type of incident is extremely rare. Countless elderly individuals are in nursing homes and are having the time of their lives.
That being said, it’s still wise to prepare for such an unthinkable event so you’ll know how to provide as much help as possible to your parent during such a difficult time.
First and foremost, if you think there may be abuse going on at your loved one’s facility, speak to management immediately. They should appreciate the weight of the situation simply by your showing up. After all, if you lodge a formal complaint—i.e. if you do it in writing—they’d have to report it to the state.
While it’s understandable that you’d want to act immediately in the most effective way to help your parent, if all you have is suspicions, start with a conversation with management. Otherwise, if you turn out to be incorrect, the caretaker’s career could be irrevocably damaged.
Now, if you have tangible proof or if the management is no help, it’s time to call the authorities. At the same time, you should speak with an attorney who has experience working with clients like you. They’ll have other suggestions they can give for your specific situation and, obviously, can provide representation if the matter needs to go to court.
Abusing the elderly at a nursing home is about as low as it gets. The moment you have even an inkling it may be happening, then, you need to act right away.