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Feds Step Up to Combat Elder Abuse On Social Media

by  on  News & Resources

When your family member is in a nursing home, you expect that he or she will be treated with only the utmost care and consideration. After all, nursing homes are intended to be places of nurturing for those who can no longer take care of themselves.

The choice to place a family member in a nursing home is often one that carries a lot of weight and cannot be taken lightly. Undoubtedly, you’ll want to know that your loved one is receiving only the best care possible.

Unfortunately, nursing homes, like the rest of the world, are not without their darker sides. As much as we might want to believe that nursing homes are free from exploitation and cruelty, in reality, these things can happen any time and anywhere. A recent story reminds us of this.

Social Media: A New Age of Elder Abuse

Just this summer, the Department of Health and Human Services sent a memo outlining increased enforcement of social media-based elder abuse. Nursing homes were urged to ensure that protocol is in place to prevent staff from exposing patients via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Events this year may have prompted the increased awareness of potential elder abuse.

For example, according to ABC 7, a nursing home worker in Vista, California was accused of posting a humiliating photo of a partially naked 90-year-old patient on Instagram this summer. And earlier this year, another nursing home worker posted a video of nursing home employees mocking an elderly dementia patient before giving her a bath.

Not only are these incredibly inappropriate acts, they also shed light on a larger problem in the nursing home industry: some employees feel superior to patients and lack sympathy and genuine concern for the men and women they have been hired to assist.

We hope that increased awareness of this issue, combined with heightened prosecution of offenders, will curtail the frequency of social media as a means to violate the privacy of nursing home patients. However, only time will tell.

Levine Law is Here for You

If your family member has suffered elder abuse at the hands of a nursing home employee, we are here to help. When you contact us, we will set up an initial consultation to hear your story.

Navigating the legal waters of abuse can be emotionally draining. Luckily, with a Denver personal injury lawyer, you do not have to do it alone. We’ll support you every step of the way.