From The News Journal in Delaware, here’s a disturbing story of nursing home abuse—one that raises the issue of state-run healthcare facilities marginalizing serious acts of cruelty.
Two women suspected their 75-year-old aunt, a patient at the long-term care facility Emily P. Bissell Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, was regularly being abused by staff. For months, the family sent e-mails to facility officials informing them of their worries. Eventually, the nieces took it upon themselves to investigate their fear by installing a $600 motion-activated “nanny cam” in their aunt’s room at the facility.
Here’s what The News Journal reported:
In June, the nieces hand-delivered a DVD of several incidents [of physical and mental abuse] to the state's Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection … But neither Long Term Care [Residents Protection] nor Bissell officials took action until last week, after The News Journal began investigating the family's claims….
What did this now alerted facility’s administration do? They confiscated the camera and told the resident’s family their visitation rights had been halted.
Sure, there were disciplinary actions taken as three employees were “dismissed,” and two were placed on unpaid suspension. But for the administration to demonstrate such hostility toward the family for recording their loved one being treated worse than a prisoner is just another terrifying instance of how some state-run facilities punish families who seek the truth.
The following is an example of the recorded cases of abuse toward the resident that were shown to The News Journal staff: