Nursing homes exist to care for and assist elderly individuals who struggle to or cannot care for themselves anymore. They offer families a chance to ensure that their loved one receives the care they need in the event that they can no longer provide that care themselves.
While many of these facilities do a great job of caring for the elderly, there are those that are filled with cases of nursing home abuse. The individuals tasked with caring for our loved ones often take advantage of them, neglecting them or abusing them physically, mentally, or emotionally. This was the case in an Illinois nursing home.
Abuse At The Abington Of Glenview Nursing Home
After they were shown a video showing two caregivers taunting a 91-year-old woman, an Illinois family is suing the Abington of Glenview Nursing Home.
The victim is Margaret Collins, who suffers from dementia. It is well known within the nursing home that Collins does not like hospital gowns. Instead, she prefers to wear her own clothes.
The video in question shows two employees, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, attempting to force Collins into a gown. The video was posted to Snapchat back in December 2018 with the caption “Margaret hates gowns!” with the laughing-crying emoji. The lawsuit states that they “used their position of power and influence to harass, taunt, bully, degrade, and take advantage of Margaret.”
A former employee of the Abington saw the video and reached out to Collins’ family to share it with them, according to Margaret Battersby Black, the family’s attorney.
Cortez claimed he and Collins had an inside joke about her dislike for hospital gowns. Cortez also told police that he was unaware of Montesa recording the video. Montesa told police that she thought Collins was noticeably uncomfortable and admitted that she had recorded Collins without her permission.
Both Cortez and Montesa were suspended for six days before their eventual firing once they were officially charged with disorderly conduct on January 8th, according to Battersby Black. Collins was also moved to a new facility.
Joan Biebel, one of Collins’ daughters, said she was in “total disbelief” when she first watched the video. “As it sunk in, I do have to admit. I was starting to feel a bit of almost rage that somebody that we trusted to take care of our mom, that we thought she was absolutely safe and in a good place, was taking advantage of her.”
Another of Collins’ children, her son, Tom, said: “They were supposed to be caring for her, but instead, they frightened her and wanted to embarrass her.”
The lawsuit claims that Collins began “suffering from nightmares” following the abuse, requiring a full-time caregiver at night. Biebel said that moving her mother from the Abington to another facility following this incident was difficult, leaving a lasting effect on Collins.
The Abington was cited with a failure to implement a policy for abuse prevention by the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to the lawsuit. However, Battersby Black said that a part of the family’s concern regards any other potential cases within the facility that have gone unreported. They hope their mother’s case sheds light on any other abuse while providing knowledge on how to recognize abuse.
Unfortunately, cases of nursing home abuse happen far more often than we would like. These cases often leave the victim with lasting effects and can also have a big impact on their families. It is expected that their caregivers provide them with the care and respect they deserve, but this isn’t always the case. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please contact Wormington & Bollinger.