Elder abuse is reported in 1 of every 3 nursing homes surveyed in America. The incidence of this abuse has shot up exponentially in the last few years owing to a number of factors. Even with this statistic, most detailed surveys and experts express that elder abuse in nursing homes is a severely under reported crime because only 1 in 5 instances are ever brought to the officials’ attention.
Why this may be is not something hard to understand. The elders left at nursing homes usually do not have anywhere else to go. With children busy in personal and working lives and their spouses either dead or in similar conditions, these senior citizens have no one else to rely on. Therefore, most of them take the abuse thrown at them as part and parcel of this way of life.
Nonetheless, patiently sitting through nursing home abuse is not easy; not for the residents and not for their families. Close to 1.2 million Americans aged above 65 have been hurt, physically mistreated or have been under emotional stressed because of the way caregivers behave with them. Examples of such abuse include physically hitting the patient, throwing or snatching things, being harsh while tending to them and also hurting them emotionally with bitter words that break their already weak resolve.
There have been heart-wrenching stories about elderly abuse and neglect that have taken many residents’ lives as a result; however, no one in authority is ready to take heed. This crime is openly committed by nursing home caregivers, some of who do not feel the least bit of compassion for disabled residents. Thomas Hearty’s story is a prime example of nursing home abuse and the heartlessness of some towards our elderly.
Thomas Hearty’ Long Wait outside Denny’s
Thomas Hearty has been a resident at the Lebanon Care Center, Alorton, Illinois for a while now. Being a diabetes patient who has also suffered a number of strokes, Hearty has been bound to a wheelchair for quite some time and is therefore unable to fulfill his own personal needs. His stay at the center, as unfortunate as it is, means he needs 24/7 care and attention from caregivers who have complete knowledge of his medical history.
When Hearty refused to undergo a criminal background check, he was driven by two facility workers to a Denny’s located outside a truck shop and left there for many hours. Deputy Chief Gerald Crenshaw found Hearty outside the truck shop with no ID or medication and his clothes in a plastic bag. Unable to speak for himself, Hearty’s compromised condition was later notified to the state and the Lebanon Care Center by the police.
For the care center, it seemed that a burden had just been shed. Even after being notified, the administration showed no interest in taking the resident back nor did they repent on what the workers had done. Instead, Deborah Cutright- the administrator went on to say that she did not believe they had done something wrong.
Even though Hearty was later readmitted at the center, he refused to speak of the incident to anyone.