The saying goes, “something is better than nothing” may be quite applicable when it comes to getting a slice of cherry pie for desert— or perhaps other innocently gluttonous activities. But I’m not so sure if I want that phrase to apply to situations when it comes to punishment for those who have committed crimes involving abuse of the elderly.
Recently, we discussed how workers at a California Nursing Home covered their patients with slippery ointment to play a joke on the following shift who would have difficulty handling them. The sophomorish prank may have appeared like innocent fun— especially considered that none of the patients were seriously injured.
Despite the lack of physical harm to the patients involved, four of the workers involved in the incident were criminally prosecuted on charges related to misdemeanor charges of injury to an elder or dependent adult, battery committed on an elder or dependent adult and battery committed on hospital property.
Now, two of the workers involved have been sentenced to 20 days in jail for orchestrating the prank and three other workers received community service for their respective roles.
While there are those who may argue that such punishments are indeed acceptable— or perhaps excessive given the innocent nature of the prank. For me, punishment aside, I strongly feel that these individuals have no business ever working with the elderly again as they undoubtedly have no such poor judgement its only a matter of time before innocent pranks turn into real tragedies.