Some people in New Mexico and across the country ultimately find themselves unable to meet their own care needs. Depending on the situation, family members may also be unable to meet these needs either, prompting them to look for other solutions. For some, this means placement in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. These residents and their families place their faith in care providers to provide appropriate care and to provide protection from abuse.
Unfortunately, four people in an out-of-state assisted living facility are now facing criminal charges in connection to an alleged attack on a resident. Police reports indicate that the four female employees called police on a day in August and reported that a resident had assaulted another resident as well as themselves. When police arrived on scene, they say they could find no evidence to corroborate those claims but did not have access to surveillance footage at that time.
When they were able to access the footage, it allegedly revealed that the four employees were the ones who attacked the resident. They reportedly held her down on the floor, with one of the women lying on top of her to restrain her. Reports indicate that the incident started with one of the workers starting a fight with the victim before holding her down for 20 minutes.
Four workers are now charged with false reporting and abuse of a vulnerable adult. One of them faces a charge of felony abuse. Unfortunately, residents of facilities such as these often are not believed when they report abuse or try to defend themselves from false accusations without corroboration from surveillance footage, making it necessary for family members to be aware for signs of such treatment. Even if abused patients do not suffer significant physical harm, the long-term impact on their mental health of facing harm at the hands of those entrusted to care for them can be devastating. Fortunately, these victims have the option of seeking justice by filing a civil lawsuit against those involved in their abuse, potentially including their alleged abusers’ employers.