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Hidden Camera Footage Captures Abuse of Elderly Dementia Patient at Bronx Nursing Home

Feb 20, 2013

A New York woman has discovered proof that her grandmother was being subjected to physical abuse at the Bronx nursing home where she lived.

According to a WABC-TV report this week, Diana Valentin had noticed unusual bruising and other markings on her 89-year-old grandmother when she visited her at Gold Crest Care Center, a nursing home in the Bronx. The elderly woman had been forced into a nursing home facility when the symptoms of her Alzheimer’s disease and dementia required full-time care.

Instead of that care, the woman was often left helpless and defenseless and subjected to physical abuse by at least one nurse’s aide at Gold Crest Care Center.

With only an inkling that her grandmother was being abused, based on the visible bruises on her body, Valentin set up a hidden camera in her room to capture the suspected abuse in progress. The woman had complained to administration officials at Gold Crest Care Center but those accusations were largely ignored, leaving the granddaughter frustrated and willing to seek her own justice. It did not take long for her to get her evidence. Valentin hid a camera inside a plastic plant pot, where it was able to capture views of her grandmother in her bed.

In the first video of more than 600 hours captured, a nurse’s aide can be seen grabbing the elderly woman’s arm and twisting it. The aide did this to lift the woman off her bed only to slam the helpless victim back to her bed. After watching the first video, Valentin acted to remove her grandmother from the Bronx nursing home, transferring her from there to a local emergency room. The elderly woman now lives at a nursing home in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Valentin presented the video evidence she had collected to local authorities and it has led to the arrest of one aide employed at Gold Crest Care Center, 55-year-old Sandra Kerr. Kerr faces charges of endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person, according to the WABC-TV report.

Though the news source would not comment for the report, Valentin said that three other workers in addition to Kerr have been terminated from their jobs at the Bronx facility.

Reports like these are increasing at a faster rate as more Americans are placed in nursing homes. Populations at nursing homes is increasing and there are many more facilities than there were in the last decade but due to budget constraints and the rising cost of care, nursing homes have taken to making questionable decisions regarding staffing their facilities, often failing to perform background checks on employees and improperly supervising that staff to avoid incidents like these and other shocking cases of abuse and neglect.

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