It’s a sad commentary on elder care in our nation when relatives of loved ones in nursing facilities need to install hidden video cameras in their rooms.
In this case, a daughter’s intuition took over when her mother began refusing affectionate hugs, acting like a cornered animal. The hidden camera her daughter placed recorded something that should never, ever happen to elderly residents in care — physical assault by a nursing home worker.
The video, shown in court, offered a graphic diary of the assaults the woman faced on a regular basis. At trial, the woman’s daughter was in tears, unable to understand how anyone could attack a helpless 83-year-old. The mother was moved to a different home immediately. She passed away last year.
The trial court heard evidence that the worker was under enormous personal stress as a single mother. She held two jobs to pay her bills. The nursing home worker admitted that she had no excuse for her actions and offered the family an apology. Prosecutors asked for a 10-year jail sentence. The judge handed her five years deferred adjudication, on the understanding that should would face jail time if she violated the terms of the agreement.
It does make some sense that a young, single mother was allowed to remain with her small children, but the senior she harmed paid the price for her freedom from equitable justice. A family was still left in shock and grief over their mother’s death, while a woman with no control over her temper went relatively free.