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21 nursing home workers charged with abusing Alzheimer's patients

Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem in the United States. In fact, according to a 2012 Congressional report, abuse or neglect occurs in one out of every three nursing homes.

With that in mind, Chicago-area residents who are concerned about the well-being of vulnerable loved ones may want to consider the criminal charges recently filed against employees at a nursing home facility in another state.

The owner of the nursing home and 20 of its former and current employees are facing more than 70 charges. Authorities say the employees of the facility, Alzheimer's Care of Commerce, abused elderly patients, even tying them down with bed sheets and making the patients live in conditions that were described as "inhumane and undignified."

The home is located about 60 miles outside of Atlanta, and there have been reports of facility employees hitting and even throwing water on residents. Employees were also found to have felony convictions for offenses such as identity theft and manslaughter, and actions such as "double diapering" are said to have occurred at the home.

When authorities arrived at the facility, three of the 27 patients required medical attention at a hospital.

To put these egregious but all-too-common offenses in perspective, consider a 2010 survey of nursing home staff members throughout the country. With surprisingly candid results, the survey showed that about 50 percent of nursing home workers admitted to mistreating older residents within the 12 months prior to the survey.

If Illinois residents believe neglect or abuse led to their loved one's death, then speaking with an attorney may be the best option for achieving justice.

Source: The Raw Story, "Nursing home staff allegedly abused elderly Alzheimer's patients," July 2, 2013

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