Personal Injury

Families of nursing home abuse victims speak out using social media

It was almost unbelievable, the reports of patients being physically and sexually abused by nursing home aides at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea in Minnesota. The aides said they didn’t mean any harm when they held down patients, shoved their fingers and hands in their mouths and noses to quiet their cries and screams, rubbed and hit their breasts and genitals, and sexually “humped” them. They simply called it, “work fun, or to get a good laugh.”

But no one was laughing when the reports went public and lit up news media across the country. Two aides now face at least 10 charges, and family members of residents who were victims to the crimes have come together to raise awareness of elder abuse and advocate for reform in long-term care facilities across the country. The group, which has held town hall meetings about the Albert Lea incident, is called Families Against Nursing Home Abuse.

The group is now gathering more supporters through social media. It has pages on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Some members have videos on YouTube, and one writes a blog.

“We’re trying to get the community involved,” says Jan Reshetar, co-founder of Families Against Nursing Home Abuse. “We’re trying to get the attention of our local people.”

Reshetar writes in her blog about her experiences as a family member of a victim of the horrible crime at Good Samaritan Society. “How I long for the days before that, when I was in total ignorant bliss, where I lived in a naïve world in which people took care of one another, and would not intentionally hurt anyone; especially someone so vulnerable as Mom,” she writes. She continues to say that the organization “is trying to get the community to understand that changes in policy procedure and law have to come or this is what we can expect all our last years on earth to be.”

Source: Albert Lea Tribune