Another case of awful elder abuse has just been aired in court. In early April, 2013, a Virginia Beach Circuit Court judge sentenced Shelia D. Beard, 48, to more than a year behind bars for felony and misdemeanor counts of abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult. Beard entered an Alford plea, which means she didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict her.
For almost five years, Beard was a caretaker for Selma Cardon Bennett, an elderly woman who suffered from dementia. Beard was indicted in July 2011, after the private home-care facility where Cardon Bennett lived installed hidden cameras, which recorded Beard punching, slapping and taunting her patient. Cardon Bennett was 94 when she passed, in 2012; people brought in to testify in the case were appalled by the violence the woman was subjected to.
Elderly adults with dementia are at great risk of abuse in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. It’s estimated that 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia); by 2025, this number could rise to 7.1 million people, aged 65 and older. And statistics for abuse in long-term care facilities are not encouraging; back in 2001, a congressional report found that almost 1 out of every 3 U.S. nursing homes were cited for an abuse violation in a two-year period. “In over 1,600 of these nursing homes,” the report said, “the abuse violations were serious enough to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.” As the population of nursing patients has grown, so have the cases of abuse—and many incidents go unreported.
The best defense against placing your loved ones in a bad situation is to work with a licensed home care agency, instead of a private care worker. The former ensures minimum standards, including following state regulations on worker education and supervision. Agencies also must get criminal background checks for employees, whereas private care workers are left largely unchecked or supervised.
More than 30% of nursing homes in the country experience some form of resident abuse. If you believe a loved one has been abused or neglected at a nursing home, contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. Mike Agruss Law, represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Illinois. We will handle your case quickly, advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. This litigation strategy will provide you with the best possible compensation. Plus, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple.
Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire our firm—just the opportunity to seek justice. Protect your loved one’s rights by contacting us today.