If there is something to be said about the embedding of social media within our culture, it is this: it has allowed many wrongdoings to be captured on film or in a photograph. Perpetrators of evil acts sometimes believe that anonymity protects them while on the Internet, or any other popular form of social media. In many cases, however, these individuals are not intelligent enough to understand that their offenses can, and often will be, monitored by law enforcement and other interested parties.
In recent years, nursing home aides and others working in the field of elder care have been caught abusing and neglecting their patients. Some have even had the gall to film the abuse and post it where others can see. While they might believe that it is funny, there is nothing amusing about harming the innocent and defenseless.
Abuse of elderly patients in nursing homes is a severe problem that frequently goes unnoticed, often due to a combination of patient condition and negligent caregiver oversight. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is a prevalent condition among the elderly living in nursing homes that affects memory and allows abusive caregivers to get away unscathed. Elderly who are subject to this terrible cruelty often suffer physical injuries such as bruises or cuts. In more subtle cases, caregivers take advantage of their patients’ mental deficiencies by verbally abusing them and degrading them behind the closed doors of a private facility.
In May of 2014, police in Framingham, Massachusetts arrested two nurse’s aides who were suspected of abusing a 78-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease. 18-year-old Damarais Diaz and 25-year-old Samuel Ayekple were working at the Emeritus assisted living facility. On April 10th, the two caregivers allegedly filmed themselves with cellphones while they took turns hitting her, flicking her ears and pinching her nose closed. In the alleged video, it is clear that Diaz and Ayekple thought that what they were doing was funny. They laughed while they tortured the poor woman behind the closed doors of the facility.
After the abuse, Diaz further degraded the elderly woman by wiping the mucus from the woman’s nose onto the woman’s mouth. According to WCVB Boston, Diaz had multiple pictures on her phone of the woman partially nude.
Police later charged the two nurse’s aides with assault and battery of an elderly person. Although charges were later dropped, their licenses were revoked and a restraining order was filed against them by the Emeritus facility after being fired.