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Nursing home entertainment 'perverse pleasure' for the staff

In many nursing home abuse cases in Illinois, it is the patient's physical safety that was put in harm's way. A fall, bedsores, bone fractures or malnutrition may be the basis of a lawsuit, but are actual physical injuries the only type of damage that can occur? What about the threat of physical injury?

A recent lawsuit was filed in another jurisdiction on behalf of an 85-year-old woman that had lived her entire life as a hard-working and traditionalist Baptist. As with many individuals, age took its toll, forcing her to move into a nursing home. When her son visited her one day, he was shocked to find a photograph of his religious mother clutching dollar bills in her hand while a male stripper stood over her, and it was clear that the image was captured at the nursing home.

The son immediately presented the photograph to a staff member and demanded an explanation. Instead of answering, the staff member attempted to grab the photograph out of his hands. To make matters worse, the son learned that "hiring male strippers to perform for the defendant's nursing-home patients was a serial occurrence," as was noted in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the entertainment was "for the perverse pleasure and enjoyment of the Defendant's staff," and that the mother lacked the capacity to defend herself in this situation. The woman was "placed in apprehension of imminent, offensive, physical harm, as she was confused and bewildered as to why a muscular, almost nude man, was approaching her and placing his body and limbs, over [her]," the suit claimed.

The picture raised one other issue of nursing home abuse related to the patients' financial health. Remember those dollar bills the elderly woman was clutching in the photograph? Her money was supposed to be controlled by the staff and locked in a commissary account.

Source: New York Post, "Nursing home hired strippers for patients: suit," Selim Algar, April 8, 2014 

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