Elder abuse caught on hidden camera

A recent story online is a horrific example of the kind of elder abuse some seniors may face in the final years of their lives. The video shows an 89-year-old man, Georges Karam being punched repeatedly by a personal support worker. The incident took place at Garry J. Armstrong Home, a long-term care facility in Ottawa. The city runs the facility located on Island Lodge Road. George Karam has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The personal support worker responsible for the attack is Mr. Jie Xiao. The video appears to show him struggling with Mr. Karam, and then proceeding to punch him eleven times. The victim is laying down and very vulnerable. Additionally, the victim appears to have been naked as the bottom part of his torso is censored.

A camera installed in Mr. Karam’s room by his family caught the incident. Jie Xiao has plead guilty to assault. He will likely be sentenced later this year. The video footage captured the crime and assisted the police.

Even though the camera captured the incident, privacy rights should play a role when installing video surveillance in an elderly person’s room.

Elder abuse incidents likely to increase

This scenario illustrates just one of the many types of elder abuse seniors may face. Another example is financial elder abuse. This may result in the theft of funds or property. An attorney named under a power of attorney for property may have total control over the grantor’s property and money. The attorney or a caregiver may be in a position to spend funds belonging to the elderly individual for their own benefit.

Physical elder abuse may also take place as illustrated by the above ¬†scenario. Although the perpetrator was a personal support worker, the abuse may often occur at the hands of relatives. Many elderly individuals wish to die in their homes and fear moving to a long-term care facility. The above scenario is a chilling reminder that these fears are justified sometimes. Leaving one’s home to join a long-term care facility and to get additional care should not involve fear of physical abuse and neglect.

As our population ages, more and more people are going to require professional care. Personal support workers will have increasingly significant roles in the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable members. ¬†Family members should be involved in the care of the elderly.

More on this story here.