Nursing home abuse not always physical. Includes medication theft

For most people, deciding to place a family member or loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision. This could lead to a long period of searching for a facility that meets the needs of the loved one. When a decision is finally made regarding where that person will go there is likely a great sense of relief. Unfortunately, that relief may be misplaced. This is because all too often nursing home residents face abuse at the hands of their caretakers.

According to the CEO of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, there were close to 40,000 cases of elder abuse, exploitation or neglect reported to Adult Protective Services in 2014. Those reports resulted in the investigation of approximately 10,000 cases.

Elder abuse can take many forms. The abuse can be physical or emotional. Sometimes abuse occurs when a resident's possessions are taken. Occasionally the things taken are medications prescribed to the resident. In the latter situation, this theft could result in the resident experiencing serious pain, injury, or even death.

An employee of an Indiana nursing home was recently accused of stealing medication from residents. She was charged with a total of nine felony counts, including:

  • Interference with medical services
  • Theft
  • Possession of a narcotic drug
  • Obtaining a controlled substance through fraud or deceit

Depending on the specific situations the woman is accused of being involved in, it is possible that she could face more than a criminal case. Loved ones of the people she stole from could pursue personal injury lawsuits against her as well. In these situations, the nursing home the employee worked for might also be named as a defendant.