Yesterday I was perusing the latest news regarding eldercare and caregivers and came across this most disturbing article.  While the article itself was distressing enough, what made me even MORE infuriated were the comments written by  its readers that followed.  I have posted the article immediately below followed by a few of the comments.


Dementia Patients Victims of Slippery Prank

(08-03) 18:48 PDT UKIAH — Six employees of a Ukiah nursing home coated dementia patients with ointment as a prank, leaving them slippery for workers on the next shift, authorities said Tuesday.

The employees, after a probe by the state Bureau of Elder Abuse, were charged last week by Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott with four misdemeanor counts, including elder abuse.

The workers allegedly put ointment on the patients at the Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility from “head to foot,” said the office of Attorney General Jerry Brown. Because of their condition, the patients were unable to object.

“As part of a cruel and shocking prank, these caregivers abused defenseless elders,” Brown said in a written statement.

Charges were filed against Jenny Bido, 26; Christina Guerrero, 30; Jared Buckley, 29; Jennifer Burton, 33; Kathleen Phillips, 23; and Monica Smith, 51.

Bail was set at $7,500 each. The six workers were also fired.

E-mail Jill Tucker at jtucker@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page C – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Some of the comments were:
Posted by “Pat”:
“Jellybean, for a long time I’ve said how much I’m looking forward to dementia, getting to meet new people and make new friends every day. Add in gettin’ all slippery like this, heck yeah, it just sounds better all the time!”
Posted by ‘KMP’
“If they were being mistreated, yes, i would be furious. But i did stupider stuff in high school and don’t regret it. If i was crazy, i’d get a helluva a kick out of this”
Posted by ‘George'”Me too, George. And I know my mom pretty well – she would think it was funny.

In fact, if you know someone with a couple of hyperactive toddlers – it might be a hoot to ointment them up and set them loose – since apparently joking with the elderly is a crime.   (Me: WHAT??? Apparently???)

Posted by ‘badhairday’

“To me, not disgusting, but a SENSE of HUMOR.

They are concerned, I know they are from previous stories and how they acted.

Lighten up, this is a subject that, at times, needs levity.”

Read more: http://blogs.kansascity.com/crime_scene/2010/08/dementia-patients-coated-in-ointment-workers-charged.html#ixzz0vsBZdZfp

When I am perusing Twitter, I take some time to search a few key words and by doing so, I find conversations between paid caregivers of elder patients.  To hear what they say is VERY scary.  It is the rare caregiver who has a nice thing to say. Remember Readers, it’s exactly the generation that is providing these comments that will be the ones caring for US.
It’s amazing to me that there is such a lack of respect for our aging population.  THIS is why we struggle to care for them at home where they are safe from uneducated, uncaring, underpaid staff members who ought not be trusted caring for a pet snake let alone a human being.


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