Below are descriptions of some of the cases of caregiver neglect and abuse that have been in the news this past week. Although by no means a full list of abuse/neglect cases, it does convey their diversity in terms of geographical location, age and the gender of the abuser and those abused by them.
Boynton Beach, Florida (May 22, 2009) - The Sun Sentinel reports that Richard Paul Anderson, 43, a Bethesda Memorial Hospital nurse was arrested on a charge he beat an elderly patient on the face. According to the arrest report, another nurse saw him punching an 85-year-old male patient several times on the face and that he stopped only after she yelled "stop" several times. The patient ended up with a black eye and needed nine stitches. Police said Anderson wouldn't explain to them what happened, but that he previously told another hospital employee that he hit the man twice in self-defense. Benson has been charged with abuse of an elderly person, and was in jail on bond of $3,000.
Carmel Valley, California (May 21, 2009) - According to CBS, a man 48-year-old Galen Fisher was arrested on suspicion of abusing his 70-year-old mother and keeping her in their Carmel Valley home against her will. According to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, Fisher allegedly threatened to kill his mother while brandishing a pistol, kept her in her home against her will and slapped and punched her multiple times. He had been making threats, which escalated over the past couple days, the sheriff's office also reported. Fisher was charged elder abuse, false imprisonment, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon and possession of a concealed weapon.
Marshall County, Iowa (May 21, 2009) - WZTV reports the arrest of 61-year-old Gwendolyn Davidson on charges of abusing and stealing from an elderly woman and her intellectually disabled son in Lewisburg. Authorities say Davidson stole more than $12,000 from them while she was working as a their personal assistant. She was on 63 counts of theft and two counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult. Davidson was an employee at the Impact Centers in Columbia, TN.
Punta Gorda, Florida (May 20, 2009) - According to this news report, police arrested 58-year-old Letitia A. Calderwood for the abuse and battery of a 76-year-old resident at an elder care facility where she was formerly employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant. According to the report, Calderwood and another employee were summoned to assist in helping the female resident who had fallen in the bathroom. Calderwood and the two other facility employees had difficulty helping the resident to her feet and Calderwood subsequently kicked in her lower back while using a profanity. Once the resident was helped to her feet, Calderwood struck her in the face with an open hand. Calderwood was interviewed by detectives and admitted to kicking and striking the resident as originally reported. She stated that her actions were done out of frustration although she knew the patient was disabled and had limited ability to stand on her own. Calderwood was charged with battery on the elderly and abuse of the elderly and was being held in jail without bond.