A nursing assistant from the Parkside Manor assisted-living center in Kenosha, WI., has been fired from her job for recording a video of a practically naked 93-year-old Alzheimer’s patient and sharing it on Snapchat.
Recently an unwelcome trend has emerged involving nurses taking photographs and videos of elderly patients and sharing the files on social media networks. The images and videos show patients in various states of undress, carrying out degrading acts, or posing in compromising positions.
A review conducted last year by ProPublica revealed the degree to which this is happening across the United States. Reporters found 35 separate cases had been reported, although numerous others have more than likely happened.
Snapchat was thought to be the most popular site for image and video sharing, although it is far from the only social media network used for sharing degrading and demeaning images and videos of treated patients.
The most recent case involved a video of an Alzheimer’s patient who was recorded sitting on her bed wearing only a bra. Grace Riedlinger, 21, admitted responsibility for taking the video without consent and sharing the file online. She is reported to have advised her employer that the patient was “giving her a hard time getting changed over for bed.”
She said her reason for taking the video was because the patient was “was playing tug of war with her and she thought it was funny.” The video was broadcast on Snapchat and was shared with her friends for a period of 24 hours via the “story” section of the website. One of Riedlinger’s Snapchat friends reported her to Parkside Manor after viewing the video and an internal inquest was initiated into the incident. That incident lead to Riedlinger losing her job.
A criminal complaint has now been submitted against Riedlinger in Kenosha County. She has been charged with a felony for capturing a nude photo without consent. Riedlinger told Parkside Manor’s executive director that she knows that the act was “immoral and very terribly wrong.”
Rebecca Dutter, Kenosha County Adult Protective Services Coordinator, remarked, “We’re just devastated over here. It’s such a horrific thing for someone to do.” She added out that if anyone identifies any case of abuse they should report the matter to Kenosha County Adult Protective Services. A compliant can be made anonymously and Adult Protective Services will act on all reports made. She stated, “We can never release the person’s name… I want people to feel able to call us.”
Court Commissioner Jon G. Mason said that the reported incident was “one of the most disgusting cases I’ve heard in a long time.”
Riedlinger has been released after a $10,000 bail was paid. She has been forbidden from making contact the complainant, visiting Parkside Manor, and from setting foot in any nursing home or assisted living center. Riedlinger could possibly face up to three and a half years in jail if found guilty.