Nursing Home Abuse

Hidden Camera Video Results in Nursing Home Felony Assault Charges

Images from a hidden video camera helped the son of a 78-year-old woman convince authorities that his mother was being brutally and repeatedly assaulted by nursing home staff.

The Prentiss Center for Skilled Nursing Care, run by the MetroHealth health care system, initially ignored complaints by Esther Piskor's son, and then denied there was any problem. However, according to the New York Daily News, investigations by Cleveland's WKYC television and the state Department of Health led to investigation by police.

Two nurses aides were fired and a third staff member was charged with felony assault.

Joe Piskor hid the video camera in a fan on his mother's dresser after he saw marks on his mother's face and noticed that she began to raise her hands in fear whenever he visited. However when he brought his concerns to MetroHealth they said he was "taking things out of context".

"They made me out to be the trouble maker, the complainer, the bad guy," he said.

However, the video images were impossible for others to ignore. Staff are shown "jerking the helpless granny out of her wheelchair and tossing her on the bed like a rag doll", punching her in the face, and pushing her face into a wall.

Dr. James Campbell, the chief of geriatric care at MetroHealth, says he's "incredibly sorry". However he denies that Joe Piskor's complaints were ignored, and claims the hospital and the health department "investigated the claims but didn't find anything."

Joe Piskor said the administrator of the Prentiss Center for Skilled Nursing Care told him, "…accidents happen".


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