A Baltimore woman says she has video footage of the caretaker she hired to care for her 90-year-old father abusing him on at least four different occasions.
Jaki Taylor says she hired Anastasia Olouch to take care of her father John Taylor at home after he had suffered a number of strokes. Taylor says that security cameras recorded Olouch, 54, striking her father on the arm, chest, head, and stomach. John is not able to communicate or defend himself.
Police in Maryland arrested Olouch and she was indicted on multiple counts of assault, reckless endangerment, and abuse of a vulnerable adult.
Her trial was scheduled to begin on August 8 but she did not appear in court. The State Attorney’s office requested that a warrant be issued against her.
John Taylor has experienced a number of brain seizures since the arrest. Doctors say they cannot confirm whether the seizures were caused by the beatings. Jaki Taylor, however, claims that her father’s health has gotten worse since the incidents of elder abuse.
Last year, Adult Protective Services investigated close to 5,000 elder abuse cases in Maryland. More than 1,000 of the cases took place in Baltimore.
Dr. Dan Sheridan, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a forensic nurse, says that elder abuse perpetrators tend to hit their elderly victims as a means of controlling them and that they choose older victims because they are easily confused and vulnerable.
The Senate Committee on Aging says that about 5 million incidents of elder neglect and abuse are taking place in the U.S. right now but that many of these incidents are not reported.
Professor Linda M. Woolf, from Webster University, cites a number of signs of physical abuse of the elderly:
• Overt signs of physical trauma (e.g. scratches, bruises, cuts, burns, punctures, choke marks)
• Signs of restraint trauma (e.g. rope burns, gag marks, welts)
• Injury – particularly if repeated (e.g. sprains, fractures, detached retina, dislocation, paralysis)
• Additional physical indicators – hypothermia, abnormal chemistry values, pain upon being touched
• Repeated “unexplained” injuries
• Inconsistent explanations of the injuries
• A physical examination reveals that the older person has injuries which the caregiver has failed to disclose
• A history of doctor or emergency room “shopping”
• Repeated time lags between the time of any “injury or fall” and medical treatment
Elder abuse is a crime.
A person who is the victim of elder abuse has a right to seek personal injury compensation for the injuries that they have sustained because a doctor, nurse, or caregiver acted negligently.
Woman Says Caregiver Beat Her 90-year-old Father, WLTX.com, August 16, 2007
Caught On Tape: Alleged Abuse Of 90-Year-Old, NBC10.com, August 15, 2007
Finding the Red Flags for Elder Abuse, ABC2news.com, August 24, 2007
Elder Abuse and Neglect, Webster.edu
Related Web Resources:
Elder Rights & Resources, Administration on Aging
In Washington D.C. and Maryland, the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen can represent your elderly loved one if he or she has been injured because of abuse in a nursing home, a hospital, or by a professional caregiver.
Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen to schedule your free consultation.