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Nursing home workers posting demeaning photos of residents online

Nearly everyone these days has a smartphone with access to the Internet. It is possible to receive text messages, check email and get online any time of the day. Because the online world is always available at the touch of a button, it can be easy for people in Schenectady and elsewhere to lose sight of what is and is not appropriate to post, particularly while they are at work. Many are in a professional position where it could cause harm to post private information or inappropriate pictures on social media.

Since 2012, there have been nearly 50 reported instances of inappropriate photographs being taken by nursing home employees and posted online. Some of these pictures included residents of assisted living centers and nursing homes who were undressed or covered in filth. Others showed evidence that they were being abused for the amusement of those taking the pictures.

State departments have been urged by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action. Officials from the agencies say that nursing homes should have policies that prevent workers from taking pictures of residents that are degrading or demeaning, and that those who violate these policies should be reported to state agencies, investigated and possibly terminated.

It can be embarrassing and devastating to nursing home residents and their families to find out that compromising photographs have been put on social media for countless people to see. Additionally, this type of behavior can have an immediate negative effect on those who are mistreated. It would not be unreasonable for families to seek legal action if they discover their loved ones have been treated in this way.

Source: NPR, "Federal Officials Seek To Stop Social Media Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents," Charles Ornstein and Jessica Huseman, Aug. 8, 2016

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