Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


The Brutal Attack on a Defenseless Senior at a Detroit Nursing Home

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This past week brought to attention one of the most disturbing news for all those who have an elder relative, friend, or loved in any nursing homes. A young physically strong man posted videos of his brutal physical torture of a weak and defenseless old man at a nursing home in Detroit, MI. The video sent shock waves through social media and people demanded the immediate arrest of the culprit.

The police arrested the “suspect” in question about a week after the incident and now the 20-year-old, named Jaden T. Hayden, has been charged with two counts of physical assault and theft in that incident, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Serious questions about the presence of the young suspect in the nursing home remain unanswered yet. What was the status of Hayden at the nursing home? Some media outlets reported that he was a patient there. But then why was a physically strong and capable young man put in a nursing home? If he was suffering from a disease, why was he not hospitalized or, in case of mental health issues, put in a mental health institution instead of being taken to a nursing home? On top of that, why was he sharing a room with a vulnerable defenseless patient?

But all these questions aside, the most important question that the horrifying incident has brought up to the minds of us all is: are our elders really safe where they have been placed? In our lives we get too busy to check on our loved ones in nursing care facilities for days, weeks, even months. How do we know that something bad has not happened or been happening to our loved ones in others’ care?

It really is time to ask for serious and effective measures that ensure round-the-clock monitoring of seniors in care by responsible and caring staff. Perhaps surveillance system of recording each day of a nursing home senior patient could be shared via an app or online or just provided on a USB. Whatever arrangement can be made, this needs to be started now as the Detroit nursing home crime has come as an alert about one of our worst fears coming true—our older kin getting tortured in a place where they were supposed to be safe and comfortable.

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