Improperly Posting Photos of Nursing Home Residents on Social Media

An article from ProPublica published late last year details at least 37 separate incidents since 2012 that involved staff members from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities posting embarrassing or inappropriate pictures and videos of residents on various social media outlets. Some of these incidents led to employee discipline, and some even led to criminal charges for the wrongdoers.

In a 2012 incident in a New Jersey nursing home, a nursing assistant sent a photo of a resident’s genitals to a friend, who uploaded it to Facebook. The nursing assistant was fired, and both individuals faced charges of invasion of privacy and conspiracy. Similarly, in an incident in a Green Bay assisted living facility, two workers shared pictures of nude residents on Snapchat, including one resident who was vomiting and another who was being treated for an obstructed bowel. Those workers lost their jobs and also faced criminal charges of disorderly conduct and invasion of privacy through use of a surveillance device. In several other incidents, workers posted pictures of residents taken while sitting on toilets or after having an accident.

In other incidents, workers recorded themselves slapping an elderly dementia patient’s face with a nylon strap and posting it on Snapchat. A staff member in another state posted a video of himself repeatedly kicking a resident’s wheelchair. In several other cases, workers posted pictures of residents on social media without their permission, or placed names or other information about residents online, in violation of confidentiality rules. Many of these situations resulted in discipline to workers, criminal charges, enhanced training for staff members at these types of facilities, and a blanket prohibition of mobile devices being used by staff while at work.

The Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how devastating it can be when you entrust your loved one to the care of others, only to have that trust completely betrayed. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and those of your loved ones in all types of circumstances. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a daily basis, and we know how to get the relief to which you may be entitled. Don’t hesitate to fight back against a neglectful or abusive nursing care and assistance living facility that has caused harm to your loved one. Call us today and see how we can help.