An aide has been charged with two counts of assault after a hidden camera captured her beating an elderly patient at a Hopkins nursing home.
The patient's daughter set up the hidden camera after she noticed unexplained bruising on her mother at The Glenn Hopkins Care Facility at 901 Feltl Court, according to the criminal complaint.
Three videos are alleged to show Cecilia Chebii Soi, 55, pulling the patient up from the floor by her hair, striking her several times in the head and back with her hand and with a hair brush, as well as elbowing her in the head.
Soi, of Hopkins, has been charged with 4th and 5th degree assault. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison and $3,000 in fines for the 4th degree assault charge, and up to 90 days in prison and $1,000 in fines on the 5th-degree assault charge.
"You see a lot of things in our job that are bad, but when someone is defenseless, that makes it the most disturbing part," Hopkins Police Sgt. Mike Glassberg told the Star Tribune after watching the videos. "You think about your own parents and grandparents."
The Star Tribune notes Soi has been fired and the care center is reviewing its procedures for identifying and reporting maltreatment.
The Glenn Hopkins is a 14-acre, faith-based senior community for adults 62 and over, according to its website, and was formerly known as the St. Therese Southwest.
By coincidence, last year two nursing assistants from Saint Therese of New Hope were fired after cameras set up by families confirmed allegations of physical abuse to two patients, reported the LaCrosse Tribune.
Unfortunately, elderly abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a widespread issue, and residents' families have increasingly been setting up cameras to document the crimes, referred to as "granny cams."
A study done by the Department of Health and Human services found that 85 percent of nursing facilities in the U.S. reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect in 2012.
Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and most recently Illinois, legally allow residents' families to maintain surveillance at long term care facilities with cameras in patients' rooms.
Other states have considered legislation, but most efforts are stalled when questions of privacy rights arise, reports the New York Times. In Maryland, cameras must be directed only at the intended resident since state laws protect roommates who have the right to refuse to be monitored.