When A Home Health Aide’s Help Turns to Harm

divider

When an elderly loved one needs to be cared for and does not want to go into a nursing home, the only other option for most people is to receive care at home. This is still not an easy decision, as arrangements need to be made for a skilled and trustworthy health care professional to come into your home in order to provide the necessary care. A Queens woman can attest to this, as her mother was restrained and wrapped in a bed sheet like a mummy by a home health aide hired to help and protect her.

Chantar Riviera was concerned when her 69-year-old mother, who suffers from dementia, complained about the way she was being treated by the aide working in her Astoria apartment. Riviera decided to set up a live video feed through a hidden camera and was horrified when she saw her mother lying on the bed wrapped in a sheet as a restraint that resembled a cocoon or straitjacket. When Yvonne Wilson was brought to the hospital to be checked out, Riviera informed the aide (who initially denied the accusation) that she was going to call the police.

The incident occurred in February but just recently came to light when the aide, 30-year-old Singo Omega, finally informed the agency she worked for that she would surrender to police. She had disappeared in February once she knew the authorities were getting involved. The story has grabbed the attention of the media across the country and overseas due to its appalling nature.

Omega was hired through Continental Home Health Care in Forest Hills. The company says they will conduct a thorough investigation, but also questioned the number of aides who had previously worked for the family. Attorneys for the company even suggested that Wilson could have wrapped herself up in the sheets because she was cold. Omega and possibly Continental could be brought up on charges of abuse and a civil rights violation of unlawful imprisonment due to the restraints placed on her.

Ms. Riviera feels betrayed and her mother is now terrified to have strangers in the apartment when no one else is with her. Their feelings are unfortunately common among families who put their trust into healthcare professionals who take advantage of the sick, elderly and frail. If you know someone who has been affected by abuse, neglect or restraint injuries at the hands of a medical professional sworn to do no harm, contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to stand up for the rights of your loved one.