Lake County Woman Arrested in Abuse of Disabled Man

Lake County Woman Arrested in Abuse of Disabled Man

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 29-Jan-2014

burn victim

A woman was recently arrested for allegedly abusing a 21-year-old disabled man in her care. Disabled adults face abuse risks whether they are cared for in the home or at a residential facility. Such cases, particularly where serious injury occurs, can be difficult to read about, but they offer lessons for the disabled, their loved ones, and the people tasked with caring for them.

According to My Fox Orlando, an employee of Carlton Palms in Mount Dora was arrested after being accused of pouring hot water on a 21-year-old disabled resident. A surveillance video in the home caught the caretaker filling a cup of hot water and offering it to the man. When he didn't accept the offer, she threw it on him, causing serious burn injuries.

Workers at the home noticed the man was acting differently, but he couldn't vocalize his pain due to his disability. It was then that they noticed his injuries and a doctor at the facility diagnosed him with second-degree burns.

A detective responding to the incident measured the temperature of the water dispenser and found the hot water to be approximately 165 degrees.

The Burn Foundation estimates when tap water reaches 140 degrees, it can cause third degree burns in a matter of five seconds or less. When the water is 156 degrees, a third-degree burn can happen in a single second. In this regard, the patient is fortunate his burns weren't worse than second-degree.

Second-degree burns affect the outermost layer of the skin and the first few layers of the dermis (underlying layers). They usually involve blistering and can become infected quite easily. In some cases, skin grafts are needed to encourage complete healing.

When you consider the man was burned enough to blister and could have very easily experienced third-degree burns, it's upsetting to think he couldn't speak up about his pain and what happened.

When asked about the incident, the Carlton Palms administration said it was an act of a single individual, who had been screened, trained, and supervised. They said it isn't an indication of the level of care provided at the facility.

Abuse and Neglect at Residential and Day Program Facilities

When you entrust a facility with the care of a loved one, you usually research the company, ensuring the facility is operated by a company you believe can be trusted. When that trust is violated, it affects everyone.

As much as we'd like to think these facilities have their patients' best interests in mind, some of them are more concerned with their bottom line. And even when the administration is focused on quality care, individual employees can verbally, mentally, and physically abuse patients in their care.

For many elderly and disabled people, admitting nursing home abuse is shameful and frightening. Some fear retaliation or being blamed for their own abuse. Others can't speak up about the situation due to a disability, like the man in this case. For these reasons and more, an untold number of abuse cases go undetected.

Children, the elderly, and the disabled are all populations that depend on others for their care and well-being. When this trust is abused by someone in power, it's more than troubling. Holding abusers responsible for their actions is one way to set things right again.

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