How To Properly Judge Your Family’s Caretaker Situation

How much thought should families give into which caretaker they choose to look over their loved ones? Considering how often caretakers are in the news for doing the opposite of their job entails, it’s abundantly clear families should be giving a lot of thought as to exactly who is taking care of their relatives.

It seems that every couple of days another caretaker is making headlines for the wrong reasons. Just this past Wednesday, a man police caught targeting elderly women with malicious intentions had to go to court to face the consequences for his actions. This news has to be heartbreaking for the family of the targeted woman, and there’s no doubt that the family will think twice about where their relative is currently staying.

The incident happened inside an assisted living facility Thetford, Vermont. The attacker, a Michael Paton who has 22 years of age, is accused of sexually assaulting an 83-year old woman who was suffering from dementia. Dementia is a syndrome that affects patients’ mental facilities, oftentimes perturbing their reality. The combination of such a demanding illness and the aforementioned sexual assault must have had a terrible impact on the poor woman.

“This is everyone’s worst nightmare,” David Cahill, a Windsor County State Attorney, told the press. “When they send a loved relative to an assisted living facility because they just can’t live on their own anymore.”

Indeed this is a worst case scenario. It’s hard enough for a family to have to send a loved one to a facility due to medical conditions, and having this situation happen is far worse than anything Happy Gilmore’s grandmother ever endured.

Paton was caught by a coworker inside the patient’s room with the victim’s pants down and Paton zipping up his. Paton told police that he helped the victim use the bathroom and then helped her return to the bed, where the crime happened. He stated “I asked her to push her pant down and asked her to lay on the bed and then I had sex with [her]. Heard someone knock and pulled my pants up and realized what I just did.” When asked for a motive, Paton said that his mind simply “went blank” and that he wasn’t aware what he has doing until he got caught. However, police are skeptical of this claim due to the fact that Paton knew the victim suffered from dementia and could not consent on her own.

How to Prevent this From Happening

The best way to protect your loved ones from this type of situation is to properly do your research. Before you send a family member to an assisted living facility, you should properly do your research to determine if the facility has an outstanding reputation – anything less is unacceptable. Additionally, you can talk to the facilities management to determine how long the workers have been there and if they plan on hiring anyone new. In a best case scenario the institution would have a prestigious reputation and a longstanding crew who has proven themselves time and time again. Lastly, try to reach out to people within your community who also have a family member staying at that facility. They can let you know what you can expect, the way they treat people, and ultimately if it is safe for your loved one.

But the most important thing to do is to keep communications with your loved one open. It might be hard depending on their condition, but finding out how they are treated on a daily basis as well as if there is any questionable behavior is the surest way to curb these despicable acts.