Posted: September 13, 2014
The wife and granddaughter of an elderly Queens stroke victim have retained a New Jersey elder abuse lawyer and filed a lawsuit in Kings County Supreme Court against a home health aide and the company that employed him. A nanny cam caught the aide abusing Bentsion Murakhovsky, a 78-year-old Russian immigrant weighing 115 lbs. Mr. Murakhovsky was paralyzed from a stroke and suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.
The family installed the security cameras after suspecting that the first Personal-Touch aide at the home had been mistreating Mr. Murakhovsky. In the first aide’s place, the home health care company sent a series of replacements. None of the replacements impressed the family until the arrival of 38-year-old Ihor Krutovskyi. The family took to Krutovskyi immediately – he spoke fluent Russian and seemed especially friendly.
Aide tried to disable nanny cam before abuse
Mr. Murakhovsky’s granddaughter, college student Gabrielle Murakhovsky, lives with her grandparents. When Krutoskyi arrived at the home, she pointed out the security camera and told him that she watches a video feed on her iPad. “If you know that somebody’s watching you, I don’t think you’re going to do something bad,” she told reporters. But knowing where the video camera was, the aid disconnected a cable from the camera. He apparently believed that he was disabling the system but instead he only disabled the sound. The video was still transmitted via Bluetooth and his abuse was recorded.
Six days after Krutoskyi’s arrival, Mr. Murakhovsky’s wife noticed that his face was bruised and he was acting withdrawn and depressed. She and her granddaughter watched the surveillance video and found the aide slapping Mr. Murakhovsky’s arm, shaking a blanket in his face, and yanking his face around by the nose. After they turned the recording over to authorities, the aide was charged with two felonies stemming from elderly abuse.
Signs of elder abuse
Unfortunately the health aide abuse like that which Mr. Murakhovsky suffered is not uncommon, and elder abuse is often overlooked. According to the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, only one in every 25 cases of elder abuse is reported. Many signs of abuse against the elderly are overlooked as signs of normal aging or dementia. In many cases, the caregivers mistreating the elderly are family members, who are less likely to be reported.
Luckily Mr. Murakhovsky’s family noticed his attitude changes, which tipped them off that there may be a problem with his home health aide.
In addition to personality changes like increased stress or depression, warning signs of elder abuse include:
- Unexplained physical injuries, including bed sores
- Sudden failure in hygiene and appearance
- Withdrawal from usual activities
- Sudden inability to pay bills or evidence of forgery on financial documents
A NJ elder abuse attorney can outline your legal options
When someone is suffering mistreatment at the hands of a caregiver, quick action is needed to avoid serious injuries. If you or a loved one is being mistreated by a health aide or other caregiver, consider speaking to a New Jersey elder abuse lawyer at Eisbrouch Marsh. With over 25 years of experience, our experienced and compassionate NJ personal injury attorneys are available to discuss the legal options available.
- 4 New York, Home Health Aide Caught on Camera Abusing 78-Year-Old Stroke Victim, http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Health-Care-Aide-Abuse-Surveillance-Video-Stroke-Victim-Arrest-Personal-Touch-Queens-272005831.html
- Daily News, Queens home health aide caught on camera abusing stroke victim, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/nanny-cam-catches-queens-home-health-aide-abuse-article-1.1909662
- Syracuse.com, Elder abuse: Central New York lawmakers propose bill to protect seniors, http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/elder_abuse_new_york_laws_albany_david_valesky_michael_nozzolio.html