99-year-old Peter Mazza had told his family that he wanted to spend the rest of his life at home rather than in a nursing home. To help make this happen, his family hired home health aides to come in and care for Mazza.
In June of 2014, Mazza died after breaking bones in a fall at his home in Oakwood on Staten Island. Not only had the health aides failed to keep him safe, but according to photo and video evidence – the workers were actually abusing the elderly man.
The family has gone as far as to say that the health aides were the cause of their father’s death. Video surveillance that dates from several months before Mazza’s death shows this graphic abuse.
Workers from the Nurse Service of New York and Partners in Care came in to care for Mazza around the clock. What the surveillance shows is that those workers were negligent, and they were abusive; so much that Mazza actually was fending for himself much of the time.
A fall in April left him with head injuries as well as fractures. These injuries led to his death in a hospital several months later. He was unable to have his wish of being at home fulfilled because of abusive and neglectful workers who never should have held their jobs in the first place.
The cameras captured a great deal of disturbing and disgusting evidence. In one incident, the camera shows one of the workers masturbating, while another video shows a health aide throwing the man onto his bed and tying him up with a blanket. Another shows an aide worker not coming to help Mazza after he’s fallen from his wheelchair and asked for help. She actually yells at him and tells him that she’s not picking him up.
The company that provided the staff, as well as the aides, knew about the cameras the family put into the home. However, this did nothing to curb their terrible behavior, and it did nothing to help Mazza.
This leads the family and the rest of the world who looks into this case, to wonder just what types of policies the companies that hired these workers have when it comes to background checks. What type of interviewing process do they have that would allow for workers with these types of attitudes and deficiencies of humanity to work with others?
While the company had no comment about the upcoming court case, they said that they have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior. However, the fact that several of the workers in Mazza’s case were abusive does not speak well of the company’s background check policy.
How many of their other workers could be committing the same types of acts to the people they are caring for?
Keeping loved ones safe
While the companies you hire for the health aide workers for your loved ones should be doing background checks and they should be enforcing their policies, you cannot always trust that they will. That’s why many people are taking to having private investigators perform background checks on health aide workers, as well as babysitters for their children. Having a deeper background check helps to give you a bit more insight into the people you are inviting into your home, and it can help to keep your family safer.
In addition, it really is a good idea to do as the Mazza family did and install surveillance cameras in their own home. While they may not have helped to save Mazza’s life, they were able to provide some valuable evidence of elder abuse.
Always do your due diligence and be sure that the people you are bringing into your home, whether they are caring for the elderly, caring for your children, cleaning the house, or anything else, have background checks.