Video Captures Elder Abuse in Queens Home
In a disturbing incidence of elder abuse, a Queens family captured a home health aide physically abusing their disabled family member on video camera.
The aide, sent to assist a 78-year old partially paralyzed stroke victim, was caught on film yanking the patient’s arm, hitting his hand, and shaking his head by holding his nose and yanking it back and forth. When the victim’s wife and granddaughter checked the footage on the camera and discovered the incident, they notified the police. The aide faces two felony counts.
Family installed the camera after suspecting elder abuse
Bentsion Murakhovsky’s family installed the “nanny cam” after they suspected that a previous employee had mistreated him. Marakhovsky showed signs of distress that they attributed to abuse suffered at the hands of the aide, who came to them from the Personal-Touch Home Care agency. After briefly employing a series of aides from the same agency who proved unsuitable, they eventually hired Ihor Krutovskyi.
Murakovsky’s wife Valentina and granddaughter Gabrielle were reluctant to leave their husband and grandfather with another aide, but needed assistance, as they both needed to be out of the house for either school or work. They were initially impressed by Krutovskyi, who seemed outgoing and friendly and spoke Russian, just as Murakovsky did. But they installed the camera as a precaution after their previous negative experiences.
Aide in whom family put their trust abuses elderly relative
The Murakovsky’s trust in Krutovskyi turned out to be misplaced as well. Gabrielle Murakovsky informed Krutovskyi that they had installed a video camera and assumed that he would treat her grandfather well, knowing that his actions would be recorded. “If you know that somebody’s watching you, I don’t think you’re going to do something bad,” she explained.
However, Krutovskyi attempted to dismantle the camera in an attempt to avoid detection only a handful of days after he began work. He disconnected the cable from the TV to the camera, but managed, unbeknownst to him, only to disable to sound. The family discovered the silent film that recorded the abuse not long afterward, when his wife, concerned about an unexplained bruise on his cheek and her husband’s withdrawn demeanor, decided to investigate his treatment under Krutovskyi’s care.
Valentina and Gabrielle were shocked to discover the footage, which shows Krutovskyi behaving in a rough and intimidating way toward their frail, 115-pound relative. Murakovsky was left partially paralyzed by a stroke and also suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Gabrielle was at a loss to explain why someone would inflict such abuse on a helpless older man.
Family takes legal action over elder abuse
After the Murakovsky’s contacted the police, Krutovskyi was arrested, charged, and is now out on bail as of April 12. He faces two felony counts: endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly/incompetent/disabled person.
The Murakovsky will also be bringing a personal injury lawsuit against both Krutovskyi and the Personal-Touch Home Care agency. A lawyer for the family states that “This company is supposed to be sending trained and qualified workers to help elderly disabled people like Mr. Murakhovsky, and they are getting paid a lot of money for sending unqualified workers.”