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I’m mad as hell about the way our elderly population—our parents, relatives, our senior relatives and friends—are shoved aside, tormented, victimized and abused.  Our seniors are also the most likely victims of mistreatment and brutality, often at the hands of their “loved ones.” And older Americans are less likely to complain because they’re too ashamed--or unable--to describe how they’ve been hustled or abused.

Yesterday, I introduced you to 
Brianna Broitzman, the Albert Lea, Minnesota nursing home “caregiver” who was charged with 11 criminal counts for abusing and sexually humiliating elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. Broitzman pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. 

Today, the Senior Watchdog shines the spotlight on Ashton Larson, Broitzman’s co-defendant and co-conspirator.  Both were charged with spitting into residents’ mouths, groping their breasts and genitals, among other abusive crimes

Larson also admitted to getting into bed with a resident and making “humping motions,” and inserting her finger into a resident’s rectum, claiming that she was trying to initiate a bowel movement. 

Broitzman admitted that she and Larson took photos and made videos of these helpless residents “for fun.” 

Michael Larson, Ashton’s father, was interviewed on
NBC TV’s “Today” show shortly after the arrest.  He claimed that some of the allegations against his daughter were not “as they appear” and “have been distorted” in the news accounts of the charges.  He added, "My daughter was doing nothing more than performing the duties of her job." (The Senior Watchdog wonders if Ashton's duties included any humane treatment of her victims.)

Perhaps as an attempt to explain or justify her conduct, on the day the charges were filed and the mug shot at right was taken, Ashton Larson wrote on her MySpace page "i hate when there is nothing to do ... i cant stand being bored ... ah its fun gettin to know new people ... im up for anything."

Here's the
criminal complaint that charged Larson with her crimes. 

We at Great Places are appalled every time a senior is a victim of a crime.  That's why we'll name names, publish mug shots and describe in detail the kinds of crimes that are committed against them.  Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson are only two of the vicious criminals who specifically target helpless elders.  There are dozens--hundreds--of others like them.  THE SENIOR WATCHDOG is on the case.

Sexual abuse is just one of the many outrages committed against nursing home residents.  NEXT:  so-called "Elderspeak" is another.

I’m mad as hell about the way our elderly population—our parents, relatives,  our senior relatives and friends—are shoved aside, tormented, victimized and abused.  Our seniors also tend to trust strangers.  They’re the easiest targets for sweepstakes scams, door-to-door flimflams, pyramid schemes and every other conceivable hoax. They’re also the most likely victims of mistreatment and brutality, often at the hands of their “loved ones.” And older Americans are less likely to complain because they’re too ashamed--or unable--to describe how they’ve been hustled or abused.

Meet Brianna Broitzman, the face of pure evil in a small-town nursing home.


Albert Lea is a forgettable little town in Southern Minnesota.  There's a Good Samaritan nursing home there.  That's where six young women, including Brianna Broitzman (pictured), worked as caregivers in an Alzheimer's unit.  Brianna, then 19, and the others found the work "boring," so they decided to have some fun. At the residents' expense.

They picked the perfect victims:  Alzheimer's sufferers.  Among other atrocities, Brianna: 

 Poked residents' breasts and genitals for the specific purpose of angering and/or sexually teasing them;

     Spit into a resident's mouth;

     Bared her naked buttocks directly in the face of a resident; and

     Frequently got together with the other defendants to talk and laugh about their escapades.

Bottom line: In December, 2008, Broitzman was charged with 11 criminal counts for abusing and sexually humiliating elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. 

Judgment:  Following her guilty plea, Brianna Broitzman was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 60 days of which she is now serving.  The sentencing judge, who said he was "appalled by her disregard for humanity," doubled her jail time.  

Following her sentence, she will be on probation for two years, and will be required to serve eight days of community service on each of three gross misdeameanors.  

And the lesson?  Evil can be camouflaged by a pretty face.  Helpless people--dementia sufferers, particularly--are likely targets for evil.  Even in a nursing home.  They're perfect victims, because they cannot remember, cannot complain, cannot testify about how they've been abused.  Frequent visits, especially random ones, are one way to police the conduct of "caregivers." 

We at Great Places are appalled every time a senior is a victim of a crime.  That's why we'll name names, publish mug shots and describe in detail the kinds of crimes that are committed against them.  Brianna Broitzman is only one example of the vicious criminals who specifically target helpless elders.  There are dozens--hundreds--of others like Brianna Broitzman.  THE SENIOR WATCHDOG is on the case. 

Tomorrow:  Broitzman's co-conspirator. 
       


I’m mad as hell about the way our elderly population—our parents, relatives, all our senior relatives and friends—are shoved aside, tormented, victimized and abused.  This, the so-called “mature” or “silent” generation, has lived through World War II and the Great Depression.  They consider themselves to be honest, moral, value-driven and honest.  

Our seniors also tend to trust strangers.  They’re the easiest targets for sweepstakes scams, door-to-door flimflams, pyramid schemes and every other conceivable hoax. They’re also the most likely victims of mistreatment and brutality, often at the hands of their “loved ones.” And older Americans are less likely to complain because they’re too ashamed to admit they’ve been hustled or abused.

A so-called “victimless” crime is an activity that violates the law but doesn’t cause harm to a victim. Gambling is a good example: Although the conduct is criminal, the gambler isn’t hurt by it—except, perhaps, financially. That’s why “victimless” crimes are considered to be consensual. For some reason, our society treats offenses against seniors as if they are victimless crimes. Well, they’re not, and we’re mad as hell!

Why, you may ask, are we so angry about how our seniors are treated?  Here’s just one example:  The plight of defenseless seniors committed to nursing homes.

Nursing homes are where we send our frail, helpless elders to suffer. And die. In that order: suffer; die. This is what we call Seniorcide: the killing of old people. Remember the stories about how Eskimos deposited their elders on ice floes and sent them out to sea? This practice, which was uncommon, ended in 1939. American nursing homes, on the other hand, continue to enjoy a booming business:  today, there are 1.5 million Americans in these hellish places.  

If you think that a nursing home is where frail, helpless elders will enjoy “nursing” that will return them to health, or if you think that a nursing home is like “home,” well, that’s because you’ve never visited one. Consider these facts:

·        One-quarter of all deaths in this country happen in nursing homes. Between 50 and 60% of people admitted to care homes die within the first two years. At least half of Alzheimer’s residents die within the first 12 months;

·        Every year, 30% of nursing homes are cited for instances of abuse, ranging from death to malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, falls, inadequate medical care and excessive chemical and physical restraints, to name only a few;

·        Forty-four percent of nursing home residents suffer abuse. 48%—almost half!—report that they’ve been treated or handled “roughly.” About 40% say they’ve seen other residents being abused;

·        Fewer than 20% of nursing home abuse cases are ever reported;

·        Ninety percent of U. S. nursing homes have staffing levels that are too low to provide adequate care for their residents.

Go ahead, if you dare, and commit mom and dad to a nursing home. But when you do, you know there’s a 50-50 chance they’ll be abused there and die in a couple of years or less. You’ll want to say your good-byes early and often.

Here at Great Places, we’re mad as hell about how American seniors are treated. If the outrages committed against seniors in nursing homes—the physical, sexual and emotional abuse perpetrated by on-site personnel, for example—occurred in the general population, you can imagine how the media, the politicians, and the general public would respond.

We’ll identify and expose the villains—the people, the companies, the institutions--who commit these offenses. We’ll provide the details. We’ll name the names. We’ll post the mug shots.

I’m betting that you’re mad too. We’ve dedicated ourselves to ensuring justice and fair treatment for the nearly 40 million of our elders. But we need your help, your involvement, and your passion to achieve these goals.

Here is what we need you to do:

·        We need you and thousands of others to partner with us, to pledge with us to “STOP SENIORCIDE NOW!”  Go to http://www.greatplacesinc.com, give us your name, email address, and click on the pledge.

·        By Christmas 2010, we need 100,000 partners to join us. If we achieve this goal, by this time next year we’ll have a million. By Christmas 2012, I promise we’ll have ten million partners. And together, believe me, WE WILL BRING SENIORCIDE TO A HALT!

·        We need you to listen to our senior victims. We need you to document their suffering. We need you to send us what you learn. And when it is illegal, we need you to call the cops.

·        We need you to respect the law and act lawfully. I’m a lawyer and I’ll provide specific rules to follow so you don’t get into trouble.

·        We need the good nursing homes to join us. We know that not all nursing homes are bad; we need the good ones on our side. We want, as partners, nursing homes that are committed to treating their residents with the love and respect they deserve

·         We also need to tell the bad nursing homes that all 10 million of us will come after them if they fail to reform.

·         Finally, this:  please forward this blog to others who want to make sure that our seniors are being treated with the love and respect they deserve.



That’s it from Laurence Harmon, THE SENIOR WATCHDOG.  I'm on the case.  

Next:  High school girls, hired as nursing home "caregivers," looking to make the work "fun," sexually brutalize their victims, get convicted, go to jail.

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