Teens and Elder Abuse is Bad News

You would think that young people who work in nursing facilities would have a deep appreciation for older folks and want to give them their utmost respect. Right? Well consider that six, rather wholesome young women are accused of groping and taunting seven residents at the Good Samaritan nursing home in Albert Lea, MN or witnessing the alleged events.

The eight young women attended high school together and worked together part-time at the Good Samaritan nursing home. A criminal complaint filed Monday says they laughed together early this year as they spat in residents’ mouths, poked and groped their breasts and genitals and at times taunted them until they screamed.

Charged Monday with maltreatment of seven residents were Brianna Marie Broitzman, 19, who faces 11 charges, and Ashton Michelle Larson, 18, who faces 10. The six others, all 17 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, were identified only by birthdates and initials.

If found guilty, “they most likely will face suspended jail sentences and probation, so they’d have the threat of jail hanging over them if they get in more trouble,” said Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson, who filed the charges Monday.

So what is wrong here? It is bad enough that we can‰Ûªt reach most of our youth to teach them about the valuable stories and lessons our elders can share and how they should get to know and respect older people. Then when you have on the surface a group that seems to want to do well and then abuses their positions and takes advantages of their charges well that is disturbing. Is it the culture of ‰ÛÏfun‰Û we live in, the TV we watch? Is it peer pressure? Is it parenting? Where are the values in this country and what can we do about it?

I don‰Ûªt pretend to have the answers so help me out here. We just had a horrible six months in our own family with nieces and nephews ‰ÛÒ 12 and 13 – out of control. No discipline, no respect and above all no sense that what they are doing and have done is wrong, has consequences and may haunt them the rest of their lives. I suspect these girls did not have much thought about the consequences either.