Health aide accused of abusing elderly woman

July 2, 2012 3:04:32 PM PDT
Police have arrested a home health aide, accused of abusing the patient in her care.

Investigators say a secret camera in the home recorded some of the abuse, but it's what we don't see that put the patient in the hospital.

Felicia Wilkinson says she feels angry, betrayed, even guilty. Guilty she didn't notice something sooner.

Last Monday the 35-year-old paid $900 to install two cameras inside her mom's fifth floor Harlem apartment. On Wednesday her mother, 68-year-old Margaret Joyner (who suffers from dementia), was rushed to the hospital with 2nd degree burns to her body. When Wilkinson looked at the video she couldn't believe what she saw. She says the video shows a home health aide apparently pushing and slapping the elderly woman.

"You see this aide there pulling my mom out of bed. She pulled her out of bed and pushed her back down," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson showed the video evidence to police, who in turn arrested 63-year-old Lola Houghton of the Bronx and charged her with endangering Joyner's life by placing her in scalding hot bath water.

"She has no skin on her buttocks and no skin on her foot," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said that Houghton took care of her mother for several years. She trusted the home health aide, thought she was wonderful. She only installed the cameras after a bizarre accident that knocked out three of her mom's teeth.

She now wonders how long the alleged abuse lasted.

"If I didn't have it installed this would have continued, ongoing, because we never would have known how Mommy got burned," she said.

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