Social media used in new form of elderly abuse


A form of elder abuse is becoming more popular with the rise of social media apps like Snapchat.

Read more: Backyard ‘granny pods’: A new high-tech alternative to nursing homes

Beware of this social media danger to your loved ones

Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision, and most people look for a trustworthy facility, but WFTV found out a growing number of nurses and staff are breaking that trust by using social media to post inappropriate or embarrassing pictures of the elderly when they’re most vulnerable.

Certified Nursing Assistant Benjamin Gerardino lost his license in March after accusations that he took naked pictures of two residents of the assisted living facility Seaside Manor in Ormond Beach, Florida, and posted the pictured on Instagram.

“It makes me sick. I mean, really, what if this was your mom? What if this was your grandma?” said Mindy Mench.

Mench said the decision to put her husband’s grandmother in a nursing home was a last resort.

“She came to stay with us, and I cared for her as long as I could,” said Mench.

But it was in the nursing home that a worker took embarrassing videos of their grandmother on the toilet and shared the videos on Snapchat.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said it’s abuse and has sent a letter to the Justice Department, demanding a nationwide investigation.

“It’s just taking advantage of people in a way that is inhumane,” said Mench.


A Snapchat spokesperson said the incidents violate the company’s community guidelines and terms of services, and that the app has a tool for users to report violations.

Gerardino was fired after the pictures surfaced and the families decided not to press charges.

Had the families pursued prosecution, the Ormond Beach Police Department said it would have charged Gerardino with elderly abuse and video voyeurism.

Read more: 3 mistakes of unhappy retirees

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses for 2021 - If you're in the market for a new credit card, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in signup bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that credit card…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans and Deals in 2021 - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.
  • Show Comments Hide Comments