Caregivers Find Humor in Coating Dementia Patients With Ointment??

Yesterday I was perusing the latest news regarding eldercare and caregivers and came across this most disturbing article.  While the article itself was distressing enough, what made me even MORE infuriated were the comments written by  its readers that followed.  I have posted the article immediately below followed by a few of the comments.


Dementia Patients Victims of Slippery Prank

(08-03) 18:48 PDT UKIAH — Six employees of a Ukiah nursing home coated dementia patients with ointment as a prank, leaving them slippery for workers on the next shift, authorities said Tuesday.

The employees, after a probe by the state Bureau of Elder Abuse, were charged last week by Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott with four misdemeanor counts, including elder abuse.

The workers allegedly put ointment on the patients at the Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility from “head to foot,” said the office of Attorney General Jerry Brown. Because of their condition, the patients were unable to object.

“As part of a cruel and shocking prank, these caregivers abused defenseless elders,” Brown said in a written statement.

Charges were filed against Jenny Bido, 26; Christina Guerrero, 30; Jared Buckley, 29; Jennifer Burton, 33; Kathleen Phillips, 23; and Monica Smith, 51.

Bail was set at $7,500 each. The six workers were also fired.

E-mail Jill Tucker at

This article appeared on page C – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Some of the comments were:
Posted by “Pat”:
“Jellybean, for a long time I’ve said how much I’m looking forward to dementia, getting to meet new people and make new friends every day. Add in gettin’ all slippery like this, heck yeah, it just sounds better all the time!”
Posted by ‘KMP’
“If they were being mistreated, yes, i would be furious. But i did stupider stuff in high school and don’t regret it. If i was crazy, i’d get a helluva a kick out of this”
Posted by ‘George'”Me too, George. And I know my mom pretty well – she would think it was funny.

In fact, if you know someone with a couple of hyperactive toddlers – it might be a hoot to ointment them up and set them loose – since apparently joking with the elderly is a crime.   (Me: WHAT??? Apparently???)

Posted by ‘badhairday’

“To me, not disgusting, but a SENSE of HUMOR.

They are concerned, I know they are from previous stories and how they acted.

Lighten up, this is a subject that, at times, needs levity.”

Read more:

When I am perusing Twitter, I take some time to search a few key words and by doing so, I find conversations between paid caregivers of elder patients.  To hear what they say is VERY scary.  It is the rare caregiver who has a nice thing to say. Remember Readers, it’s exactly the generation that is providing these comments that will be the ones caring for US.
It’s amazing to me that there is such a lack of respect for our aging population.  THIS is why we struggle to care for them at home where they are safe from uneducated, uncaring, underpaid staff members who ought not be trusted caring for a pet snake let alone a human being.


Post By Shelley Webb (365 Posts)

Shelley Webb is a Registered Nurse and founder of The Intentional Caregiver. She was blessed to have cared for her father in her home for more than 4 years.

Website: →



  1. Hi Shelley, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. How SAD! I agree with you that caring for elderly parents at home is the preferred option. But for those who do have to use care facilities, for a variety of different reasons and needs, close supervision is vital. I have had various senior friends over the years in different care homes and, while some were bad, we were blessed to hear good stories too. In many of the cases, being active in visiting did help a lot.

  2. Thank you, Kaye, I appreciate your comment.

    You’re right. Not all instances of nursing home care are negative, but wouldn’t it be nice if our elders could be cared for in family homes?

  3. It’s so sad that any “care”giver would do such a thing. The experience we had with mom’s A/L facility was fantastic, and we are so grateful she was safe and well cared for. I know from experience that people struggle with the decisions of where to have mom and dad live and how to care for them. In many cases a facility is the only option, and to add the worry about something like this happening to your parent is tragic.

  4. Hi Kirk,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. We need to be able to trust those who are caring for our loved ones. Frequent visits are helpful but a caregiver cannot be at the bedside/roomside 24 hours a day.


Speak Your Mind