Pinay caregiver, boyfriend accused of harassing dementia patient on Snapchat

Connie Macatula-De Leon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2019 05:04 AM

Glenview Police

GLENVIEW, Illinois—A Filipina nursing worker and her boyfriend were accused of harassing a dementia patient at a nursing home in Glenview, Illinois.

Jamie Montesa and her boyfriend Brayan Cortez, both certified nursing assistants, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. They were also fired from Abington of Glenview.

A video clip from Dec. 2018 circulated on the messaging app Snapchat where the suspects allegedly taunted 91-year-old Margaret Collins' dislike for hospital gowns.

Cortez allegedly waved the gown at Collins while Montesa filmed the incident. The caption in the video reads, "Margaret hates gowns" with 2 laughing emojis.

A lawsuit was filed earlier in August in Cook County Circuit Court against Abington of Glenview.

The Collins family seeks $1 million in damages due to violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

"That's exactly what this is. It's abuse," Attorney Margaret Battersby Black of the firm Levin & Perconti told CBS Chicago. "They knew that she didn't like this and they persisted in doing it." 

The 42-year old Risa Balajadia, who has been taking care of the elderly for over a decade, knew it is not a job for everyone. 

"Very challenging mag-alaga ng matanda. If you are going to post, kailangan may consent nung matanda or nung family and if you don't have that, you have no right posting it," she said.

"These people parang magulang na rin natin sila when you start taking care of them so you have to have that heart or desire to work with them para maiwasan 'yung mga ganyan," Balajadia added.

The Abington of Glenview, in a statement released to Balitang America, said the 2 employees were terminated for violating company policy.

Montesa and Cortez are scheduled to appear in court while Collins has been moved to a different facility.

Read more on Balitang America.