Two Nursing Home Workers Charged with Elder Abuse for Mistreating Blind Patient
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 12, 2019 – Two certified nursing assistants were charged with felony elder abuse for allegedly slapping and mishandling a blind elderly patient at Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center in Macclenny, Florida.
The nursing assistants were arrested and booked into the Baker County Jail. According to an arrest report from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, the nursing assistants were accused of abusing an 85-year-old woman while helping her get dressed for breakfast. The nursing home fired them after the incident.
Surveillance video showed the nursing assistants forcefully push the patient onto a bed. The Sheriff’s Office said they pulled her up by a shirt that was draped around her neck and threw her into a wheelchair. When the patient tapped the arm of one of the nurses, the woman slapped the patient and shouted, “Quit hitting!” Investigators said the video footage ended when the second nursing assistant used a cloth to cover the camera in the room.
“Nursing homes have a duty to provide a safe environment and reasonable standard of care to their residents,” commented Robert Joyce, a Tampa personal injury attorney with Joyce & Reyes, who is not involved with the case. “When elder abuse occurs, nursing home staff should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. Abuse, whether physical or mental, can cause further injuries to patients and harm their wellbeing.”
The patient was being treated for a spinal injury at the nursing facility. She was legally blind and had osteoporosis. The arrest report stated the two nursing assistants should have known about her health conditions.
One of the nursing assistants told police she regularly helped the resident get up and get dressed. The second nursing assistant denied the abuse allegations. Both claimed the woman was combative with them. However, Macclenny said there was no evidence of such behavior by the patient.
The nursing home released a statement saying that it launched an internal investigation into the incident and conducted “a quality improvement performance initiative.” The facility has been cited several times in the last four years following Department of Health and Human Services inspections.
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