Two women responsible for the care of an elderly nursing home resident have been charged with assault for allegedly beating and smothering him when he didn’t want to shower.
The victim, David Sharp, an 88-year-old World War II veteran, a resident at Woodhaven Nursing Home in Port Jefferson, New York, had dementia and was bedridden when the incident occurred, according to CBS News New York. His daughter, Patty Izzo, said her father was tied to his bed and repeatedly punched and smothered with a pillow.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation, which resulted in nurse Raquel Bouton of Mount Sinai and personal care aide Laura Harper of Coram being charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person. Woodhaven Nursing Home officials said the accused employees were suspended when the charges first surfaced. Bouton and Harper face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Attorneys for the two women deny the attack took place and say that Bouton and Harper are hardworking caregivers, CBS New York reports. Patty Izzo said: “I don’t think they should be working in that field. I don’t think they think of the patients as people.” Sharp died earlier this year.
Schneiderman said he hopes this prosecution sends a message that abuse of the elderly will not be tolerated. Woodhaven Nursing Home was in the spotlight last month when an aide was charged with taking humiliating photographs of patients, CBS New York reports.