NY Attorney General: Elderly Woman Abused by Nurse’s Aide

elderly_woman_abuse_nursing_homeA nurse’s aide was just arrested over allegations of physical and metal abuse of an elderly nursing home resident at the Hudson Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Northern Boulevard.

According to Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman, Sarina Francis, 36, of Troy, New York, was charged with “one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person, two counts of willful violation of health laws, and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person,” The Times-Union reported. Francis was arraigned and released from the Albany City Court.

On August 17th, Francis took the woman to her room. The woman allegedly became “combative,” striking Frances in the face. In response, Frances allegedly grabbed the woman’s left wrist, fracturing the wrist as she twisted the resident’s arm behind her head. She then hit the woman in her face with the woman’s hand, her hand, and a pair of urine-soaked briefs, according to AG Schneiderman’s news release, The Times-Union reported.

We have been following the mounting issue of elder abuse and neglect in nursing home facilities. News of this type of abuse routinely makes headlines; however, the deplorable practice still continues. With the senior population expanding and living longer, abuse of nursing home residents is significant. Now, more and more people find themselves faced with the challenging decision of placing their older relatives and loved ones in nursing home care and, sadly, family and loved ones who are seeking care of their seniors are often left with very limited options. Worse, these loved ones often suffer devastating indignities that include a broad array of abuse and neglect.

About 5.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; by 2025, that number could reach 7.1 million, the Alzheimer’s Association reports. Meanwhile, a 2001 Congressional report revealed that about one out of every three United States nursing homes were cited for at least one abuse violation over a two-year period. “In over 1,600 of these nursing homes, the abuse violations were serious enough to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury,” the report indicated.

A report released by ABC’s “Lateline,” revealed a pattern of failure at a number of nursing home facilities following the media outlet’s conversations with scores of caregivers, facility managers, and former health care officials. Staff told “Lateline” of not having enough time to appropriately care for residents, to even attend to residents’ basic needs including feeding, hydrating, or toileting. Medication errors were frequent, with no less than 10 errors monthly, and residents’ injuries, such as infections and fractures, often went unnoticed.

Patients often suffer pain and indignities and sometimes die due to inadequate care, according to ABC Australia. Workers interviewed discussed a trend of abuse toward residents arguing that there was insufficient time, staff, and supplies to attend to residents and admitted to patients sitting in their own urine over a lack of staff and incontinence pads and patients struggling with their own vomit, some asphyxiating and dying. A health care scandal in the United Kingdom revealed that, in some cases, patients drank from vases for lack of anything to drink and staff seeking appropriate care for patients were punished.

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