Troy, New York Nursing Home Workers Indicted on Abuse Charges

Another instance of alleged <"">nursing home abuse is making headlines. This time, in New York state and involving nine workers and a 175-count indictment, wrote Times Union. The workers – a Physician Assistant, two Certified Nursing Assistants, and six Licensed Practical Nurses – were charged with not appropriately caring for a patient deemed incapacitated and for falsifying records to make it seem as if the patient was properly treated. The crimes allegedly took place at the Northwoods Rehabilitation and Extended Care Facility in Troy.

Accusations include that the resident was left in the same position for an entire shift on many occasions, that nursing staff did not administer medications, bedsores went untreated, the resident was not checked for incontinence, and the resident’s undergarments would go unchanged for long periods, wrote Times Union.

All of the defendants face counts of falsifying business records, which is considered a felony; as well as the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person; and willful violation of health laws, considered an unclassified misdemeanor, Times Union wrote.

New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation included a surveillance video with over six weeks of footage of alleged neglect, said Times Union, which added that Northwoods suspended its nine implicated employees and the patient has been moved to another facility. Northwoods, located at 100 New Turnpike Road in Pleasantdale, said the investigation involves a time frame in which the facility was undergoing a management change and that recently placed management is working on improved processes, reported Times Union.

In 2007, Northwoods declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy; last summer it was federally banned from receiving Medicaid or Medicare payments for new residents following complaints that workers habitually disregarded the facility’s buzzer system, meant to assist patients; this January, a male nurse’s aide pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 78-year-old female resident in 2008, noted Times Union.

Sadly, problems with nursing homes are not uncommon and we’ve been following the horrendous and harrowing issues surrounding such abuse. This is only one of many, many such cases. We recently wrote that neglect and fraud were involved in the destruction of a patient’s face following an oxygen machine explosion. Just prior, regulators in North Carolina State issued a recommendation for $20,000 in penalties against Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home where a former nurse is accused of patient abuse related to morphine overdoses and, most seriously, murder.

Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, asked the governor of Kentucky to appoint a task force to review nursing home abuse and death cases and the lack of prosecution into the growing problem of nursing home abuse in that state. Just prior, we wrote that a Superior Court judge in California upheld a $29 million verdict in a nursing home abuse case. A lawsuit filed against the La Salle County Nursing Home in Illinois involved allegations about a sexually abusive male resident and a Brooklyn nursing home was ordered to pay about $19 million in damages to a family whose loved one allegedly died following abject neglect.

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