A nurse’s aide at a Long Island, New York nursing home is accused of tying an 80 year-old resident’s legs together for an eight hour period. She has been charged with endangering the welfare of a physically disabled or incompetent person and violating the public health law in the District Court in Central Islip. The arrest was the result of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into nursing home neglect/abuse and Medicaid fraud.
The Attorney General released the following statement, “The conduct alleged in today’s arrest is despicable – a disheartening violation of the trust Long Islanders put in health care professionals to care for their loved ones.”
The elderly female suffered from dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, respiratory problems and hypertension (high blood pressure), all of which left her unable to care for herself. According to the court papers, the nurse’s aide did not advise any other employees that she had placed such a restraint on the resident.
Nurse’s aides undoubtedly have a very difficult job. Caring for those suffering from physical and mental diseases can be very taxing. However, there is no excuse for such conduct. Nursing homes should have policies and procedures in place that put potential employees through a thorough screening process. Additionally, nursing homes management should continue to evaluate job performance after they are hired in order to ensure the welfare of their residents.
Abuse charges for West Babylon nursing home aide, Newsday, Robert E. Kessler, May 4, 2009.