The administrator of Loudonville Nursing Home in upstate New York has been fired as a result of a sexual abuse charge levied against a maintenance worker at the home. Investigators claim that the worker sexually assaulted a 91 year old woman while in her room. The maintenance worker faces felony sexual abuse charges, and the administrator, Melissa Brown, was relieved of her position last weekend.
Aside from the obvious crime that was alleged here against the maintenance worker, there are also potential nursing home violations stemming from this incident. According to the report on hudsonvalley.ynn.com, the worker was a convicted rapist. A facility “must develop and implement written policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment…and abuse of residents.” 42 CFR 483.13(c). Employing a convicted sex offender would seem to stand in contravention of this policy mandated by regulation. Additionally, a facility must provide necessary care to attain the highest practicable well-being of the resident. Allowing an individual on staff who has been convicted of a sex crime opens the door for potential abuse, thus threatening the physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being of the nursing home’s residents. Unfortunately, should the allegations in this case prove to be true, this threat became a reality for one resident at Loudonville.
Elderly nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable members of our society. When a family entrusts the care of such an individual to a nursing home, this trust is accompanied with an expectation that the facility will do everything within its power to provide this care in the safest possible manner. Failing to properly check the background of all employees, not merely those employees charged with overseeing resident life, is a violation of this trust. Following federal guidelines, and a facility performing its own due diligence, can circumvent situations such as the one described above.
The story of the allegations at Loudonville can be found here and here.
If you or a loved one has been abused at the hands nursing home staff member, please contact the Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC.