Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recent cases of caretaker abuse and neglect

From the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina (March 13) - Four employees at a state home in Goldsboro for people with severe developmental disabilities have been placed on leave following the death of a resident Wednesday night. Although abuse is not expected in the case, the investigations will center on whether the employees neglected the resident and whether that neglect contributed to the death.

From the Mercury News, San Rafael, California (March 11) - A Marin County nurse will plead guilty to felony abuse after admitting she injected her 80-year-old mother with a massive dose of liquid morphine solution in May of 2007. Her mother survived after authorities were called and she was taken to a hospital.

From the LA Times (March 10) - The live-in caretaker of an 84-year-old Huntington Beach woman who uses a wheelchair allegedly took out fraudulent loans in her name, bilking the older woman out of about $200,000 and putting the woman's home in danger of foreclosure, according to authorities. Cindi Dee Powell, 54, has been charged with financial elder abuse, grand theft, identity theft, vehicle theft, fraud and forgery and remains in custody.

From SC in Marion, South Carolina (March 9) - A 97-year-old Marion woman is in a critical condition in hospital and her granddaughter was arrested on Monday for neglecting to provide her with the care that she needed. According to the police, the woman's injuries, which include infected bedsores, could have been prevented if she had been turned over properly.

From the Dothan Eagle in Dothan, Alabama (March 6) - Dothan police investigators arrested Darren DeVaughn Martin on Thursday on an allegation he left an elderly and bedridden person alone in their home unattended. According to a Dothan police statement, investigators charged Martin, 48, with elderly abuse and neglect.

From the Chicago Tribune, Itasca, Illinois (March 4) - A 23-year-old Itasca nursing home assistant was charged with criminal neglect and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of an 89-year-old woman with Alzhiemer's disease. According to the report, Heidi Leon failed to respond to an alarm that went off indicating that Sara Wentworth, a two-year resident of The Arbor of Itasca nursing home, had wandered outside of the facilitiy into freezing conditions early one morning last month. The woman's lifeless, frozen body later was found in the facility's courtyard after she had been outside for as many as five hours. Ms Leon is also accused of lying about an early morning check she claimed she made on Ms Wentworth, records show.

From cfnews13 in Brevard County, South Florida (March 3) - A woman has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for neglecting to care for a 55-year-old man with quadriplegia, who died six days later. According to investigators the man hadn't been cared for in three weeks, and the smell was so bad that officers had to wear hazmat suits inside the house.

From in Tulsa, Oklahoma (February 27) - A Tulsa man has been arrested for allegedly beating and threatening to kill his 96-year-old mother. Police arrested 63-year-old Kenneth Allan Thomson Thursday on felony complaints of caretaker abuse and neglect. According to an arrest report, Thomson said he wants his mother to die and told a detective - quote - "even milk containers have an expiration date."

From the Associated Press in Los Angeles (February 18) - Three elderly Alzheimer's sufferers are believed to have died after being injected with psychotropic drugs by nursing home staff trying to keep them quiet, California authorities say. Attorney General Edmund Brown revealed the deaths after announcing the arrests of a nurse, a physician and a pharmacist from a nursing facility in Lake Isabella, 140 miles north of Los Angeles. "These people maliciously violated the trust of their patients, by holding them down and forcibly administering psychotropic medications if they dared to question their care," Brown said in a statement.