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Woman pleads guilty in New York nursing home abuse case

Many families in Queens, New York, make the difficult decision to entrust the care of aging loved ones to a nursing home. Along with the emotional stress, families often have to sacrifice part of their income to pay for a nursing home. However, not all nursing care facilities offer the best services, falling short of expectations and causing harm to their patients.

Recently, a 36-year-old certified nurse's aide pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of an elderly woman. The case stemmed from an incident that occurred this summer when, reportedly, the female employee assisted the resistive patient to her room. According to reports, the aide hit the old woman in the face, grabbed her by the wrist and twisted her arm behind her head, fracturing a bone in the patient's arm.

In a later incident, the nursing aide again assaulted the woman with her hands and a pair of pee-soaked underwear when the patient again resisted the aide's help. Prior to sentencing, the employee was charged with multiple violations of physical and mental abuse. After accepting a plea bargain, the woman faces a 30-day jail sentence and 5 years of probation. Endangering the welfare of an elderly is a felony that carries up to four years in prison.

Tolerating negligence and abuse of nursing home patients is appalling. Nursing homes and other care facilities are supposed to advocate for patient health and safety, not hinder it. The residents of a nursing home deserve respect and the best care possible. Care givers should understand that patients may be uncooperative at times. Nursing home negligence and abuse can cause injuries and hasten disease, which can be costly and compromise the health of a resident. Fortunately, a Suffolk County, New York victim of nursing home abuse or neglect has legal recourse and may file a lawsuit to claim compensation.

Source: Times Union, "Nursing aide admits breaking patient's arm," Robert Gavin, Jan. 15, 2014

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