A former director of a nursing home in New York has been arrested and charged with falsifying documents related to a missing resident, according to the New York attorney general’s office. The criminal complaint alleges that a 74-year-old man went missing from the nursing home that the former director ran on May 26, 2013. The resident suffers from dementia and high blood pressure and has not been seen since his disappearance.
When the director realized the resident was missing, she failed to call 911 or even police to report the information. Instead she allegedly removed notes from the man’s medical records and told employees not to call the police. The woman also instructed an employee to document that the resident left the facility voluntarily and against medical advice and that on May 29, she verbally told an inspector from the attorney general’s office that the resident left on his own.
The resident was finally reported missing by the facility on May 30 and he has not yet been found but authorities are very concerned due to his impaired mental state and need for medical attention. The former director now faces charges including endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, falsifying business records, and willful violation of the health laws. If convicted on all counts, the woman will face up to four years in prison.
Residents of nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable members of our society and they deserve the utmost care and concern. Yet the director of the nursing home involved in this incident allegedly refused to admit that an error occurred and instead took active steps to conceal the incident. Instead of reporting the man missing immediately, the man was not reported for four days, making any attempt to locate him more difficult and placing his health and safety in significant danger.
Many residents of nursing homes suffer from mental impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that cause them to be confused about where they are or where they should be. Some of these individuals may attempt to wander away from the home if they fail to recognize the nursing home or its employees or if they attempt to return to a previous home, like a house in a neighborhood they lived in for much of their lives. Employees and directors of nursing homes are charged with keeping their residents safe, and this includes preventing the residents who are unable to care for themselves from wandering away or leaving the home. Failing to do this is negligent and can make a nursing home, its employees, and its owners liable for injuries or even death that occur to the resident.
Nursing home neglect is often hard to determine and can be difficult because many cases involve some degree of cover up, like that which occurred in this instance. This is one of the many reasons it is critical that you speak with a personal injury lawyer if you believe that your loved one may have suffered as the result of some action or inaction by a nursing home or an employee.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we offer a free telephone consultation with no obligation and we have a lawyer available 24 hours a day to speak with you. If you suspect wrongdoing on the part of a nursing home resulting in an injury to your loved one, please call us today at (312) 924-7575 to learn if you have a case and what claims may be available to you.
Prior Blog Entries:
Employee Arrested for Felony Aggravated Assault Against Elderly Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published June 7, 2013.
Nurses Charged for Falsifying Documents in Nursing Home, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published June 5, 2013.
Former Queens Nursing Home Director Arrested for Falsifying Records: AG, NBC4 New York, published June 9, 2013.
Nursing home director accused of covering up missing patient, by Glenn Wilburn, MyFoxNY.com, published June 8, 2013.
Nursing home director charged with endangering resident with dementia, EmpireStateNews.Net.
Photo Credit: zyfranklin, stock.xchng.