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More arrests made in nursing home abuse case

Caregiver helping an elderly woman with her walking aid outdoors in the grounds of the retirement home.

Two former nursing assistants at Glen Haven Health and Rehabilitation in Northport were arrested and charged with violating the Adult Protective Services Act after they allegedly held down a 93-year-old female patient while another aide assaulted her.

Monica Danielle Adams and Marilyn Annese Marshall reportedly held the patient while another nursing assistant, Anita Watford, punched the patient in the head. This incident occurred while the three nursing assistants tried to force the patient to take her medication. Watford was arrested in 2015.

Watford had told nursing home administrators the patient had forced her hand to hit her head. Witnesses contradicted her statement.

None of these women currently work for the nursing home.

Be their advocate, if not their caregiver

We place our loved ones in nursing homes when we can no longer meet all of their needs on our own. In these circumstances, we rely on the dedicated staff at these facilities to provide them with the care that they need and we expect them to treat our loved ones with the dignity and respect they deserve.

The medical professionals in nursing homes have a duty to the patients that they care for. It is their responsibility to address any concerns a patient or their family might have and to ensure that their patients receive the highest possible level of care. When staff members at these facilities neglect or abuse our loved ones, it is a betrayal of trust and they must be held accountable for their actions.

While our loved ones are in nursing homes, even though they are not in our care, we can continue to be their advocate. By making regular visits and phone calls and watching for possible signs of abuse, we can help protect our loved ones. Signs such as unexplained sores, bruises or broken bones could be indicative of abuse. Other signs include an unexplained change in your loved one's behavior, mood swings, being skittish or shy around certain caregivers, or a noticeable change in hygiene or overall physical appearance.

The right to say "no"

One of the largest concerns within the elder community is the idea of autonomy. Regardless of the level of care necessary, every person deserves to have control over his or her own life and treatment. Every patient within a nursing home is allowed to have a choice when it comes to his or her treatment. If a patient refuses to take medication, the caregiver must respect the request and take the necessary protocols. This includes notifying their doctors and noting the patient's refusal in any record books or treatment notes they have on file. Under no circumstances is a caregiver permitted to force a patient to take their medication. Patients in a nursing home have rights, including the right to refuse treatment. When this right is not upheld, when a patient is forced to do something they do not wish to do, that act strips them of their sense of autonomy.

If you suspect a nursing home or other caregiver of elder abuse, reporting it is the first step. The next is to get someone on your side who knows exactly what type of battle you could be facing. Contact Shuttlesworth Lasseter, LLC. Call 866-583-1885 today for a free consultation.

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