A Lancaster, South Carolina, senior living facility was cited after a woman was sexually abused by another resident, but this was not the first time the resident had attacked others.
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) entered a resident’s room to help her into bed but instead found another resident in a wheelchair beside the bed, touching her inappropriately.
According to the report, the woman’s shirt was pulled up and the resident was fondling her breasts.
This resident allegedly had a history of touching other residents and grabbing them inappropriately; in fact, interventions were worked into their care plan in an attempt to divert their attention, direct them away from female residents, and call their spouse as needed.
The CNA separated the residents and reported this incident to a nurse, a supervisor, and the Director of Nursing. The resident was already in a locked unit because they would often try to wander; after the CNA found them touching a female resident in her room, the nursing staff began 15-minute checks.
The resident’s Comprehensive Plan of Care addressed how to prevent the resident from grabbing female residents in a sexual manner, but it did not address their habit of wandering into other residents’ rooms or exit seeking. The facility knew about this consistently problematic behavior but they failed to both create a complete care plan and fully implement it.
The result of the facility’s failure to follow the resident’s care plan resulted in sexual abuse for other residents, a scary thing for many who lived in the facility.
The resident who was sexually abused was not able to remember the person who touched her or give identifying details. Without the witness of the CNA, this resident would not have been able to share the incident and prevent future abuse.
The facility’s duty is to safeguard all residents from abuse. While nursing home staff cannot be in every corner of the facility at all times, this facility failed to carry out the care plan they had developed for a resident known to wander and make other residents feel uncomfortable with inappropriate touching.
Like many nursing home residents with memory impairments, the woman who was attacked could not remember details about the person who touched her. Nursing home facilities are responsible for the care of vulnerable adults who depend completely on the standards that the home maintains.
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