The Arboretum at the Woodlands near Greenville, South Carolina, has been cited for the abuse of a resident by a nursing home staff member while providing care to the resident.
Early in the morning, a resident reported to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) that a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) had slapped them on the left side of their face and called them a name.
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The Director of Nursing was present while the resident made a statement to two police officers. The resident was presented with four pictures of other female nursing staff and asked to identify the person who attacked them. When the resident stated that they did not see the CNA, the officers presented a photo of the CNA who had been accused. The resident then confirmed “beyond a doubt” that this person had hit them.
The CNA was helping the resident get dressed when the alleged incident occurred. A few minutes afterward, the resident went to the nurse’s station and told a LPN what had happened. The LPN had the resident taken to the therapy room so they could discuss the incident and told the CNA to leave immediately. It is not clear if this person continued their employment in this nursing home.
The hallway of this facility had a camera, which allowed the Director of Nursing to confirm the resident’s timeline of the story. The video showed the CNA entering the room, shutting the door for a brief time, and helping the resident exit the room in their wheelchair.
This resident recounted their story multiple times, both to nursing home staff and to the police. They could not, however, remember the CNA’s name. This meant that police questioned the resident multiple times, asking them to tell the same story and confirm the CNA’s face multiple times as well.
This resident was known to refuse care at times by moving a staff member’s hand away or verbally declining but was not known as a combative resident. It is unclear why the CNA decided to slap the resident and call them a name.
In this scenario, the facility fulfilled their role in reporting the incident and having police carry out an investigation. Not all nursing home residents are protected in this way after an incident of abuse, however.
This time, the resident was able to tell a coherent story and to pick out the woman’s face. The resident was noted as usually alert and oriented, but sometimes they get confused. Slightly more than half of all nursing home residents in the United States have memory loss, making testimonies of nursing home abuse and neglect difficult to share for many residents.
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