New York woman charged in connection with missing patient

A New York woman is facing felony charges after she allegedly instructed nursing home staff to alter records following the disappearance of a nursing home resident. According to the attorney general, when the 73-year-old patient went missing, another employee was ordered to change the records to show that the patient willing left the facility against medical advice.

The official complaint says that the staff was also instructed not to report the dementia patient's absence to the police. This caused danger to the patient and led police to file charges. The New York attorney general alleges that the woman neglected and endangered the elderly dementia patient in her care.

This case of nursing home abuse was discovered and led to the filing of several very serious charges. If she is convicted on all of the charges, including two counts of falsifying business records, willful violation of health laws and first-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, the New York woman could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Lawmakers design laws to protect those who are not able to protect themselves. In addition to the criminal charges filed by authorities, families have another option for relief. When the people who are trusted to take care of an elderly or disabled person abuse them, the family members may elect obtain an attorney to file a medical malpractice suit in civil court. Awards from a successful lawsuit may enable to family to pay for a private caregiver or treatment in a more nurturing facility.

Source: Mount Vernon Daily Voice , "Mt. Vernon Woman Charged In Alleged Neglect Of A Nursing Home Patient", Zak Failla, June 10, 2013

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