Nursing aide breaks elderly woman's arm, staff ignores injury

An investigation by the New York Health Department revealed that an elderly woman had her arm broken by a nursing aide at Hudson Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. During the Aug. 17 incident, the woman remained under the care of her assailant without medical treatment for five hours after the aide's supervisors allegedly failed to respond to the woman's cries for help.

The incident allegedly occurred after the aide and a second nursing assistant attempted to move the woman back to her room. At approximately 4 p.m., the 84-year-old elderly woman, who suffered from hearing loss and dementia, reportedly struck the aide in the face with a closed fist. Once in the woman's room, one of the aides twisted the woman's arm around her head, injuring her wrist. The aide then reportedly ripped off the woman's incontinence brief before striking her in the face. The aide then grabbed the woman's wrist had forced her to punch herself.

The aide asked her supervisors if she could leave following the incident. However, they refused, and she was left to care for the woman for another five hours. It was not until a third supervisor arrived the following morning that an X-ray was ordered. When questioned, the aide stated that she did not know the woman's arm had been broken. She pleaded guilty to a felony endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person on Jan. 13. She faces a 30-day jail sentence and five years of probation.

While most nursing home facilities do everything they can to make their patient's remaining lives as enjoyable as possible, incidents of elderly abuse do occur. Family members who believe that their loved one was injured or even died as a result of abuse may be able to file a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home facility.

Source: Times Union, "Albany nursing home slow to react after resident's arm broken by aide", Lauren Stanforth, January 23, 2014

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