Three former employees of Cherokee Heath and Rebab, a Centre, Alabama, nursing home were arrested on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 on suspicion of having engaged in elder abuse of an 84-year old resident where they worked. The state's attorney general announced the charges after all three women had been successfully taken into custody earlier that day.
Evidence compiled by a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, presented to the county's grand jury on Feb. 15, 2017, ultimately resulted in one second-degree count of elder abuse or neglect being filed against each of the three women. It's alleged that surveillance video proved each of the women had been deceptive about the quality of care they provided the resident with during their shift, resulting in the injury.
Investigators first were summoned to the Cherokee County nursing facility after a tip came in to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from staff and administrators at the facility that one of their patients had suffered what appeared to be insect bites all about her body. In quickly responding to address their concerns, attention quickly turned to the staff responsible for the resident's care.
The evening in question, Sept. 3, 2016, the older of the defendants, 42, a licensed practical nurse and her co-defendants, both certified nursing assistants, ages 26 and 28 respectively, had been responsible for the resident's care. In investigating the case, each caretaker's records were audited, with each showing they had checked on the resident numerous times throughout the night.
In pulling surveillance footage, it showed something quite different. None was seen entering the resident's room for more than 11 hours that night. It's only after another employee came in for their shift and eventually checked in on the patient that they found that the resident had sustained what's estimated to be one hundred ant bites.
The state attorney general alleges that these employees' intentional neglect directly contributed to the resident's injuries. While one of the defendants, arrested earlier in the day was later released that same day on a $30,000 bond, it's unclear if or when her co-defendants were bonded out of jail. Each of face anywhere between two and 20 years in jail if convicted of the elder abuse.
If you suspect that your loved one has been neglected or abused, a Florida attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.
Source: AL.com, "3 former nursing home employees indicted for elder neglect," William Thornton, Feb. 24, 2017