Beating death of nursing home resident not reported to police

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Apr 05, 2012 in Nursing Home Information

Nursing home patients often suffer from physical and mental ailments that make it difficult for them to effectively communicate. Those suffering from dementia and mental disorders such as Alzheimer's are often especially reliant upon nursing home staff to ensure their best interests are being attended to and protected.

Sadly, nursing home staff are often not properly trained or equipped to properly deal with various situations that can arise when dealing with an aging population. One case that proves this point occurred last Christmas Eve, when an 83-year-old man who suffered from Alzheimer's was severely beaten by another 89-year-old resident at the nursing home where they both lived.

A nursing home employee found the injured resident bloodied and beaten and asked him what had happened. He told her his 89-year-old roommate, who also suffered from dementia, had tried to kill him. A broken and bloodied cane believed to be the weapon used in the assault lay near his bed.

Instead of treating the incident as a crime and alerting local police, nursing home staff called an ambulance for the injured resident and proceeded to clean up the room. Upon arrival, ambulance crew told the staff they should call the police. However, no one at the nursing facility did so. Police were only notified of the incident by the ambulance driver who called them while in route with the injured resident to the hospital.

Sadly, the 83-year-old died a few weeks later in the hospital as a direct result of the injuries he sustained during the brutal attack. His attacker also died a short time later of natural causes. Upon questioning by police, nursing home staff related that they didn't report the incident to police because they didn't view it as being a crime.

The nursing home facility had previously been cited by state nursing home inspectors for being understaffed and for employing untrained staff who failed to take necessary measures to prevent resident falls and properly dispense medications.

Source: The Tennessean, "Madison assisted living facility didn't report cane beating to police," Walter F. Roche Jr., Apr. 4, 2012

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