Three former workers at a North Carolina assisted-living facility have been charged with running a fight club, with elderly patients with dementia as the fighters. The three, aged 20, 26, and 32, are facing accusations of assaulting people with disabilities. Police began investigating the allegations in June after a tip regarding the elder abuse, and the women were fired. They are due to appear in court in mid-November.
The nursing home, Danby House, specializes in caring for Alzheimer’s patients. After the charges were filed, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCHHS) stopped allowing the nursing home to accept new residents, and cited numerous deficiencies at the facility.
The workers filmed the fights between two eldery patients in one of the patient’s room. In the video, the two elderly women are fighting, and one falls on a bed. She yells for help as the other women continues hitting her. The nursing home workers did not come to her assistance but kept filming.
At least one worker is heard on the video encouraging the other woman to hit the prone woman in the face, and telling the victim to stop screaming. Another worker asked that she receive a copy of the video.
At one point, one elderly woman began choking another, and the victim started turning red. She tried to bite her assailant to get her to stop the choking. There was no effort made to stop the assault by any workers. The fights were filmed on June 19.
A Pain in the Butt
After the arrests, one worker told police that the woman who was choked was a “pain in the butt,” which is why they decided to film the assault. Along with encouraging the fighting, one worker is believed to have assaulted a nursing home resident with a shove. However, none of the residents were apparently seriously injured in the incidents.
No Proper Training
Danby House representatives now say they will review vetting and training procedures in the wake of the fighting incident. According to the NCHHS, not only did Danby House workers not receive proper training, but some received no training whatsoever. That includes training in the correct administration of medications.
Other deficiencies cited by the NCHHS include the failure of patients to receive prescribed medications. Seven residents had their records reviewed by the NCHHS –six of them were not receiving prescription medication. The conditions for which they were supposed to receive medication include depression, high blood pressure, thyroid deficiencies, fluid retention, neuropathy, and dementia.
Some of the residents who did not receive medication for high blood pressure had already suffered strokes or heart attacks. A resident diagnosed with bipolar disorder was supposed to receive medication twice daily, but for two months received it just once daily. For more than two weeks, she did not receive any medication at all.
A statement by the owners of Danby House, Affinity Living LLC, says that there is “zero tolerance” for such behavior and notes that the accused employees were terminated immediately once management learned of the incident.
The statement also notes the facility’s administration worked closely with the Winston-Salem Police Department during the investigation. The company also announced “leadership changes” in recent months.
If you or a loved one died or suffered a serious injury from a fall, abuse or neglect at an assisted living facility, call us. Our experienced team and national network of assisted living facility neglect lawyers can help. For more information, contact us online or by phone at 833.201.1555. You can also visit our nursing home abuse page.