Nursing Home Resident Arrested After Molesting Another Resident

A 72-year-old man was arrested Monday and charged with molesting a a 54-year-old woman with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old at their nursing home, police said.

The nursing home resident was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person. He was being held today at the county jail on $10,000 bail.

At 3:30 p.m. April 30, the man was seen touching the woman's breast, his arrest affidavit says. He had been warned several times to not have contact with her or engage in inappropriate conduct with her, according to an arrest affidavit. For more, read the story.

The nursing home did not do enough to prevent this criminal behavior. The story notes that the man had been warned. More should have been done to keep this man away from the victim. A nursing home or assisted living facility is responsible for identifying patients with a history of disruptive or inappropriate conduct or who exhibit other behaviors that make them more likely to be involved in an altercation. In that regard, the nursing home or assisted living facility must identify the factors (e.g. illness, environment, etc.) that increase the risks for individual patients of an altercation or assault. The care plan team of the nursing home or assisted living facility should review the risk assessment in the presence of the patient and the patient’s family in order to identify interventions that would prevent altercations.

The nursing home or assisted living facility can intervene helpfully by providing sufficient staff to supervise its patients, providing safe supervised areas for unrestricted movement, eliminating or reducing underlying causes of distressed behavior (e.g. boredom and pain), monitoring environmental influences (e.g. temperature, lighting, and noise levels), evaluating staffing assignments to ensure staff members are consistently responsible for the same patients (so changes in a patient’s condition and behavior can be quickly identified), and training staff consistently about how to approach a patient who is agitated, combative, verbally or physically aggressive, or anxious.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 

 

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