Friday, December 26, 2014

2 charged with mistreating Alzheimer's patient

The Arbors at Buck Run fired the workers, then had its license revoked. An official said the facility in Lower Southampton Township, Bucks County, can remain open while it appeals.

2 charged with mistreating Alzheimer's patient

Two former workers at a senior living facility in Lower Bucks County were charged Tuesday with mistreating an 83-year-old resident with Alzheimer’s, and the home has had its license revoked.

Videos show Regina Battles, 20, and Irene Rodriguez, 22, both of Philadelphia, handling the woman roughly in her room in The Arbors at Buck Run in October and November, authorities said.

“They show her being handled very roughly and being tossed on the bed,” county Assistant District Attorney Michelle Laucella said. “They show her crying.”

The videos were taken by cameras placed in the room by the woman’s relatives, who suspected possible mistreatment at the facility in Lower Southampton Township facility, Laucella said.  The woman was a resident from last December till mid-November, when she was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries, Laucella said.

“There were scabs and bleeding from her feet,” she said.

The woman, whose name is being withheld, has since been placed in another nursing home.

Battles and Rodriguez, who were raised in the same house but are unrelated, were fired Nov. 28, said Mark Miller, senior vice president of operations of the facility on Buck Road.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy,” Miller said. “If the charges prove to be untrue, the workers can be rehired.”

On Dec. 7, the state Department of Public Welfare revoked The Arbors’ license. The facility had hired Battles and Rodriguez before completing the required background check, the department said.

 The Arbors will appeal the revocation within the next few days, and can continue operating during the appeal process, which probably will take more than 30 days, Miller said. The facility has 60 residents.

“This was an isolated incident,” he said. “Though serious, it is not consistent with our daily operations.”     

Rodriguez and Battles were charged with neglect of a care-dependent person, a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a possible five-year sentence. They also were charged with s reckless endangerment, simple assault, and harassment.

They were arraigned before District Justice John Waltman and taken to Bucks County prison on $100,000 bail each.

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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