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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8184
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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I had just reported abuse and neglect of an 81 year old fragile

Customer Question

I had just reported abuse and neglect of an 81 year old fragile elder to the facility and was immediately questioned on how I viewed my role with her. On one occasion, She complained of pain asking for new shoes. Her feet were unusually shaped. She was told the shoes were in the mail. For 2 months she kept asking if the shoes had arrived. One morning I found her crying, not understanding what was going on with her shoes. I told her I’d speak to her manager. The manager was informed of the conversation and promptly went to my boss to have her tell me to not feed into her shoe issue. Ironically, that afternoon she was fitted for new shoes.
One morning she was crying and her staff told me not to listen to her, she distorts stories. I told the worker I would always listen to what she says.
After my reporting these incidents, an email account I had set up for her was checked by the clinical director. Apparently he and the manager were working on a little project. The managers boss also asked if I emailed her family, which I reassured her was used to share pictures.
Another resident in her 60’s was placed in the home as she was a fall risk. she immediately and repeatedly said she hated the woman I am writing about, and wished her dead. On one occasion she pulled the pillow from under her head as she was sleeping and put it over her face. On another occasion she hit the 81 year old in the head twice. On another occasion staff had not arrived yet and I had to guard her from the new housemate as she kept going up to her to intimidate her. The 81 year old was frightened.
The 81 year old ended up in rehab for medical issues. She was frightened to return home as she was afraid she would be hit. I assured her they were taking care of it as I had sent several emails to management about the concerns of living with someone that will assault you.
The 81 year old was home for 2 hours sleeping in her recliner and was assaulted by the new woman. After 20 minutes the clinical director came to her door and asked her would she like the woman who assaulted her to read an apology letter at her bedroom door. She bluntly said no.
I stated I had tried hard enough to work within the facility and would make an elder abuse report. The clinical director had been meeting behind closed doors with other upper management. He asked me to go outside with him and with a big grin said he didn’t know I worked there in another program and that the facility would hate to lose me. He spoke of boundary issues. He mentioned I said ptsd in front of 81 year old…not appropriate. True, but I didn’t think he was understanding there are behavior modification techniques for the assaulter but the one assaulted needs a different kind of support. He told me no matter who I report this to the assaulter will stay in the house and the 2 of them will learn to co-exist. Later he winked at me.
They did immediately make a new behavior plan where the assaultive woman would have 1:1 staff. On several occasions staff were not available. The woman also assaulted at least 3 staff.
The 81 year old woman ended up in the hospital again and rehab. She stated she didn’t want to go home again, no matter if the woman was there or not.
She died a few weeks later in a nursing home.
A report was issued with DDS. The assaultive woman was removed from the home although it wasn’t timely enough.
I remain curious if the clinical director received due diligence for suggesting to a crying assault victim if he could bring her assaulter to her door to read an apology letter, or being caught up in numbers….80% success rate in blocking blows to head, rather than the physical and emotional trauma of the 2 blows. Or of looking for anything to make it a performance issue on my part, of intimidating me from reporting abuse by saying we’d hate to lose you, by seeing the trauma of an abused fragile elderly woman and still insisting they learn to coexist, by not moving the assaultive woman to an adjoining home with the same fall risk set up and with a vacant room, of telling dds they didn’t realize it was such a serious situation, of saying the 2 residents were like oil and water…I don’t think that describes an 81 year old sleeping in a recliner and being hit in the head.
Crossing boundaries…I don’t think so.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
I have read your situation and I am sorry to hear you were in the middle of it. What specifically is your legal question, how can I help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe the clinical director tried to intimidate me from reporting abuse and also was negligent in protecting the woman from psychological harm. I, myself, have nightmares I will be fired and lots of anger about the response of the clinician.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
e actually said...we'd hate to lose you.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear that. Did you ultimately report it, or no? (I am unclear as to your facts). Also, is her family aware of your suspicions or not yet?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I apologize but I do not engage in phone calls. I can assist you here, in writing, once you respond to my questions. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the family is aware I reported the abuse. I am seeking help in the emotional distress of having the clinical director intimidate me with loss of job and of course administration are very cold to me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
and am basically appalled with his professional conduct.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I apologize but I do not see that as actionable. As such I will opt out as perhaps someone else may have a different idea but typically there is no successful claim for emotional distress under the facts you specified. Sincerely, ***** *****