Albany nursing home employees under investigation for elderly abuse

Published: Nov. 10, 2017 at 11:35 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 at 12:43 PM EST
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A police report said a video shows two nurses yelling and swearing at a patient. (Source: WALB)
A police report said a video shows two nurses yelling and swearing at a patient. (Source: WALB)
Elaine Wilson (Source: WALB)
Elaine Wilson (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two staff members at an Albany nursing home and rehab facility are under investigation for possible elderly abuse.

It stems from an incident at the Wynfield Park Health and Rehab Center on West 3rd Avenue.

"We have a zero tolerance for this," said the Vice President of Community Relations Lynne King.

Administrators at the Wynfield Park Health and Rehab called the Albany Police Department after a family member of one of their patients came forward about possible abuse of an elderly couple.

The police report said the couple's son had suspected that something was going on, so he installed cameras inside the room where his parents stayed.

The report said the video shows two nurses yelling and swearing at a patient, and roughly handling her. It also said the video shows nurses pulling her arms, causing her to yell in pain.

"Wynfield Park has a zero tolerance for associates who do not adhere to our care guidelines as well as our mission and vision, especially when it comes to providing care and services for our patients," explained King.

King said the center suspended two employees immediately after the incident was reported, pending the results of the investigation. Although the employees were listed as nurses in the police report, King said they were actually Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs.

King also explained the center held an additional training for employees after the incident was reported.

"We initiated and conducted educational review for all associates in our care guidelines and the well being of patients, which we have been provided by regional, clinical and educational staff," explained King.

Often times after an incident is reported, an ombudsman will teach employees about correct practices.

Elaine Wilson is an ombudsman, an advocate for elderly residents in Dougherty County. Her office is housed in the SOWEGA Council on Aging.

"Anything that goes on in the nursing home, by law, they have to self-report," explained Wilson.

By law, Wilson said the center is required to call law enforcement and the Department of Community Health to report incidents inside nursing homes. She said often times the residents themselves are too afraid.

"Sometimes residents either in a home or in the community are afraid to tell you that they've been abused or that something has happened," explained Wilson.

Wilson said family members can often notice if something is off with their loved one. If you notice anything, you should report it immediately.

Elder abuse is an unfortunate but all too common practice across the country.

The CDC estimates one in every 10 people older than 60 who live at home are abused each year.

For every one case of elder abuse that is detected or reported, it is estimated that approximately 23 cases remain hidden.

Click here to see the different ways the elderly can be abused.

This incident is still under investigation.

The man who claims his mother was abused said his parents are still in the center but have been moved to a different floor.

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