Johnson City, TN- In early July, employees of a Johnson City nursing home pleaded guilty to abusing several patients because it “would be comical,” while others were charged with ignoring the abuse.
Three former certified nursing assistants at the Appalachian Christian Village nursing home admitted in that they abused several patients between December 2010 and January 2012, the Johnson City Press reported.
According to the allegations, Blevins and the two Kettermans would spray patients with water while they were asleep in their beds. The three women would take photographs of the patient’s bare buttocks and breasts. They requested to work the night shift together so they could carry out the abuse and though that it “would be comical” to watch the patient’s reactions to the abuse.
The incidents where they sprayed the patients with water were also photographed and videoed and shown to the women’s friends.
Rebecca Blevins, 39; Jessica Ketterman, 22; and Jennifer Ketterman, 20 all pleaded guilty to face two counts of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult and all three face one to two years in jail. Since these are their first charges, they are eligible to have their charges removed from their records
It is troubling enough that these three women abused elderly patients for amusement, but what is just as, if not more troubling, is that at least two of their coworkers were aware of the abuse and failed to report it.
Amanda Adolphi, 33, and Bonita Scott, 51, were charged with each charged with one count of failing to report abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult. Their charges are misdemeanors so they face less than a year in jail.
A several months long investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was launched after a CNA told a registered nurse that three other CNAs were spraying the patients with water while they were sleeping. After checking the patients to confirm they were wet, the RN confronted one of the CNAs who denied knowing how the patients became wet.
It was after that the TBI began investigating the abuse. After a launch of the investigation, the Appalachian Christian Village was suspended from taking in any new patients and was charged a $3,000 civil penalty. Their ban on new admissions was later lifted.
The abuse in the Tennessee nursing home was mild compared to the abuse some elderly patients face in other long term care facilities. Some patients are slapped, hit, shoved or otherwise manhandled by staff in nursing homes across the country. In the worst cases patients can be seriously injured or die as a result of their abuse.
When a person suspects that their elderly or disabled loved ones are being abused in a long term care facility, they should alert authorities, and also hire a nursing home abuse attorney to file a civil suit. With an attorney’s help the people who are abused and their loved ones can seek compensation for any related medical costs and emotional duress.