Sussex County, DE- There are a large number of nursing home residents that suffer from cognitive disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. These patients are vulnerable to abuse which is clearly demonstrated in last week’s conviction of a Delaware nursing assistant accused
Seaford police referred the case of Anne Nunemann, 29, to the state Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in February, Delaware Online reported.
An investigation revealed that Nunemann, a certified nursing assistant working at the Methodist Manor House placed a plastic bag over the head of an 89 year-old patient as she sat in her wheel chair in late February. The patient was not injured, but Nuneman was fired from her job and prosecuted for abuse.
Nuneman was arrested on May 3rd and charged with one count each of patient abuse and mistreatment. She was convicted of both charges on October 15th, and will be forbidden from working in a nursing home during her 6-month probationary period.
However, the federal government can forbid Nuneman from working at a facility that receives Medicaid funds for at least five years.
In his announcement of the conviction, Attorney General Beau Biden said the conviction was a victory for the elderly.
“We have a special obligation to look out for the most vulnerable members of our community, including residents of nursing homes and patients in health care facilities who often can’t speak up and speak out,” Biden said in a press release. “That’s why we use our broad authority under state and federal law to hold individuals who mistreat them accountable for their crimes.”
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is tasked with protecting nursing home residents who receive federal healthcare funds from financial abuse. Their team of prosecutors and investigators also look into allegations of financial exploitation, abuse and neglect in nursing homes that receive federal funding.
All nursing home residents are vulnerable to neglect and abuse, but some abusers focus on patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Individuals suffering from these disorders are often unable to understand what is happening to them or forget about the abuse. They are unable to communicate or inform their families about abuse if they can recall the incident.
The elderly regardless of their condition are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Abusers target the weakest among us so families must be vigilant and do what they can to prevent their elderly loved ones from abuse at the hands of nursing home workers or family members.
The best way to keep your loved one from being abused or neglected in a long-term care facility is to choose the right one. When considering a nursing home, people should ask administrators if they conduct background checks on the staff members they hire. Without background checks, abusive individuals can easily secure employment and go on to abuse other elderly or disabled residents of nursing homes.
If your loved one has been abused, neglected or exploited for their money, a nursing home abuse attorney can help them put an end to the abuse and neglect along with obtaining compensation for their pain and suffering.