Andover, KS- A 40 year-old man has been charged with physically and verbally abusing a resident at the Victoria Falls Skilled Nursing Home and state authorities are considering revoking the license of a nurse who they say knew of the abuse but did nothing to stop it.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services launched their investigation of the Geofrey Nyangweso, the accused nurse, and the Victoria Falls facility in January after receiving complaints from one patient’s family who provided them with hidden camera footage.
During the course of their investigation, the KDADS, discovered at least 63 residents had been physically or verbally abused at the facility. One resident was allegedly targeted by at least four member of the Victoria Falls staff, and one resident was repeatedly abused by another resident, according to the Wichita Eagle.
The KDADS obtained video which they say shows Nyangweso abusing a patient. His defense attorney says his client is innocent and was simply following resident care plans.
On Monday, Nyangweso, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony elder abuse, which if convicted would land him in jail for up to 11 years and carries a fine of over $100,000.
The Victoria Falls facility is facing up the $200,000 in fines after being cited by the KDADS.
KDADS is also considering whether to a nurse who knew of the abuse and didn’t report it to the relevant authorities should have her license suspended. They agency claims, Jackalyn Laware, a nurse at the Victoria Falls facility, and several other staff members were aware residents were being abuses and did not report incidents to authorities as dictated by state law. Those employees explained the authorities that when they reported abuse in the past their superiors did nothing to stop it.
The Victoria Falls facility is owned by Watercrest Communities and DB Consulting, both companies owned by Dennis and Debbie Bush. The KDADS said they would suspend the facilities operating license if deficiencies were not addressed by the end of October.
What happened is this Kansas nursing home is not atypical, facilities across the country allow abuse and neglect to persist. The lackadaisical approach to abuse and neglect by a facility’s administration makes employees reluctant or unwilling to speak out. Abuse and neglect victims are often afraid to report their mistreatment because they worry they will face retaliation on behalf of a facilities administrators and staff.
Had someone not come forward with evidence in the care, the abuse and neglect could have gone on for years and in many cases it does. The loved ones of victims can report abuse to state authorities, but their next move should be to contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
Many nursing home residents are seriously or gravely injured by abuse or neglect. In the long run, nursing home abuse entails treatment costly medical treatment and can take huge emotional tolls on the elderly victim. When the victim or their family retains and nursing home abuse attorney, they won’t have to worry about covering their elderly loved one’s medical bills and can focus on helping them heal from their physical and emotional wounds.