A former woman caregiver, Crystal Marie Leyhue, has been charged with nursing home abuse in Kentucky after she was indicted for assault. The woman, who originally hails from Tennessee, was working at a Fulton, Kentucky care facility and her victim was an 82-year-old resident. She was thrown out of the job after her misdeeds were reported by a colleague.
On November 4, 2014, the 34-year-old caregiver forcibly put a hot pepper into the mouth of the victim and laughed at the scene of screaming by the resident. One of her colleagues caught her laughing at the resident crying while all her misdeeds were captured on a video camera. She was fired after the colleague reported her mistreatment to the KY nursing home management. The Department of Community Based Services referred the incident to the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit under the Office of the Attorney General for further investigation.
The defendant is charged with one count of fourth degree assault and may face imprisonment up to one year. Any Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer fighting against such mistreatment of elders acknowledges such widespread physical and emotional cruelty exhibited by caregivers toward residents.
“I believe strongly that every patient in a nursing home, Medicaid facility, or personal care home deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and should be free from patient abuse, neglect or exploitation,” said the attorney general Conway while appreciating the role of the other caregiver in reporting the incident. He also promised to make though investigation into any such compliant and prosecute those responsible for nursing home mistreatment in Kentucky.
Physical, Emotional Abuse Most Reported
Our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers have been told many stories by families of victims about how physical and emotional cruelty is used by caregivers as a mean to torture residents. The most common forms of such physical and emotional abuse at KY nursing homes include
- use of restraints or strapping residents
- slapping or punching a resident
- allowing one patient to abuse another
- negligent attitude toward resident needs
- refuse to assist physically
- passive or active refusal to help residents in need
- forcing them to do a self-offending action
- not giving food and medication on time
- forcing them to wear dirty clothing
- intentionally delaying medical treatment
- ill treatment leading to stress
- causing psychological fear and anxiety through actions and inactions
- deliberate denial of care
- Ridiculing a resident
- verbal abuse or threatening action of caretakers or other residents
- creating accident-prone or negative environment
Emotional abuse is found to be the most serious form of mistreatment in KY nursing homes. Difficult to recognize and prove, it results in emotional distress that may end their desire to live. Many residents turn to a state of shock and despair and never speak about it for fear of humiliation, intimidation, or are terrorized to remain silent. Demeaning behavior of caregivers also go unreported due to lack of supervision. This makes it further complicated to collect records and establish breach of standard of care at a particular level.
In many cases, it was discovered that care facilities suppress such mistreatment incidents without reporting and any action against accused caregivers. Such inaction emboldens the accused to continue nursing home abuse.
If any of your loved ones has been subject to neglect or mistreatment or emotional cruelty by caregivers, please contact us or call on 1-866-447-0150 to discuss the best course of action with our nursing home abuse lawyer in Kentucky.