Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quincy Nurse Aid arrested for 'Abuse" Rampage

8-15-09 Quincy MA.
The Boston Herald under headlines "Nurse Wretched" describes elder abuse alleged against a CNA in a Quincy assisted living facility, the Atrium at Faxon Woods in Quincy, Massachusetts.

The article states: "A young nursing assistant is accused of turning an upscale Quincy assisted-living home into a house of horror after she allegedly slapped and bounced on elderly Alzheimer’s patients in a sadistic barrage police say left the defenseless victims quaking in terror.

Kara A. Murphy, 23, of Quincy is under house arrest after pleading not guilty yesterday to seven counts of assault and battery on a person over 60.

The vicious beatings were allegedly unleased on four elderly women last Saturday during Murphy’s 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift at the Atrium at Faxon Woods in Quincy, according to a police report. The Atrium is a toney assisted-living facility with 60 residents.

In one alleged attack, Murphy - a certified nursing assistant since June 2004 - reportedly grabbed an 89-year-old woman by the jaw during a bowel movement and forced her onto a toilet. “I should make her eat it,” Murphy allegedly told a co-worker.

In another incident, Murphy allegedly bounced up and down on the lap of a wheelchair-bound, 96-year-old woman. “Get off me, get off,” the victim cried, according to the report.

In yet another incident, Murphy allegedly threw a 92-year-old woman onto a wheelchair, slapped her and backhanded her forehead, police said. “Don’t hit me,” the woman pleaded, according to police.

Later on the same day, police said Murphy was assisting a 79-year-old woman in a public bathroom and called to a co-worker for help. When the co-worker went inside, she saw the woman “upset, redfaced and crying,” the police report states. The woman hit Murphy in the shoulder and “then in retaliation, Murphy hit (her) in the shoulder,” the report said.

Murphy was arrested at her home Thursday night after a co-worker alerted police.

The co-worker described Murphy to police as “angry” and said she often hurls expletives at Faxon Woods residents.

Murphy faces 21 years in prison and $7,000 in fines if found guilty.

At Murphy’s home, her aunt, Loretta Palmacci, said, “She’s been a very kind and caring person. I don’t know what happened. Sometimes she would come home very tense. You can imagine all the different things that go on with Alzheimer’s. She could have been abused . . . ”

In a cruel twist, the Atrium staff told police that the victims are unlikely to remember the alleged abuse, given their conditions. “The victims in these types of cases are among the most vulnerable,” said Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating, who’s prosecuting the case."

Teri Marinko, a spokeswoman for Faxon Woods owner Benchmark Assisted Living in Wellesley, said Murphy has been fired. Marinko said the facility conducted a state-mandated background check on her prior to hiring her and found no complaints..."

Attorney Bernard Hamill also of Quincy recently successfully litigated several cases against Kindred Nursing Facility for elder abuse involving a CNA hitting and verbally abusing helpless Alzheimer patients. Hamill said " Just because the victim has an impaired memory does NOT mean there is no damage to the victims. Often they become fearful, angry or withdrawn after this type of physical abuse. And it is clearly illegal in our country to hit any resident in these settings of extreme vulnerability". See those accounts here.

In a separate but similar story, a Medford CNA was also accused of abuse at Epoch Healthcare. Attorney Hamill is also currently litigating a claim in Superior Court against Epoch for Nursing Home Neglect of a patient.


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