Nursing homes are tasked with the care of our elderly loved ones, which are some of Kentucky's and this nation's most vulnerable citizens. When nursing home neglect or abuse occurs, it can often go unreported because it goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, many of the residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities won't - or can't - speak for themselves. Family members may speak to the nursing directors about abuse or neglect, only to find out that nothing was done. Many times, it takes the involvement of law enforcement or a civil lawsuit before anything changes in the level of care received at some elderly care facilities.
In Somerset, Kentucky, a second man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of elder abuse and failure to report such abuse. Pulaski County deputies arrested the 21-year-old at his home after an investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General's Office. The Department of Criminal Investigations and the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division were responsible for obtaining the warrant for the man's arrest.
The arrest stems from an incident in at Oakwood Manor and is the second such arrest of an employee in days. Another employee was arrested on Sept. 16 for allegedly using his cell phone to record a video of one disabled resident at Oakwood Manor hitting another disabled resident. According to police, the man "enticed" the resident to assault the other resident. The second arrest alleges that the 21-year-old of being a participant in the abuse and not reporting it as required by law.
The charge of knowing neglect of a vulnerable adult is a Class C felony, with a possible punishment that includes a prison sentence of five to 10 years. The charge of failing to report the neglect is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a possible punishment of up to 90 days in jail.
Nursing home neglect and abuse must be reported and investigated. Nursing homes and other similar facilities have a duty to keep their residents safe and when that does not happen, they can be held responsible and liable. Our disabled and elderly loved ones have a right to feel safe, no matter where they might live.