Cedar Haven employee taunted resident, state says

Written by Daniel Walmer/The Lebanon Daily News | Dec 5, 2017 6:34 PM

(Photo: Michael K. Dakota, Lebanon Daily News)

(Lebanon) -- A Cedar Haven nursing assistant taunted a resident suffering from depression with comments about the resident's mother being dead, then video-recorded the resident in an agitated state, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health report.

The incident occurred on August 27 - almost two months before Cedar Haven nurses went on strike, so the current temporary nursing staff is not implicated. The Department of Health has not yet reported any violations since the strike began Oct. 20.

Documentation submitted by Cedar Haven indicated that the unnamed nurse aide (Employee 1) had taunted the resident "until the resident was so agitated that the resident tried to hit Employee 1, and that Employee 1 then used her cell phone to make a video of the agitated resident," according to the Department of Health report.

"(T)wo eyewitnesses (Employee 2 and Employee 3) reported that Employee 1 also told the resident that the resident's mother was dead," the report continued. "Employee 3 said Employee 1 commented how 'funny' the resident's face was when she told the resident that her mother was dead."

The victim of the taunting had diagnoses of dementia and depression, the report states. 

The nurse aide at first denied making the video, but admitted it after learning of the two witnesses, according to the report. The aide was suspended immediately following the incident and fired following the investigation.

After the incident, all Cedar Haven employees were reeducated on Cedar Haven's cell phone policy, which forbids taking photos or videos of residents. The resident is being monitored for any averse effects from the incident, the Department of Health said. 

The Lebanon Daily News investigated Department of Health findings related to Cedar Haven after hearing claims of substandard care during the Cedar Haven nurses' strike, which is still ongoing. These claims have been advanced by the union representing the nurses as well as Cedar Haven employees and residents. When the strike began Oct. 20, Cedar Haven's owner contracted for temporary nurses with U.S. Nursing Corporation, a company that specializes in providing nurses during labor disputes.

However, the Department of Health has not yet reported any violations since the strike began. It investigated four complaints on Oct. 25 but identified "no deficient practice."

Inspections are not posted to the department's website until at least 41 days after after the exit date of the inspection.

Chas Blalack, a principal owner in nursing home owner Stone Barn Holdings, did not respond Monday to a request for comment on the August video-recording incident.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News

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