The state Department of Public Health has fined four nursing homes more than $1,000 each for one case of physical abuse and incidents that left residents with cuts, bruises and a broken bone.
On Jan. 23, Arden House in Hamden was fined $1,020 in connection with an incident of physical abuse of a resident by a nurse’s aide, DPH records show.
On Oct. 31, a resident who had a history of making unsubstantiated allegations against staff members said a nurse’s aide undressed him or her and pinched him or her in the groin, records show. Arden House investigated, substantiated the allegation of abuse and fired the nurse’s aide, who has denied abusing the resident, records show.
Jeanne Moore, an Arden House spokesperson, said the center suspended the aide as soon as abuse was alleged, conducted an investigation and contacted local police. The aide no longer works at Arden House, which Moore said has a zero tolerance policy on abuse of residents.
Highlands Health Care Center in Cheshire was fined twice in separate DPH citations in February.
On Feb. 4, the center was fined $1,090 in connection with a resident’s fall while the person was left unattended in a bathroom, records show. On Sept. 1, the resident was found under a sink with his or her head against the wall and bleeding. Records show the resident with dementia sustained a cut on the face that needed 10 staples to close it.
A nurse’s aide reported having left the person alone because another aide had told him or her the resident could be left alone in the bathroom. The facility concluded the aide should not have left the resident alone, records show.
On Feb. 25, Highlands was fined $1,160 in connection with treatment of a resident who developed a deep pressure sore on a heel in December. Records show the resident was not educated on how to safely move his or her heels until after the deep injury occurred. Highlands officials could not be reached for comment.
On Jan. 17, Cassena Care of Norwalk was fined $1,160 in connection with the fall of a resident with dementia who was known to become agitated and hit and kick while being cared for, records show.
On Sept. 19, the resident fell off a shower chair and was treated at a hospital for bruises, a facial cut and a broken facial bone, DPH records show. A nurse’s aide caring for the resident for the first time said the resident was “fighting and agitated” in the shower and pushed against the wall so hard that the chair tipped over, causing the fall. Records show the center failed to properly time the medication of the resident for anxiety, and as a result, the resident became agitated, leading to the fall. A Cassena administrator declined to comment.
On Feb. 25, St. Joseph’s Living Center in Windham was fined $1,160 in connection with a resident who was found on the ground, bleeding, by a visitor on Christmas Eve. The resident was hospitalized for observation and received stitches to close a cut over the eye, records show.
Records show the resident was at Mass when his or her walker was placed a distance away. The home reported that the Mass was crowded and the scene at the end of the service was “very confusing,” so the resident was able to walk away without a walker and get outside, records show.
Lynn Iverson, St. Joseph’s administrator, said the home reported the incident immediately to DPH and has since added staff members on the weekends and when special events are held at the center.
“We take the care and safety of our residents very seriously,” she said. “This was just such an unfortunate incident. I can tell you how badly we all felt about it.”