I can not believe I am even writing this! My parent was just sexually assaulted/fondled in a memory care nursing home by a cleaning employee! I am lost for words or even what to do next.

A police report was filed and the person has been arrested and fired. We also have gone to the emergency room for a checkup as a precaution and awaiting results.

Of course I've talked to the police, social workers, and doctors, so much info and my mind is a blur. It's going to take some time to work through the legalities of this and my parent is ok. Because they have dementia, this horrible incident is not something burning in their minds constantly all day (thankfully). I just feel awful for them, the emotional anguish and the testing and sticking and probing at the hospital they had to endure over a piece of scum of the earth that wants to take advantage of the mentally ill and handicap and elderly people! Just sick!

I am so angry and feel completely hopeless and lost for what to do. All kinds of thoughts were going through my mind, but ultimately after this settles, I still have to figure out care for my parent. I have family that is very supportive emotionally and visits when they can. I understand that they have their own lives with their own set of problems and some work and are sick themselves. I have siblings but I'm the oldest and they help where they can with small things, but no one steps in for me and tells me to go take a load off for once, I got this. I have always been my parents "caregiver" in a sense. The weight is one me. I have even considered quitting my job and caring for them myself and seeing if the state offers any assistance with home care that we could survive on. However, even after just one night, (falls, restroom assistance and bathing, medicine administering, trailing everything they do to be sure they are safe, dressing, and entertaining, I'm not cut out for this in home. I handle a great deal with my parent and have been for years even before my parent became ill and I can already see in home care is too much for me, even after a weekend of care. If I try this on my own, we both will decline mentally and physically.

This is so overwhelming and I can't believe I'm experiencing this. I just need help, advice, something.

Everyone is saying "I know you are gonna get your parent of that place." Like yes, ultimately! I have not had any other major issues out of the place (at least prior to this) and it is one of the best rated in the city, very close to my home and job so I can visit if not daily, many times a week as I have been. My parent is familiar with the staff and their room and set up and it will be a big shock and ball of confusion if I abruptly remove them and try to place them in another place.

Listen, I know this sounds ridiculous to even consider letting them step foot back in that place and that's not in my immediate plans, but I am being realistic about this as moving my parent around is not easy because of the dementia and the other health problems.

They are with me now for the weekend but once I go back to work, I have to figure out what to do and it is difficult from what I hear, even under these horrendous circumstances to get immediate placement to another facility.

I'm on the verge of feeling suicidal and wanting to end this all. I feel so guilty this even happened to them and what they experienced! That I wasn't there to protect them! They have heard "I"m so sorry" from me 100 times today

This is one of the worst things I've ever experienced.

Thank you all for reading. I would appreciate any feedback. No harsh judgement though please, because I am exhausted after today, completely depleted.

Thank you!

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Scum employees can be anywhere. Is this the fault of the facility? Did they appropriately screen the employee? Sometimes these kinds of things will happen even in the best of places, as you have found out. What has the facility said about it? I would talk with an elder law attorney.

I would avoid the knee jerk reaction, which seldom works out well, of moving mom to another place. She is comfortable and happy there. And you are right a move would be very hard on her. I would keep her right where she is unless there is some sort of extreme negligence that occurred.

After reading the threads that you have started, this sounds like a facility that has many problems. Contact an elder law attorney for assistance. I would ask for compensation, enough, to place mom in the best facility that there is.
Helpful Answer (12)

Thank you all so much! You all are amazing! I was really hesitant to post this. But I am desperate.

I can not even describe to you the sense of relief in this very moment of you guys not being critical nor scolding me as I seem to be doing of myself in my head, thinking that is how everyone is viewing me after this.

Of course I've been flip flopping all night in my mind should I let them stay or not. I know I ultimately have to do what is best for her. I am praying hard, several times daily to get to a resolution.

I am going to take EVERYONE's advice! This advice and gentleness and concern of your replies, complete strangers means so much to me!

I will definitely post a follow up.
Helpful Answer (8)

Just because others tell you that you should get your mother out does not mean you should.

Your mother NEEDS memory care, not your home. Get your mother legal representation, ask and take the lawyer's advice.
Helpful Answer (7)

Eager, What a horrible experience!   I'm so sorry for you and your mother, but I applaud your logic and desire to address the situation in a way that benefits your mother as well as you (and you ARE important, always remember that.)

I'm in agreement that someone made a mistake in hiring, but that the facility took immediate action.    It seems to me that they're willing to step up to their responsibility.

Hiring decisions aren't entirely factual; gut instinct is involved, people misrepresent, and other things can happen to cast a candidate in a more positive light.  I only had to hire once, and I did a lousy job, hiring someone who eventually proved to be exactly what wasn't needed.   I was fooled,  but this was also a factor in a new job, something I never anticipated.   

So I would give the facility a second chance, IF your mother doesn't react negatively when you take her back tomorrow.   To me, that would be the important issue.

These are some random thoughts and suggestions:

1.    Ask the DON and/or other staff if your mother can be greeted by them when you bring her back, special attention paid to her periodically during the day, and even someone assigned to her so that she's not ever alone (IF she appears to need that level of support).   

2.    Raise the issue that she might be afraid of her room, and ask about moving to another room.  Excuses are easily contrived:  problem with the heating, plumbing, upgrading her b/c she's such a good patient, etc.    Work to create something that reinforces her own self esteem and self image and makes her feel valuable, but again, only if she expresses anxiety or fear at being in that room again.

3.    Ask if you can help in any way to address the mistake made in hiring the offending employee.  It's unlikely that the facility would want anyone else involved in the hiring process, but it shows that you're willing to work with them moving forward.

I'm sure they've already contacted their liability carrier as well as attorney for their own guidance on how to proceed.

4.    You might want to ask if the hiring process could be analyzed and determination made how this employee was hired.   Was it references?  Experienced, faked, or otherwise?   What were the critical hiring factors, how can they be addressed, tweaked, or improved?   What other precautions can/will be taken?

5.    On the law enforcement side:

      a.    Work with them, especially if the Defendant doesn't confess, and especially he's bound over for trial (depending on the court level at which he's prosecuted).

      b.     Assuming that the rape kit produces DNA, make the LEOs and PA aware of your mother's situation and the need to avoid having her publicly testify.    This may also involve getting a doctor's statement that testimony would be disruptive to your mother and challenging in a very negative way, and that court testimony could negatively affect her, especially since the defendant would obviously be there.

     b.    Ask if there' s an enhancement penalty for sexual abuse of an elder (such as exist for hate crimes).

      c.    If you can make a statement at sentencing (if you want to).

      d.    If the offender will automatically be placed on the sex offender list.
      e.    If any sentence can mandate that the individual never again be allowed to work in a facility providing elderly care.

Some of these aspects may happen automatically at conviction, but find out how to ensure that this person is placed on the sex offender's list.  

And for today, try to just enjoy your day with your mother, and know that the rest you both receive will be beneficial as you move forward.
Helpful Answer (5)
eager4paradise Jan 2020
Hello GardenArtist! Wow, I would have NEVER thought to ask half of these questions.

I am actually going to print this out as it is so helpful to me addressing this all with them tomorrow. I especially love the part of them greeting my mom...I'm nearly in tears now picturing it, that would really help her!

I've had so many thoughts about the next LEGAL steps with the perpetrator and court and having to testify and everything else. I was so sure they called their lawyers at the drop of a dime. Ugh, this is a lot.

I appreciate your thorough advice. This helps guide me in handling this and setting a direction so that I am not so emotional and have steps.

Thank you so much for taking the time to break all of this down. I am beyond appreciative!

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I have not read other responses, so forgive me if you answered something that I am saying.

I live in AZ and one of our facilities was shut down because a vegetative woman had a baby and no one noticed that she was pregnant. They found the creepy scum bag using DNA. He will never harm anyone in a facility again, but the state was harming many people by taking their safe home away. The residents begged to not have to move, so it appears it was isolated to this one scumbag and the young woman who is completely vegetative.

Don't let anyone force you into a move that is not in your mom's best interest. Her wellbeing is what really matters right now. If she is comfortable, by her reaction to the facility and she has a difficult time being moved or not being there then I would consider that she will probably be safe staying. The administration is on high alert for any improprieties right now. That means it is probably the safest place to be.

How did you find out about the situation? If they notified you, wow that is pretty awesome because as you say, she doesn't remember. If the facility has taken full responsibility and they are encouraging you to press charges to the full extent of the law and are offering proof, testimony, support then it is not systemic, they would not intentionally put a freak pervert in the position to do this.

If they are minimizing and blocking you and dismissing the magnitude of this then it is systemic and you should sue their pants off. People that would be in this business and not be horrified about this behavior deserve to loose everything and get their doors shut, before another tragedy.

Can I encourage you to stop apologizing to your mom, your stress about this is not good for her and she doesn't remember so it is confusing. Neither one of you did anything wrong. Please forgive yourself, you are and did the best you could. Life happens and sometimes it is not pretty, we learn and move forward, if you beat yourself up this sick sob wins because he is now assaulting your head. You should be angry enough to castrate the pig, but you should not contemplate suicide because of his sick actions. Take the power away from him and do everything you can to ensure he spends a long time in prison. He will get his just deserts for what he did, convicts don't like anyone that injures vulnerable people.
Helpful Answer (5)
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 2020
Oh. I so agree with every word and emotions being expressed here. Great post! ITRL
If your parent is well cared for,
If your parent is now safe,
If your parent has no bad reactions returning to her "home"
I would encourage you to leave her where she is.
Sort of like one of the safest places to eat is at a restaurant that had been closed down by the Health Department. You KNOW all the staff will be watched, background checks will be more thorough and the ones they misses till be done. All the other "little" violations will be cleared up. And you KNOW they will handle you and your mom with "kid gloves".
I would install a camera. As long as it is permitted. In many states you need 2 consents to record audio so that might not be possible but video will help you keep an eye on things.

Another important thing for your mom. Try to keep calm, try to maintain "normal" the more upset you are, the more upset she might become. The more worried you are the more worried she may become.
((hugs)) to both of you..and to your family
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 2020
I agree. People can feed off of others anxiety. Still, it’s a process for the OP too. It’s devastating to know something this awful has happened to a loved one. It’s an eye opening experience that we can only pray won’t happen to anyone in any facility.
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I am terribly sorry this happened to your parent and you. You certainly are justified with all the emotions you are experiencing. However if you can manage, hard as it must be I think you should consider what is positive about the situation. The person will be held responsible which is admirable about the facility. Your parent is familiar in this setting. The parent seems to not recall the incident. Your dying only complicates the continuing care of your loved one. Right now your emotions are understandingly very raw. Time may help with that. One bad person does not represent the whole facility. That person has been removed. It will not necessarily be easy to find proper further placement. Please give yourself a little time and maybe you will be able to view the situation more clearly and do what you feel is best and not so very trying to take on.
Helpful Answer (4)
GardenArtist Jan 2020
Good, solid and wise advice, Riverdale.
I am so, so sorry this happened to your parent & you.

I'm thinking gladimhere has a spectacular response. Great people, like scum people, can be anywhere. You just do your best to avoid but sometimes we encounter.
The facility seems to have handled it correctly.

Brainstorming here - if this happened to me, I would evaluate the following:

1. How is your mom doing? Does she know what happened and is she now fearful of returning?

2. Do you have a gut feel that this was an isolated instance of a bad employee slipping through? Or have you had a feeling that any other staff were not up to par and this recent egregious act has added to your gut that this place is bad?

3. What has the facility said /done/implemented to assure you this won't happen again?
Example: two ppl must be w/ your parent rather than one (I know that's a stretch, but maybe they will accommodate in this instance, at least for a while) or maybe only their top long term workers are allowed to interact one-on-one w/ your parent?
Will they allow a camera in his/her room that you can access via mobile / computer and that their own supervisor can access?

Would be great if you could have a news story done on this and flash the loser's face & name on screen, warning others.

I understand you are traumatized (I 'd be too! And sooo angry!), but if mom isn't, and she has liked the place save for this, and moving would make things worse, and the creep is gone, maybe stay put for now while you and sibs search for a new place, if you feel you need to.

Please don't beat yourself up that you couldn't protect her from this scumbag. This is not your fault and you are doing all you can.
Helpful Answer (4)
GardenArtist Jan 2020
Another good, insightful post; you put things in perspective well.
This is awful. I am so terribly sorry this has happened. I would find out from an attorney what kind of case you have.

I am glad that you filled a police report. This isn’t something that you should let slide. No one should get a free pass here. I would be livid. It breaks my heart to read your story.

This is absolutely not your fault. I know that you feel awful but you are not in any way responsible for this heinous crime. Sexual assault is a crime and your mom deserves justice.

You are doing everything possible by being your mother’s advocate. Please know that.

As far as finding another facility, I feel you are the best judge of that. Are cameras allowed in your state? If so, I wouldn’t hesitate to install a camera.

Please let us know how you and your mom are doing.

Sending you a bazillion hugs.
Helpful Answer (4)

Removing your parent now from a good facility where ?she is happy and knows the staff would be like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The culprit has been arrested. The culprit is GONE.

Of COURSE he's been fired, that goes without saying: the main point is that this individual has been arrested; he is a criminal who somehow slipped through the screening net. My guess is that his criminality may have been disguised by some sort of mental illness which hid the risk of his offending.

Unless you are going to find a facility where you personally get to interview and conduct screening on every member of staff, including subcontractors, this current facility is going to be a *better* risk on this score because of what's just happened. They will be going through every staff record on file with a fine-toothed comb.

Forget other people's knee-jerk reactions and focus on what is best for your parent. Talk to the senior managers. See if they can set your mind at rest. If you do decide to move your parent, remember that it has to be to somewhere that is *definitely* better to compensate for the disadvantages of disruption in environment. I think you'll struggle to be sure of that.

What's happened is horrible and disgusting, but don't allow it to force you into a response that doesn't actually help. And don't rush yourself unnecessarily, either. I hope you feel well supported by the police; and what has been the facility's approach towards you and your parent?
Helpful Answer (4)
worriedinCali Jan 2020
It doesn’t matter how well employees are screened. There is nothing that can be done that will
predict the future. Background checks only show convictions. They don’t show all the things someone hasn’t been caught doing. Potential employees can be thoroughly vetted and hired when their record comes back clean but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable or won’t....assault people. If the facility the OPs relative is in, is thoroughly vetting their employees then moving them isn’t going to guarantee anything unfortunately.
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