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Hello,

Id like to start by saying I am not the one being accused of abuse. My mother works as a nurses aide in 2 different nursing home facilities. The first one, she has worked at for over 22 years and the second for ~5ish. Up until now, she has never been accused of abuse or neglect and is often complimented and receives cards from family members in the mail. She takes pride in how well she treats her patients when the other NA's don't really care. Recently, a newly hired NA has accused her of slapping a patient and my mother has been suspended pending a review. This has all occurred over the past 3 or 4 days.

Now, this is my mother, so people will expect me to be bias but if I am to be honest, her side of the story leaves me with a lot of questions and doubts as it keeps changing. I don't believe she hit the patient but I do believe she is suffering from anxiety and depression over the accusation and is unable to clearly tell her side of the story. She is in tears for most of the day and can barely operate.

What I know; both her and the NA were in the same room, they both left at the same time and on the way out she patted a patient (maybe a bit too rough?) and the other NA believes that she had hit a patient.

What I don't know; How hard was the pat? Did it leave a welt or a mark? How far away was the other NA to hear this? Did this event even occur? What is the relationship between my mother and the other NA? Is the other NA an honest person or just causing trouble?

Personally, I feel most NA's that work at these nursing homes are scumbags and shouldn't be employed. Iv met them, I don't like them, I wouldn't trust them. The nursing homes she works at are bottom of the barrel and hire virtually anyone (most the time, they cant even speak English) and then fire them. She only sticks around due to seniority. Id shut the whole place down if it were me. However, that's besides the point and my mothers license is on the line and I need to be as unbias as possible.

Right now they are investigating the accusation but I need help guiding my mother on what to do next and how to handle this. My opinion is she should hire a lawyer immediately; doing this will prove that she is confident that the accusation is false and she is willing to go to any length to prove that. The problem is, we're already stretched tight on finances and with her out of a job this only further exasperate the situation. Hiring a lawyer would be very difficult. What else can we do?

Thanks for your time

-Sean

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Forgot to mention that if she does not have a union rep who would check other staff on how your mom works handles patients and situations then it might be good to find out who she works for that can speak up for her if needed. If there are enough people who will validate her good work with patients it could help. Also i did mention those mean and vicious folk who are out there. But I hope your mom is one of those loving caring people. Who go out their way and get behind schedule because they cant just leave the patient a certain way. She needs all the support she can get as her integrity is being question and she's got to fight the good fight.
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Yadda I hope all goes well for your mother. Her situation is stressful. Like others posted I think you should get her to answer the 5 w's. Especially if she is having a hard time explaining her situation. I hope that she didnt do as she has been accused and that the patient can speak up and say what happened. If she is working two jobs it may be two much for her and she may have been over worked. The nursing home situation is so bad as far as nurse to patient ratio. Its bad for the NA and RN. Its hard work and some patients can be very mean and have to be dealt with at a distance. The same can be said about nursing both RN and NA you have vicious people in that field and that is a reality that i know from personal experience and observation. In any case your mother needs to get it to gether so she can speak up clearly for herself. If she can't remember or seems confused about what happened she could look incompetent. If she is under attack then she needs to stand strong and sure. Wish you all the best in the outcome.
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Just a comment here. In any professional job that deals with people, I always tell everyone to save all the cards, letters and any good written comments of thanks for your good care. You never know when you have to stand up for yourself & these Thankyou notes/letters/cards could very well come in handy. Hope things work out well for Mom.
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I understand you pain, I am going also fighting false allegations. Hospice is trying to discredit me to cover up for their negligence. I have cared for my mother for over 13 years, through heart attack, strokes, breast cancer, and uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, wound care, care after temporary nursing home neglect etc. I signed my Mother up for Hospice since she was no longer able to ambulate to get to her PCP to get her C2 medication refill prescriptions. I had to fire said Hospice because the nurse whom I had always got along for not showing up when scheduled, repeatedly calling in sick, forgetting to order C2 Medications that come from out of state, forgetting wound care supplies after discussing the need for them, not taking my repeated concerns that the change they made in her pain medications was causing drug induced psychosis or possibly a UTI; for not addressing my concerns that the barrier cream was not working on the stage 2 pressure sores that she came home with from the nursing home (says on tube to consult if condition does not improve within 7 days or condition improves, then returns) my concerns were ignored. For not providing requested printed medication updates every time a dosage change was made, they also never provided a written care plan.
I hired a second Hospice agency, I also got along with this nurse, she even gave me a gift. She repeatedly told me on numerous occasions how good a job I was doing, that there is nothing more I can do, sometimes pressure sores just do not heal at end of life. Always praise, no complaints from the agency. This agency also refused to address my repeated concerns that the new pain medications or a UTI was the cause of my mother's mental decline which was very fast after the medication changes to Haldol, Dilaudid and they even prescribed a medication she was allergic to and said it would be ok. I also told this nurse and their social work that the barrier cream was not working, making things worse and was adhering to my Mother's brief and when you gently pulled it away it was to thick and pasty it pulled off the new healing skin. I was told this is what we used week after week. I told the agency which cream worked, but when they finally did provide a substitute the sores would not heal. I repeatedly asked for a print out of all pain medication dosage changes when made and there were many, but I never received one. The nurse said I was doing a great, doing a fantastic job, not to worry I was doing the best I could and sometimes pressure sores just do not heal. Both agencies ignored my requests for a full length bedrail saying they were not regulated for in home use. Due to this refusal, my Mother’s legs kept jumping around and over the pillows that I was told to put under the bottom bedding to keep her from falling out of bed and she would end up on the floor injuring her. The wound care nurse came out and she looked at my Mother’s wounds and changed the dressing, not one complaint about the care I was providing or any suggestions. I did mention to her that the barrier cream was not working and that I felt all the falls out of bed could have been prevented if I had a full length bed rail. We walked out the front door and had a pleasant conversation about yards and plants. The next thing I know Adult Protective Services was at my door saying they got a report that I was not providing my Mother the care she needed.
He said that they were concerned that my Mother’s pressure sores on her bottom were not healing fast enough. I told him that I reported that the cream was not working and making things worse and my concerns were ignored. I also told him that I asked about a donut cushion and was told that they haven’t used those for this purpose in 12 years, but was never given any other suggestion on how to heal them besides the original suggestion of using pillows to prop her form one side to another. He then brought up an unsafe home due to all the belongings I had in the living room. Back in Nov I had brought in a large amount of items from the garage to sell on ebay and craigslist to cover my Mother’s final expenses since she was indigent. But the pain medication changes Hospice made, made my Mother so psychotic that I did not have time to proceed or take the belongings back into the garage. I couldn’t leave my Mother alone even to take a shower or she would flip herself out of bed. We also had an electric wheelchair and a manual wheelchair that was boxed up waiting to be picked up by UPS . The defective design caused a 4” long by 1.5” wound on her leg when she tried to flip her legs up over the pillows that were to keep her in bed and caught her leg on the front push pin. APS said we had to have 3’ exit path. I measured it with a yard stick and we had over 4’. Yes, I had extra furniture and medical supplies in the living room, but it was always vacuumed and dusted. I believe
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I don't think they are all scumbags. I was a CNA and I am not a scumbag. I tried really hard to be a good worker.
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It's not me. But, there has been no investigation or contact from DA. It's been six months. It's really boils down to an interfamily quarrel. No one has custody or guardianship. I don't agree the FBI would be involved as the elderly mother has been videoed saying she wants to go home to be buried with deceased and die in her own home in texas. You're the expert so I will heed counsel.
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questioner, I would not opt for a move to Texas, for the main reason being that it would interrupt healthcare insurance; you have to change to a new insurance company. Plus if she is getting Medicaid in California, that would stop. You have to re-apply in Texas and go on a waiting list for care.
As for the accused--jumping state lines would put the investigation in the hands of the FBI. So you might be looking at bigger problems than you can imagine.
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Accused of elderly abuse by sister of mutual mother. Allegations were made six months ago. The DA has not contacted the accused. The mother wants to return to. Texas from california. She is terminally ill. The accuser will not allow her to leave. The accused wants to go get mother and take her to Texas. No custody orders and restraining order was not completed, therefore. Moot. Can the accused leave. California with mother without prosecution by DA ?
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so sorry to hear about this, with youre mum doing this line of work for so many yrs, she is bound to be shocked, confused, angry, and of course depressed. I certainly would not go to a lawyer at this present time, no-one has had a bad word to say about youre mum, if the patient had been hurt at a pat on the back which was hard and painful, then this new nurse would have heard the patient let out a moan. it could be that this is in her nature, I see nothing wrong with patting a patient on the back,its like a child being rewarded for something they have done well, they get a pat on the back from their parents. your"e mum is doing the same with patients.i hope for your"e mums sake this is sorted out soon, she obviously loves her work and this person has shattered her confidence, I would be crying too if someone accused me of the same thing, I hope when things are fixed out, she will walk into work with her head held high, refusing to ever work with the person responsible, I can understand why you are angry, you know mum better than any of the nurses. just be there for her at the moment. who knows maybe tomorrow it will all be over. good luck.
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yadd yadda yadda.............opps....too many yaddas.......

I wanted to apologize to you for being so mean about your paragraph about the homes and different nationalities of people. This IS a place to vent and say your TRUE feelings. I let it get the best of me and I went off on YOU at the end of my letter and it was wrong to do that.
(In fact.... the same way YOUR letter would have had better credibililty without the scumbag paragraph....MY letter to you would have been more credible if I had not included the paragraph about races and being lazy and such and such....)
Please accept my apology.
Kathy
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The NH has to investigate your mom, it's not personal, although I can understand why your mom is so beside herself over this. I am sure they will find your mom did nothing wrong. She's been there for a long time and has a good record with no blemishes.

When your mom interacts with anyone regarding this (supervisor, etc.) she needs to be calm and cool. Matter of fact. She can cry at home but being emotional with her superiors will undermine her side of the story. Tell her to be strong!

Not all people who work in facilities are scumbags. I pop in and out of facilities everyday and I've learned who the caring, capable staff are and who the uncaring and rough staff are. There are good people working in facilities, they're not all horrible.

Your mom will get through this. She's good at her job and I'm assuming that she hasn't had any prior complaints. I know she's devastated but she has a great daughter who believes in her.
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Wow, I really feel for your mother. This must be such a trauma to her - to have given for so many years and now be accused.

I generally agree with Blannie and think hers is good advice. Just one comment from someone who's worked in law for almost all her life. Blannie, don't take this personally; it's not meant to challenge your advice but rather to offer insight from the perspective of someone's had to sign and/or notarize probably a hundred different types of affidavits.

Notarization means basically nothing except that a notary signed it. It's not an affirmation or inclination of truth or sincerity. In the personal injury field, documents which need to be notarized are sent to the client who sends it back, then a notary signs it - typically the notary has never even met the client and sometimes never spoken with her. So much for the acknowledgment that the notary knows the person to be who she/he says she/he is!

Notarization in so many situations is just a required step for filing. The main exception is in estate planning, which is handled with much more caution.

I do think though that getting an attorney involved now would be advisable. A medical malpractice defense firm might be a good choice; some of them have nurse consultants and others have attorneys who formerly were nurses.

Ask of the nursing home also what the standards are for the investigation - who is investigating (nursing staff, independent party?), providing information, what are their qualifications, and especially ask what background check is being done on the nurse accuser. The fact that she was just recently hired makes me suspicious; perhaps she has an axe to grind. Perhaps she herself was fired for cause from a previous job. An attorney can hire a private investigator to get this information.

In the meantime, do whatever you can to focus Mom on something more cheerful - take her out to lunch, buy her flowers, plan a garden, anything to take her mind off the investigation.

As to returning to that place, I think leaving even after cleared might look suspicious. It might be a good idea to quietly and slowly begin looking for other opportunities though. As yet I have no experience with the various home health care groups other than those that are hospital affiliated and one for profit organization which is top notch, but that might be an alternative. It would be a lot less stressful than her current job.

Good luck, and I wish you both the best in addressing this situation.
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Yadda, Yadda,,,,, i want to put another yadda there sooooooooooooooo bad;)
I can feel your pain and love for your mom. this kind of situation would hurt so bad if it were happen to MY mom. I agree with another post that the sooner you get mom to a therapist, counselor, social worker....the better!!!
You mentioned mom is a NURSE. By her chosen occupation...she is a CAREGIVER. The unfortunate thing about caregiverrs is they NATURALLY take care of everyone else and put themselves dead LAST. This is the MONTH or YEAR that mom decided to stand up for herself. I hope so bad the patient herself/himself is able to give his/her account of what happened that day. This needs to be asked ASAP. The elderly. by nature, don't remember things a few days later..... all of us have that problem. I she/he can't remember the actual act.....ask the head nurse or supervisor or owner of the dam place to talk with this patient. Something like this"
your mom: "Mrs. Mccarthy, I have done this job as best as I know how for 22 years. I am concerned, saddened, and a little nervous about the charges brought up against me. Will you consider talking to Mr. Jones and ask HIM about my professionalism and character? It would mean a great deal to me if you get his/her opinion.... or recollection of the facts, asap. thank you."

As far as YOU are concerned.....Yadda yadda.
You NEED to leave all the CRAP you believe at the DOOR about people, race, how these homes operate for people without money, etc. etc. etc.
Have you EVER gone home with "these" workers and talked with them with an interpreter?
Are ALL people that are from Mexico lazy and mean?
Are ALL people from Canada lazy and mean?
Are ALL people from America lazy and mean?
Are ALL people from the islands lazy and mean?

Before you talk about scumbags and nursing homes that need to be shut down....ask yourself this:

How much more credible would YOUR letter have been to the world if you had just left out your opinion with the entire paragraph of hate and anger????
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Get mom on antidepressants and counseling first and foremost. If this is the first accusation in the last 22 years, she will be cleared. The bigger question is whether returning to work a healthy choice for her. Something to think about.
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Your mom needs to write a clear, concise version of what happened, since talking about it upsets her. It will help focus her to get the facts straight, and clear her mind of clutter.

Start there with the "who, what, when, where and why" and see what happens. If she can't do it on her own, act as a reporter and ask her calmly each of the questions and then help her write it up clearly. I'd get her statement notarized, which would signify she's telling "her truth" about it.

I'm not sure about hiring a lawyer, that might be an expense that is unnecessary at this point. I'd wait to see what happens with the review. You can always hire a lawyer to fight it if they find your mom at fault. Good luck and keep us posted.
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