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I went to visit my mother in NH today. She told me that a CNA she did not know had punched her in her bottom early Monday morning. I asked if she had told anyone, she told the nurse the night before. That nurse was not in, so, I had my mother tell the on duty nurse. Then, that nurse brought in the supervisor and the director of nurses. The director of nurses is going to investigate, but, told me that since there did not appear to be bruising, the CNA must have just slipped while washing my mother. My mother is very sharp and insists that the CNA used excessive force! I do not have faith that the director of nursing is going to conduct an indepth investigation. I do not want the CNA near my mother! (or anyone else's) What to do next?

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When my mother was first in rehab, after her stroke, she perceived that one of her aides, a young black man whose family we knew from our home town, was demanding money from her and having sex in her bathroom.

While we knew that these accusations were false (and whenever my mom "acts up", my brother whispers to me that we should get Melvin (not his name) to come back and take care of her) we explained the situation to the DON and asked that if at all possible, this young man not be assigned to my mom. My brother also talked to him personally, to assure that it wasn't personal, but since it was agitating mom, we needed first and foremost to keep her happy.

I have heard of (but not experienced) situations in which manipulative, mentally ill elders claim abuse in hopes that their children will care for them at home. Only you can be the judge of whether this would be in character for your loved one.
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KathyB, I don't want to blindly defend the NH. There are bad CNAs in this world, just as there are bad priests and bad babysitters. This kind of thing has to be watched for and monitored. I also think we need to be open to all possibilities.

My dear husband was "sharp" and high functioning during his 10 years of dementia. There were times when he shouted out in pain when I barely touched him, such as bumping him in bed. I wonder if it was the surprise more than the physical sensation. But whatever it was it was way out of proportion to the "injury."

My mother has been in a nursing home for two years. Mobility problems are what put her there and she also has dementia. She is pleasant and cooperative and the staff really like her. And EVERY TIME they take her to the bathroom she hollers her head off at them that the wipe cloth is cold and they are rubbing too hard. She swears. I have been in the room while this is going on. So have each of my sisters. They are not mishandling her! I wonder if it is the indignity of the situation rather than any "pain" that causes Mom to cry out.

You don't say your mom has dementia and maybe my experiences are not applicable in hercase. And I am absolutely certain that your mother isn't lying. She really did experience something that made her cry out. But whether that means the CNA was abusive, or unintentionally rough, or simply perceived as rough is hard to say without witnesses.

I think it is reasonable to ask that this CNA not be assigned to your mother, for your mother's peace of mind.
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Thanks Babalou and Eyerishlass for your answers. Jeannegibbs, I need to update my profile! My mom has been in the NH for 2 years now. While I do not think the CNA actually made a fist and punched my mother, she was , at the least treated very roughly, enough to cry out in pain.
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Your profile says your mother is living at home. Has she very recently gone to a NH?Is she perhaps not used to being handled by strangers?
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I think the DON was covering her a** and will continue to do so. Don't expect a lot of cooperation from her but definitely continue to follow up with her. You're your mom's best advocate.

Did you tell the DON that you didn't want that particular CNA working with your mom anymore? Ideally, that should be documented and the CNA not assigned to your mom again but things have a way of falling through the cracks in nursing homes. Make sure your mom tells you if the CNA is assigned to her again.
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I would note which shift this happened on.

Call the DON and ask what the results of her investigation are. Ask if she has identified the aide. Ask that your mother not be cared for by that aide any longer. Reassure your mother.

I think we owe it to our families to look into these situations. Sometimes, an aide simply needs more training in how to handle an elder more gently.
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