Personal Injury

Assisted living employee fired for verbal abuse

Caring and Sharing Home for Adults is home to up to 46 people in need of assistance from others. Like the nearly 50 other assisted living facilities in Newport News, Va., it is inspected by the state’s licensing division at least once a year. In 2008, the facility was inspected nine times – more than half of those were in response to complaints. The complaints were often anonymous and varied between neglect to children living there to spoiled food. But a new complaint about alleged verbal abuse by one employee resulted in action by the facility, according to the Daily Press.

The employee is accused of calling residents names such as “crack head,” cursing at them, borrowing money from then and even selling food to them from her nearby apartment. She berated residents for sitting down for meals at the wrong time and was described by residents as “rude and loud.”

An investigation by state inspectors led to the firing of the allegedly abusive employee.

Unlike most assisted living residents, many of the residents of Caring and Sharing Home for Adults require state grants to cover living costs above and beyond what their social security covers. Not only are several residents considered poor, many suffer from mental disabilities, making them easy targets for abuse.

The state would not give an overall assessment on the status of the home and a representative from the facility refused to comment.

Steve Lambert with the social services division of licensing programs said the downsizing of the state’s mental health facilities has left more mentally ill people with fewer choices in treatment homes. “These residents are finding themselves in these facilities,” Lambert was quoted in the story, “and unfortunately they (the facilities) are probably less equipped to handle the range of disabilities, and they don’t have sufficient financial resources to meet these needs.”