The Salem News reported the disturbing details of abuse and neglect at Masconomet Healthcare Center in Washington.  A recent report contends a dozen residents suffered various forms of verbal abuse and humiliation — including one patient with dementia who was recorded on a cell-phone camera answering questions in a confused manner, to the amusement of a nursing assistant who then shared the video with coworkers.  A group of four certified nursing assistants "routinely engaged in sexually explicit or otherwise offensive taunting of patients, sometimes about their physical or mental condition, and that some would deliberately provoke patients into an agitated state to avoid having to provide care for them during their shifts." The nursing home’s parent company is Whittier Health Network. At least seven other employees were aware of abuse but failed to report them 

The report concludes that the facility was providing substandard care, specifically by violating regulations requiring that patients be free from abuse or involuntary seclusion, that any such abuse be immediately reported and that the facility’s care and environment provide for quality of life.  The report proves an atmosphere "where the four accused nursing assistants regularly used profanities around patients; engaged in conversations about their personal lives, including sexual activities and illicit drug use, in front of patients; played loud music on their cell phones; and were at times more concerned with sending text messages to friends than providing care to patients, who were told to wait."

One vulnerable adult, suffering from dementia, was recorded on a cell phone answering a series of questions from a nursing assistant identified as "accused CNA #1" in the report, who can be heard laughing at the patient’s confused responses. That CNA went on to share the video with others at the facility.  Another employee admitted that same CNA regularly took photos in patient rooms. It is not known what became of those photos or whether they included patients.

Another patient was taunted by an employee who was overheard telling the patient that she was engaging in sexual relations with the patient’s husband and that "he tells me I am better in bed than you are" and that her husband was leaving her. The same accused CNA allegedly told another patient that she was going to die at the facility because her husband no longer loved her. That patient was also taunted about her weight by at least three of the accused CNAs. "Accused CNA #3" allegedly shoved a cookie into the woman’s mouth and called her a "pig," according to the report.

A male patient was allegedly taunted and mocked by all four fired workers for having a penile implant, which one of the group demanded that he use in her presence.

A woman patient was driven to tears by repeated requests to recount past domestic abuse. 

The workers regularly engaged in behaviors such as mocking and mimicking patients in order to get them agitated, which would then allow them to avoid caring for those patients, the report said.

Why didn’t the Administrator or Director of Nursing know about it, or did they jus tignore it?




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