TOPSFIELD (CBS) – They’re appalling allegations – elderly patients hurt and verbally abused in a place that’s supposed to provide quality care.
The ITeam has discovered CNAs, certified nursing assistants, at Masconomet Health Care in Topsfield have been accused of videotaping and mocking elderly clients with dementia, texting photos of a partially naked senior from another facility and providing substandard care.
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports
Lauren Noonan says, “I just can’t believe anyone entrusted with care would do that. It appalled me, I was sick to my stomach.”
Lauren Noonan’s stomach turned because her 90-year-old aunt is a Masconomet client. According to state documents obtained by the Iteam several residents were sexually harassed and taunted, some until they were reduced to tears. Many of the allegations are so disgusting we can’t print them or put them on television. Four CNA’s were allegedly involved.
One woman was told her family didn’t love her and that’s why she was going to die in this nursing home. A man was teased that he smelled because of a medical condition and a CNA danced around another elderly man and made him hit her in the buttocks while she called him a sexy dog. The Department of Public Health cited Masconoment for several violations. Elizabeth Daake from the Department of Public Health says, “We all want safe care, effective care and appropriate care but it’s also dignity, quality of life making sure they’re in a healthy environment.”
Attorney David Hoey specializes in elder abuse and neglect. He’s troubled by the treatment of residents at Masconomet and says improper care is to blame for a life-threatening leg injury to Lauren Noonan’s aunt. Hoey says the type of fracture is usually caused from neglect. Lauren Noonan who’s a nurse says, “It’s discouraging, being a nurse myself you try to give quality care and that’s what I would expect from other nurses.”
The ITeam showed up at Masconomet searching for answers after repeated phone calls to administrator Scott Gloor weren’t returned. Gloor said he had no comment and told us to get off the property.
CNA Jen Moran was fired during the harassment investigation along with Erin Driscoll and Val Belanger.
Families hope exposing what happened will prevent the elderly from being harmed ever again.
Masconomet’s lawyer tells us they’re dedicated to safe, quality care and as soon as they became aware of what was going on they investigated, terminated the nursing assistants involved and eventually suspended the administrator and director of nursing. She also said several steps have been put in place to protect clients. The nursing home was fined about sixty-thousand dollars and the case has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office.
The state says the facility is back in compliance now. The nursing assistants involved are appealing the findings against them.