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Families want answers about alleged abuse

Published on September 6th, 2009

The Hot Spring Star had an interesting article about some bizarre circumstances at Castle Manor Nursing Home regarding allegations of misconduct by a contracted employee.  Rumors and innuendo but no answers have swirled around the facility and its administration.  The official response from the South Dakota Attorney General’s office states: “The assistant AG working on this can only comment that the investigation is still ongoing.”

Sharon De Boer and Jean Cunningham each have family members at Castle Manor.  During a Family Council meeting at the nursing home, Cunningham was told an employee had touched the breast and pubic area of the resident.  Cunningham was told by a staff member at the nursing home about allegations that a male contracted employee had done inappropriate things with a female resident. Cunningham, who is a Registered Nurse, had been working at the Fall River Hospital and filled in at times at the nursing home.  “I told her ‘If he is doing something wrong, put it in writing,’” she said. Cunningham said that the person did put it writing and gave it to the administration. She said she called the Social Services person at the nursing home, Crystal Deal to ask about the alleged abuser.

“I told her that I understood there were a lot of reports about this guy,” Cunningham said. “She said, ‘I know of one report, but not a lot of them.’” At that time she said she requested that the person in question no longer be allowed to care for her family member, who is her sister-in-law’s mother.

De Boer said that she had contacted both Director of Longterm Care Teresa Miller and FRHS administrator John Miller on Jan. 17, after being told by the staff member that her mother was also being abused. “I told Teresa and John both that I didn’t want this man caring for my mother,” De Boer said. She said that she remembers both John Miller and Teresa Miller responding that they were not aware of anything taking place until that time.

“This staff person said I shouldn’t talk to the administration or she would be fired,” De Boer said. “I did speak to the police, and they also said not to say anything more. I think they didn’t want to scare the guy off,” she said. “So, I didn’t say anything else to anyone. I had Wes Bledsoe’s (founder of A Perfect Cause, an advocate group for long term care patients) phone number for a couple of weeks. But when a couple of weeks went past and I never heard anything, I called him.”
 

Rich Nelson, the Chairman for Fall River Health Services (FRHS) said, “We have tried to find out what is happening through DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation) and the State’s Attorney’s office. We are still waiting for any report, because we are taking all the heat, for an investigation we aren’t doing.”

 

 

Joe Pioletti
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