An LPN Is Convicted in Nursing Home Abuse Case
Written by Jeff Meyer on March 11, 2016
At some point, most of us will need to accept the fact that, as sons and daughters, it’s now our responsibility to look after our aging parents. In a lot of cases, this will mean ensuring they’re taken care of by professionals at some type of elderly care facility. These days, this type of service can range from simply having a group of professionals on hand to look after senior citizens to around-the-clock options to provide specialized care for people who may have dementia or other degenerative diseases.
Whatever the case, it goes without saying that we want our parents to be treated with respect and kindness. Unfortunately, every year, some people find out the hard way that those they entrusted to care for their parents fell woefully short of expectations.
A Guilty Plea to a Felony
Despite her responsibilities and the trust that was put into her, a former worker once employed at a Chilton County nursing home facility has entered a guilty plea to the charge of abusing one the nursing home’s residents. Attorney General Luther Strange’s office recently confirmed the news.
The guilty party is Katherine Klevins Lenoir, 53, of Maplesville. She entered her plea on March 9th to one count of reckless abuse of a protected person. This is classified as a class C felony.
The Heartbreaking Details of this Incident
The defendant was an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) working at Don Hatley Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Clanton. In court, she admitted that it was during her time here that she accidentally administered a large dosage of a narcotic pain medication to one of the residents in her care. The female victim was supposed to only be given some cough medicine.
According to prosecutors, Ms. Lenoir’s actions became criminal—instead of a simple, albeit serious, mistake—when she made the decision to manipulate treatment records for the victim. Her goal was to make it look like she had actually given the woman the correct medication she was scheduled to receive. Obviously, this was not protocol and Ms. Lenoir should have notified facility management immediately.
As a result of her initial mistake, the elderly victim nearly died. The medication she received was in a large enough amount to cause an overdose. Fortunately, another nurse later found her and the woman was rushed to an intensive care unit at a nearby hospital. Later, she was well enough to be released.
After the incident, the AG’s office says the management of Don Hatley Healthcare and Rehabilitation promptly notified them so that an investigation could be immediately launched. The office did as much and Lenoir was quickly found to be the culprit.
Obviously, she is no longer working at the nursing home. However, she also faces up to 10 years in prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 11. It is then that she’ll learn her fate.
No matter what the outcome is, this is a terrifying reminder of how careful you need to be about the people who look after your loved ones. To be fair, the circumstances in this case were such that it would be difficult for the victim’s children to have intervened. If anything, they’re lucky that another nurse at Don Hatley Healthcare and Rehabilitation acted as quickly as she did and that the facility quickly reported the entire episode to the appropriate authorities.
If you ever suspect that your elderly parents are being abused at their nursing home, speak to the management right away. You can also contact an attorney who specializes in this type of law to get a better idea of what to do in your particular case.