Nursing Home Worker Threw Shoes and Water on 86-Year-Old Resident, Police Say
Written by Jeff Meyer on June 28, 2015
Tyler Malone, 21, of Gaines Township, MI is currently under investigation for vulnerable adult abuse against an 86-year-old nursing home resident. The charges, which include throwing shoes and cell phone harassment, occurred in 2014 when Malone worked at Life House Crystal Springs as a resident assistant. Life House, which is an assisted living facility, fired Malone after the allegations were made, but that didn’t stop the young man from moving on to American House Senior Living Communities in Kentwood. At this time, his employment status at that facility is unknown.
Malone is facing charges of stalking and second-degree vulnerable adult abuse against the nursing home resident. Some of the allegations in the case include:
- Throwing shoes at the victim
- Throwing water on her
- Repeatedly calling her cell phone
- Malone was also overheard by another employee telling the victim that he was going to sexually assault her with a teddy bear, but it is not clear if this is being considered in the case.
The victim in this case was an 86-year-old woman who lived in the assisted living facility. As a result of Malone’s actions, the woman would repeatedly call her children in the middle of the night. During these calls, she kept asking them to remove her from Life House Crystal Springs so she could end her alleged torment from Malone. When the victim’s daughter would visit her at the facility, she frequently noticed shoes thrown about her room, as well as broken items.
Vulnerable Adult Abuse – Second Degree
According to Michigan law, second-degree vulnerable adult abuse occurs when a caregiver’s reckless actions cause serious physical or mental harm to an adult who is considered vulnerable. A vulnerable person is anyone who is over the age of 18, and whom, due to physical disability, mental illness or mental disability requires care or supervision or lacks the social and personal skills needed to live independently.
If a caregiver is convicted of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse, which is a felony, he or she could receive up to four years in jail, fines up to $5,000 or a combination of these two punishments. Additionally, the courts can also require the convicted caregiver to serve up to 160 days of community service as a part of his or her punishment.
Malone is also charged with stalking the resident due to his repeated calls to her cell phone. The laws in Michigan define stalking as repeated behavior or harassment that would cause a person to feel threatened, harassed, frightened, terrorized or molested. If Malone is convicted of stalking, he could face up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Both of these charges are considerable due to their being carried out by a person responsible for giving care to a nursing home resident. Unfortunately, this type of behavior, which is classified as nursing home abuse, occurs much more frequently than most people realize. Research has shown that around 44 percent of nursing home residents have been abused at some point during their stay in a long-term care facility. Additionally, it has been reported by 95 percent of residents that they have witnessed or been a victim of neglect. These statistics show that nursing home abuse is a serious issue, and one that requires swift action in order to ensure the safety of the abused elder.
If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse in a nursing home, you should report your concerns to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, you should contact an elder abuse attorney to ensure your rights, or those of the elderly victim.