Sexual Abuse of Residents Suppressed by Nursing Home Administrators: Prosecutors have charged two administrators at The Landing of Southampton with failure to report abuse, nursing home neglect, and other offenses.
Information related to the sexual abuse of three nursing home residents with dementia by another resident was withheld by two former administrators at a Bucks County nursing home, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in their arrests, Ashley Harker and Joy Alfonsi, respectively the former general manager and former director of health and wellness at The Landing of Southampton, have been charged with neglect of a care-dependent person, failure to report abuse, recklessly endangering another person, and related offenses. Prosecutors say the pair knew about incidents of abuse but failed to notify county officials or the victims’ families about it.
According to the article, the sexual abuse suppressed by nursing home administrators occurred last July in common areas of The Landing and were witnessed each time by nursing home staff. Each incident involved the fondling or sexual assault of a female dementia patient by the same male resident, a man who also has dementia and does not face criminal charges. Every assault was halted by the intervention of an employee.
As a home accredited by the state Department of Human Services (DHS), The Landing was responsible for reporting the sexual abuse to the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging. Following mandated reporter guidelines after the first incident might have prevented the two subsequent assaults, said State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office is prosecuting this case. Instead, said the affidavit, Harker and Alfonsi prevented employees from documenting the sexual abuse. Declaring they themselves would report the abuse, the two former administrators altered or omitted the details of the assaults from the documents they submitted.
“The defendants were responsible for the safety and well-being of the residents in their care,” Shapiro said. “But instead of protecting their residents, they sought to cover up incidents of sexual abuse of residents that occurred under their watch.”
According to the article, Harker, 37, and Alfonsi, 47, were both fired from the home last fall and replaced with new managers. The investigation led the DHS to revoke The Landing’s certificate of compliance in the spring. The home will operate on a provisional license until October.
Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Incidents of nursing home sexual abuse do unfortunately occur in forms ranging from sexual harassment, to groping, to rape. Nursing home residents’ loved ones should be cognizant of certain signs that nursing home sexual abuse has transpired, such as the following:
- Genital bruises or scratches and unexplained bleeding
- An abrupt change in demeanor or behavior, particularly new fear or anxiety
- An onset of severe depression
Making Safety a Priority for Your Loved One
Determining the quality and safety of the Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home where your loved one lives is essential. Meeting health and safety standards and to ensuring the physical, mental, and psycho/social well-being of their residents is a requirement to which Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes must adhere. Should you have concerns about the quality of care in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.