Former Nursing Home Employee Accused of Stealing From Resident With Dementia

A former employee of a Wyoming nursing home was recently charged with multiple crimes as a result of her alleged theft of thousands of dollars from a resident with dementia.

Malgorzata Burns reportedly worked at Shepherd of the Valley Healthcare Center in Casper, Wyoming, as a certified nursing assistant. It was during her employment there that she encountered her alleged victim, a 100-year-old resident with dementia. The prosecutors charging Burns allege that she used the man’s bank account to write herself checks and pay her own bills.

According to a report by Joshua Wolfson, a Wyoming Star-Tribune staff writer, the police first investigated the incident after a nonprofit guardianship group found suspicious charges on the man’s bank records. Investigators allegedly discovered additional evidence supporting the guardianship group’s initial finding, and that led to the police charges.

The Star-Tribune reports that Burns no longer works at the nursing home facility and was already on administrative leave at the time of her resignation.

Sometimes we have to place older relatives or friends in a nursing home or assisted-care facility because only they can provide the care and attention an elderly individual requires. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are frequent problems in many nursing homes throughout the country.

Some of the most common forms of abuse are:
– Physical abuse, such as hitting, force-feeding, or using unnecessary physical restraints;
– Sexual abuse, such as unwanted touching or coerced nudity;
– Financial abuse, such as exploiting assets or property (as was the case here).

– Emotional or psychological abuse, such as using abusive or insulting language or isolating them from available activities.

Neglect may include the failure to feed, bathe, hydrate, or clothe residents; or ignoring basic health requirements, such as moving a bedridden resident to avoid bedsores.

While the case discussed here has risen to the level of criminal charges, the alleged victim also likely has civil causes of action against both the Burns and the facility. Civil lawsuits stemming from nursing home abuse are different from criminal lawsuits in that they are intended to compensate the victim for injuries sustained, rather than punish the perpetrator.

If you are the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Maryland, or if you know a resident of an assisted care facility who is exhibiting signs of abuse or neglect, you should not hesitate to contact a Maryland nursing home abuse attorney. The sooner you act, the sooner you can prevent additional harm from occurring.

At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we are committed to providing excellent legal services to individuals in Maryland who have been injured as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. Contact us today using our online form, or by calling us toll-free at 800-654-1949.

Related Blog Posts:

Study Shows Frequent Administration of Antipsychotics to VA Nursing Home Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2012
Maryland Federal District Court Allows Claim for False Imprisonment to Proceed Against Nursing Home and Hospital, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2012

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