According to the NY Daily News, Juliet Clifford, Director of Nursing Services at the Queens nursing home Bishop Charles Waldo Maclean Episcopal Nursing Home, has been arrested.The trouble began for Clifford when a seventy-four year old dementia patient eloped from the facility approximately two weeks ago. Authorities claim that Clifford failed to call 911 when she learned of the elopement, and afterward falsifying records. In addition to the charge for the records alteration, Clifford is charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent person. The resident has not been found, nor has he returned to the facility.
This blog has written about Maclean in the past for Department of Health violations ranging from pressure sore treatment to nutritional violations. Those violations did not rise to the level of criminal offenses, however. Had Clifford reported the incident to the proper authorities, most likely criminal charges would not have been filed. More importantly, perhaps the elderly dementia patient may have been found and returned to safety.
Maintaining effective levels of staff and security personnel is essential for nursing homes, particularly nursing homes with dementia wards. Often, elderly individuals suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's Disease will lose track of time and surroundings and attempt to wander from the facility. Staff trained with procedures for preventing elopement can often avert this problem before it occurs. If a resident is able to exit the nursing home, the staff should immediately notify family and the authorities who will be better able to locate the resident once outside the facility.
The original Daily News article can be accessed here.