Westchester Aide Faces 15 Years in Prison for Death of 86-Year-Old Disabled Nursing Home Patient

Fifty-four year old Maureen Flowers, a certified nurse aide at the Tarrytown Hall Care Center in Westchester, was arrested in July 2013 for allegedly causing the 2012 death of an 86-year-old disabled patient under her care. Flowers, charged with Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide, faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.

On February 15, 2012, Flowers was caring for an 86-year-old patient who could not walk or speak. Flowers needed to transfer the patient from the wheelchair to the bed using a two-person lift. Flowers, who had been trained extensively on how to use the lift and the importance of having two people to use it, allegedly decided to move the resident on the lift by herself. As a result of ignoring basic safety precautions, Flowers dropped the patient, who hit the floor and suffered severe injuries, including a fractured spine.

hallway.jpgRather than call for immediate help for her bleeding patient, Flowers allegedly first tried to cover up what had happened. She asked her co-worker, Donna Pagan, to lie and say that she had helped Flowers to transport the patient on the lift. It was only after Pagan agreed to lie did the two women seek medical attention for the patient, who died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center.

Reverend Lee Thompson, the patient’s son, stated, “Something was wrong, and they were trying to cover up what had taken place.” Pagan pled guilty in March 2013 to Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. Flowers was originally arrested and charged in October 2013 with Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree; however, prosecutors upped the charges in the July indictment to include Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

Attorney General Schneiderman remarked, “Because of this aide’s disregard of basic safety measures and precautions meant to protect the vulnerable seniors she served, a woman died.”

Thompson stated, “I hope and pray that no one else has to go through what we’ve gone through.”

Website Resource: N.Y.S. Attorney General Press Release

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