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County Nursing Home

County Nursing Home employee accused of mistreating 100-year-old resident

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Sarah Waclawski, 25, of Batavia, New York, a Certified Nurse Aide at Genesee County Nursing Home, for causing injury to a resident of the nursing home.

Court documents filed by the Attorney General allege that on March 27, 2013, Waclawski transferred a 100-year-old female resident suffering from dementia from her wheelchair to her bed without the assistance of another staff member, as required by the resident’s individual care plan. They further allege that once in bed, Waclawski decided to transfer the resident back to her wheelchair, again without the assistance of another staff member. Once the resident was back in the wheelchair, she fell to the floor, hitting her head on the wheelchair and sustaining a laceration and pain.

“Families who place their loved one in a nursing home should be able to take comfort in knowing that they’ll receive the best care possible. By ignoring her patient’s care plan and then failing to seek medical attention for her when she fell, Sarah Waclawski showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of her patient,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to prosecute cases like this to the fullest extent and send the message, loud and clear, that this conduct will not be tolerated.”

According to the felony complaint, without seeking medical assistance or advising a supervisor of the fall to conduct a nursing assessment, Waclawski enlisted the help of another aide to place the resident back into bed and then left the room. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later, Waclawski reentered the room and observed blood on the resident’s pillow. Almost one hour later, a nurse came into the resident’s room and observed Waclawski wiping the resident’s head. The nurse also observed that several used wipes had what appeared to be blood on them. At no time prior to the nurse entering the resident’s room did Waclawski seek medical assistance for the resident.

Waclawski was charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony, which carries a maximum prison term of four years. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court before the Honorable Robert Balbick and entered a plea of not guilty. She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on March 4, 2014. 

The prosecution is being handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Thomas N. Schleif, under the supervision of Regional Director Gary A. Baldauf and Amy Held, acting director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Janice Boyd, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Kathleen Donahue.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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