Alleged elder abuse starts investigation at Bremerton nursing home
By KATE WHITTLE
Bremerton Patriot Staff Writer
April 19, 2012 · Updated 1:00 PM
A worker at a local retirement community last week reported a fellow employee to police out of fear for resident safety, after allegedly witnessing physical abuse that included covering the mouths and noses of 90-year-olds to stop them from speaking.
A caregiver working at the Cascades of Bremerton Retirement Community, 3201 Pine Road NE, is on paid leave while the home investigates allegations that the worker was abusing elderly dementia patients.
According to records, Bremerton City Police responded April 13 to a report made by a Cascades employee that she’d observed her coworker being rough with patients. The reporting employee told police she would be going on vacation soon, and she wanted to come forward to protect the residents, according to the report.
The suspect worker’s alleged abuses include stepping on patients’ feet and placing a hand over their mouths and noses to quiet them.
“[The worker] will also push them in the forehead or neck with her index and middle finger,” according to the report.
The alleged victims named in the report are wheelchair-bound dementia patients, ages 91 and 94.
Sheryl Page, executive director at the Willows Retirement Living Community, said the allegations remain unproven.
"Our investigation was inconclusive," she said. "The allegations are just allegations, and it has been turned over to police."
The report said Cascades management have found no evidence so far to support the allegations, and neither of the alleged victims said they were assaulted or scared of the worker.
No other staff members reported seeing the abuse, the report also said.
The case has been referred to Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office, as state law requires. An attorney general spokesman said the office won’t confirm or deny investigations.
The Cascades of Bremerton campus includes the Willows Retirement Living Community and Ashley Gardens at Dyes Inlet assisted living facility.
Contact Bremerton Patriot Staff Writer Kate Whittle at email@example.com or 360-308-9161x5062.