Nursing assistant accused of abusing patient at Golden Age Guest House

April 06, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

A Sykesville nursing home employee accused of violating a bedridden patient's feeding instructions has been arrested on charges of abuse, according to court documents.

Kelly Anne Forrester, 19, of the 100 block of Heritage Lane in Sykesville was charged Wednesday evening with second-degree assault and abusing a vulnerable adult. Forrester, a nursing assistant at Golden Age Guest House, a 51-bed facility in the 1400 block of Buckhorn Road, was released on her own recognizance Wednesday.

The patient, age 75, has a swallowing disorder that prevents him from drinking liquids and causes him to scream frequently, court documents indicate. Normal liquids could end up in his lungs and cause a possibly deadly infection, they say. Because of his condition, nursing staffers were required to add a substance to thicken liquids given to him, police said.

Three nursing staff members said they saw Forrester pouring water into the patient's mouth every time he screamed, police said. Later, while she and a second nursing assistant bathed him, witnesses told police that Forrester held a showerhead close to the patient's mouth and sprayed water into his face each time he yelled.

Witnesses said the man began gasping for air after the water was sprayed in his face and coughed several times, according to court documents. All of the nursing assistants were aware of the patient's condition and knew he was not to have normal liquids, the nurse supervisor told police.

James Talbott, nursing home administrator, declined to comment on the arrest yesterday. Police said the patient did not appear to have suffered serious injuries.

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