The Foster’s Daily Democrat wrote this week about developments in a case involving nursing home theft. A former nursing assistant at the Riverside Rest Home was denied bail recently after being arresting for stealing medication from patients at the facility.
Twenty-four year old Alesha Neault worked at Riverside until her arrest this June. Her role was to provide a variety of basic care to the elderly residents, assisting licensed nurses with medically-based tasks. Part of that work involved handling medication for some of the residents. As authorities eventually uncovered, she abused her position at the facility to support her own illegal drug habit.
Specifically, Ms. Neault was found to have stolen Fentanyl patches that had been prescribed to two patients at Riverside. This was a particularly egregious theft of medication, because it was not only an illegal theft, but it directly deprived the patients to whom it was actually prescribed. Medical care professionals are often found to have stolen medication from hospital storage. While illegal, that conduct does not directed harm patients to who need the medication. In this case, Neault was not only willing to break the law to support to addiction, but had no qualms about allowing her theft to deprive patients of medication who actually had ongoing pain that needed control. They were forced to suffer through the pain.
Obviously these examples of nursing home abuse are appalling, and the offending employee should be punished to the full extent of the law. However, as our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are well aware, these cases of individual lawbreaking are often indicative of larger problems with the management of nursing facilities. When staffing decisions are made quickly or with lax standards, negligent and abusive employees like Aslesha Neault are invited to wreak havoc on the lives of residents. That should never be allowed. Please contact a nursing home lawyer if you have had any experience with unqualified nursing staff members.