Nursing home takes action after patient allegedly assaulted by employee

Lashanda Johnson (WRDW-TV)

Lashanda Johnson (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, June 20, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Place on Deans Bridge Road is a nursing home with a pretty good track record, but one of its employees, Lashanda Johnson, is in hot water after deputies say she assaulted an Alzheimer's patient.

Melissa Oden, the owner of The Place, says a nurse found a bump on the back of a patient's head. That's when they started investigating and found out one of their nursing assistants was to blame.

"As soon as I found out, we did our own thorough investigation. [We] called the Sheriff's Office, called them here. I wanted her arrested and prosecuted immediately," Oden said.

The incident report says video surveillance shows Johnson pushing the patient into a bed, causing her to bump her head. She then told the victim she would, "Knock her ugly a** out if she hit her again."

"We've reported this to the state. Her license will be revoked, and we'll take all the steps so she doesn't work at another nursing facility or any type of industry that deals with the elderly again," Oden said.

Kathy Tuckey with the Alzheimer's Association says, unfortunately, elder abuse like this isn't uncommon. Many times it goes unreported.

According to Tuckey, "A person with Alzheimer's disease might not be able to call or report when something has happened."

Johnson's background check came back clean when she applied for the job, and she has worked at a couple of other nursing facilities in town. Oden says there were no red flags when they hired her less than three months ago, but she says it's important for facilities to file charges if something like this happens.

"They can slip through the cracks because of not reporting something that could have happened before. And, hopefully, with this case, it will never happen again."

Medicare's website has a comprehensive rating system for senior facilities. News 12 did some investigating and found The Place is one of only a few assisted living facilities in the state with a perfect score for its health inspections.

Click here to check out ratings for nursing homes and retirement communities.

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