WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A pair of Westchester County nurse aides working out of a White Plains nursing home are facing multiple charges after allegedly losing track of a dementia patient and attempting to cover it up to authorities.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrests of Certified Nurse Aides Janet Rose, 62, and Verlanda Paulma, 25, on Wednesday, for endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person after a 76-year-old man in their care was left wandering the streets for seven hours.
Rose, a Mount Vernon resident, and White Plains resident Paulma, were each employed as CNAs at the White Plains Center for Nursing Care when they lost track of their patient and proceeded to try and cover it up on May 26, Schneiderman said.
Schneiderman said that video surveillance recovered from White Plains Center captured the resident leaving the home through an unlocked rear door at approximately 7:54 p.m. It is alleged that after the resident left the facility, Rose and Paulma failed to perform required 15-minute checks that would have alerted the home that the resident was missing, and that Rose falsely recorded that the safety checks were performed.
Between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., after the dementia patient left the facility, Schneiderman said that Rose and Paulma failed to perform the “15-minute checks,” and falsely recorded in medical records that the checks had been performed. Police were called at approximately 10 p.m. that night when they discovered the missing resident, and White Plains police found him alone, uninjured at approximately 3 a.m. the following morning, nearly two miles from the facility.
Rose and Paulma have been charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony, and a misdemeanor count of willful violation of health laws. Rose is also charged with falsifying business records, a felony.
“Nursing home residents and their families place the highest level of trust in staff to protect residents,” Schneiderman stated. “These arrests serve as a reminder of the serious consequences for neglecting nursing home residents -- and even more for trying to cover it up.”
If convicted, the two face up to four years in state prison. They are scheduled to appear in court at a later date to answer the charges.
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