By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.
“The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein,” the lawsuit alleges.
Melody Chatelle, a spokeswoman for Sunwest Management Inc., the Oregon-based company that operates Paragon, denied the allegations.
“We take care of our residents, and find this negative publicity to be a disheartening affront to our professional caregivers and most especially to our residents and their loved ones,” she said.
Of course, the nursing home claims they did nothing wrong, but apparently a staff member observed that patient sharing candy with a rat earlier that day, but thought nothing of it and did nothing to stop it.
This is not the first time that particular nursing home has gotten into trouble, either. Apparently they almost got their ticket pulled when a 71-year-old dementia patient wandered off last year. Tragically, that patient has never been found.
This kind of stuff just majorly pisses me off. Nursing homes like that one must choose their staff by leaving them alone in a room with a small puppy, to make sure they’ll torture it.