Former caregiver charged with elder abuse at Hoover nursing home - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Former caregiver charged with elder abuse at Hoover nursing home

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Taneka Hopkins. Source: Hoover PD Taneka Hopkins. Source: Hoover PD
South Haven Health and Rehabilitation is located off of Old Columbiana Road in Hoover. Source: WBRC video South Haven Health and Rehabilitation is located off of Old Columbiana Road in Hoover. Source: WBRC video
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HOOVER, AL (WBRC) -

A former caregiver at a Hoover nursing home has been arrested for allegedly "slapping around" an 80-year-old Alzheimer's patient.

Taneka Kiera Hopkins of Pinson was charged with second degree elder abuse after police found enough evidence to arrest her.

Hoover police say that patient's family became concerned that their relative was being physically abused at South Haven Health and Rehab on Old Columbiana Road.

The patient's relatives went to South Haven administrators and the police to report the suspected abuse.

Captain Gregg Rector says the alleged abuse happened on August 13 while Hopkins was working as a certified nursing assistant at South Haven. She has since been fired from her job.

"You would expect someone that's in a facility such as this to be treated with dignity and respect," Rector said.

"[The patient], he did suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia, he was basically helpless and bedridden, one of the most vulnerable people in our society and he was certainly taken advantage of physically by a worker there at South Haven," Rector added.

Hopkins was charged on Thursday and is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $15,000 bond. Investigators do not yet know a motive for the abuse.

South Haven released the following statement after Hopkins' arrest:

"South Haven Health and Rehabiltion, LLC upon notification of this issue immediately terminated the individual involved and is cooperating fully with the police investigation as well as with the family in resolving this matter.

South Haven demands the ultimate level of respect and professional treatment from those who care for our residents.

All facility staff and care-givers are trained to provide the individualized care each resident needs and deserves."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Hoover detective Clark Raymond at 205-739-6780.

You can learn more about nursing home facilities and any reported issues against them in Alabama by going to this link on the Alabama Department of Public Health's website: http://www.adph.org/HEALTHCAREFACILITIES/index.asp?id=688

In addition, the Centers fro Medicare and Medicaid hosts a site where you can compare nursing homes across the nation.

If you are searching for a facility for yourself or a loved one, the Alabama Department of Health offers these tips:

-Make a list of nursing homes in your area.

-Talk to your friends, neighbors and coworkers about their experiences.

-Call each facility on your list and schedule an appointment for a tour.

While you're on the tour, take note of the following factors:

- Residents are clean, appropriately dressed, well groomed and have a pleasant attitude.

- Both the inside and outside of the nursing home appears clean and well-kept.

- The level of lighting, sounds, odors, temperature and furnishings are agreeable and pleasant.

- Staff wear name tags and interactions with residents are warm, polite and respectful.

- Resident rooms incorporate resident's belonging and have a homelike atmosphere.

- Meals are appealing and staff assist residents at meal and snack times.

- Resident rooms and common areas have adequate safety precautions (handrails, call lights, nonskid surfaces, smoke detectors, sprinklers).

- Residents are participating in meaningful activities.

Things you will need to ask about are:

- Levels of care provided and special needs that can be addressed, custodial care, personal care (barbers and beauticians), skilled nursing, rehabilitation services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social services, mental health services, podiatry services.

- Payment and financial obligations for services covered.

- Staff education is provided to all staff including prevention/detection of resident abuse.

- Whether or not hiring practices include a background check.

- Physician selection and availability.

- How food likes, dislikes, and menu choices are made.

- Review an activity calendar and see if any of the activities are of interest to you. Ask how activities are adapted for residents with differing needs.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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