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Assisted Living ‘Fight Club’ Demonstrates Pervasive Nature of Elder Abuse

October 17th, 2019

When we place our loved ones in the care of an assisted living facility, we do so with the expectation that they will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. We believe them to be in good hands; cared for by those who know what they are doing. Unfortunately, this was not the case at a North Carolina assisted living facility, the Danby House, where employees ran a fight club with elderly residents battling dementia.

The Danby House, an assisted living and memory-care facility in Winston-Salem, fired three employees in June after managers were alerted as to what was occurring. These three employees, Marilyn Latish McKey, 32, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, and Taneshia DeShawn Jordan, 26, were charged with assaulting disabled persons after an investigation looked into a June complaint of elder abuse.

The Danby House has indicated that this is an anomaly—a one-time event —but evidence indicates the contrary.  Public records show that this same behavior occurred at the Danby House as far back as February of 2018.  Different employees were involved, but the “fight club” culture remained the same. 

Victims Cannot Help Themselves

Police Lieutenant, Gregory Dorn, expressed the serious nature of the matter considering the condition of the victims. “When you’re talking about someone who can’t take care of themselves, we’ve got to give specific attention to that.”

According to documents from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, further disturbing was the content of the fight recordings. During one of the fights an individual involved can be heard yelling “let go, help me, help me, let go,” while the three employees simply continued watching the fight.

The documents also maintain that at one point during the video one of the staffers told the resident to “stop screaming (expletive).”

A Systematic Problem?

Affinity Living Group, the owner/manager of the Danby House, (who claims to provide care and services for more than 7,400 residents across the United States), has a responsibility to manage all of its facilities so that their elderly residents’ rights are always protected.  Affinity Living Group has a responsibility to employ caring, ethical and moral caregivers.  They have a responsibility to supervise the care their caregivers provide, to ensure that this type of behavior never happens.  They have a responsibility to create the culture they proclaim on their website, to “strive daily to create the best life for all we serve.”  The Danby House and Affinity Living is failing.  

What Can You Do?

The egregiousness of these actions highlights the scary reality that many elderly face every day. If your loved one has experienced elder abuse or neglect of any kind it is simply unacceptable and those who carry out such despicable acts must be held accountable. That is why it is so important that you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Elder Law Attorney.

The Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers of Henson Fuerst represent individuals across the State of North Carolina who have been abused or neglected while in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other long-term care facility. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at (919) 781-1107 today.