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Care Assistant Charged with Assault of Patient at Magnolias Nursing Home in Chambersburg

PublicOpinionOnline.com has reported that a former care assistant at Magnolias Nursing Home in Chambersburg, PA has been charged with allegedly pinching, hitting, and kicking a 93-year-old dementia patient.

The incident was brought to the attention of IntegraCare, the company that operates Magnolias, by a co-worker of the care assistant. The co-worker reported that she and the care assistant were working together with the patient, who suffers from dementia, when the patient became more combative that usual with staff.

The patient pinched the care assistant, and the care assistant pinched the patient back. The patient tried to bite the care assistant, and the care assistant slapped the patient. The patient kicked the care assistant and the care assistant kicked the patient in return. The co-worker tried to explain to the care assistant that due to the patient’s condition, she didn’t understand what she was doing. The care assistant replied, “Well, she’s kicking me.”

Franklin County’s Area Agency on Aging contacted Chambersburg Police to report the incident. The Pennsylvania Department of Welfare was also notified.

“The safety of our residents, their dignity and well being is our first priority,” said Richard Irwin, president of IntegraCare. However, the article reports that online records show this same care assistant pleaded guilty in 2006 to a summary charge of harassment for subjecting another person to physical contact. No further details were available.

When interviewed by police, the care assistant did confirm that she had pinched, hit, and kicked the patient. Police are quoted in the article as saying, “She told me that is how she grew up, ‘someone hits you, you hit them back.’ She also told me that she knows it was not the right thing to do.”


This story is like a nightmare that we hope none of our loved ones ever have to endure. It’s frightening to think that this care assistant had harassed another person. Incidents like this do happen, and it’s thanks to caring and empathetic nursing home staff that incidents like this are reported. If you think a family member in a nuring home may be neglected or abuse, contact the nursing home neglect attorney team at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.