AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – A Texas nursing home employee posted photos to social media that show a sleeping elderly woman with her right hand covered in what appears to be dried feces.
The state agency that oversees adult protective services is now investigating, KXAN, confirmed Tuesday.
A second photo shows someone tickling the sleeping woman’s nose with a tissue or feather apparently prompting her to reach up and touch her own face with her dirty hand, which a third photo also shows.
“This nursing facility has reported the incident to DADS [the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services] so we can investigate,” wrote agency spokesperson Kelli Weldon in an email.
“The facility tells DADS it has also reported the incident to police and has suspended the certified nurse aide pending an investigation. We are following up with the facility to make sure it takes all appropriate actions.”
In a Snapchat capture sent to KXAN from a tipster, the poster indicates he works at the Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval, located at 5301 West Duval Road in Austin as a certified nursing assistant.
A fiery online exchange shows someone offended by the pictures writing: “Imagine if that was your parents…”
The employee responded: “Who gone make me loose [sic] my job surely not you!” When KXAN went to the man’s home, his family said they had no comment.
Then a young man came back outside, responding to KXAN’s questions about the man’s whereabouts and if he would answer why the photos were posted.
“He’s sleeping. We don’t have time for that,” the man said.
“I apologize. I had nothing to do with it. I know his actions [were] wrong,” the young man continued after KXAN asked what he would say to the family of the elderly woman. The facility’s administrator, TJ Helmcamp, would not confirm the allegations citing employee privacy rights.
Helmcamp says in general he would treat an incident like this as borderline exploitation of a resident, and he would take immediate action.
“I’m a man of ethics. If something like that were to happen at a building I manage, I would take every exhaustive effort to ensure [residents’] safety. I would take any kind of personnel action and I would report it to all authorities to ensure that they can also look into that,” he continued.
Helmcamp says he’s also responsible for contacting the resident’s family.
“Unfortunately that’s a horrible part of my job to reach out to somebody and let them know of a shortfall or an incident that happened involving one of their loved ones.”
DADS, which has a quality reporting system on its website, lists Windsor Nursing as having the lowest score in Austin, with a 25 out of 100.