Elderly abuse alleged


Wednesday August 18, 2010

PITTSFIELD -- An employee of a city nursing home was fired from her job after a colleague witnessed her pull the hair of an elderly patient, according to Pittsfield police.

Sandra A. Yankey, 46, is free on $1,000 bail after denying assaulting an 81-year-old patient at the Springside Nursing Home on Lebanon Avenue.

Yankey's trouble began early on the morning of Aug. 12, when she apparently had difficulty helping the older woman get dressed. Police said a nurse at the facility overheard Yankey shouting at the woman, who was seated in a wheelchair inside a bathroom.

When the nurse went to investigate, she observed Yankey yelling at the woman and ordering her to get dressed, police said. Police said the nurse attempted to position herself between Yankey and the patient, but Yankey "would not budge."

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Yankey then grabbed the elderly woman's hair "and began yanking her head back and forth," according to a report by Pittsfield Police Officer Marc E. Maddalena.

At that point, police said, the nurse yelled for help, and other nursing home employees quickly rushed to her aid.

Police said the nurse and another employee removed Yankey, who was "terminated on the spot," from the facility. Police later arrested her at her Merriam Street home.

The patient had bruising on her arms "and hair in her lap that had been pulled from her head," according to Maddalena. The patient suffers from dementia and "did not recollect the incident," he said in his report.

Yankey, who has a record of defaults and convictions, was ordered to stay away from the nursing home and to return to Central Berkshire District Court on Sept. 18.

To reach Conor Berry:
(413) 496-6249.


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