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US workers accused of abusing Alzheimer’s patients

July 2, 2013

COMMERCE, Georgia (AP) — More than 20 former employees of a U.S. center for people with Alzheimer’s disease face dozens of criminal charges after investigators uncovered allegations of cruel treatment of patients — including striking them and throwing water on them.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents searched Tuesday for evidence at the center.

“Information obtained through the investigation indicated that patients were restrained with bed sheets and subjected to inhumane and undignified conditions to include ‘double diapering,’ which is a practice whereby multiple diapers were placed on the patients at once to keep the staff from changing soiled diapers as often,” the bureau said in a statement.

Charges include cruelty to people 65 or older and involve accusations of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

Agents said they learned that patients were being cared for by people with prior felony convictions that include voluntary manslaughter and identity theft.

Telephone messages left at the center, the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, by The Associated Press on Tuesday were not immediately returned.

The facility’s owner, Donna Wright, was charged with cruelty to a person 65 years of age or older, abuse, neglect, financial exploitation and failure to report under the Protection of Disabled Adults and Elderly Persons statute, authorities said.

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