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Tarrytown nurse's aides face charges in cover-up of elderly woman's fall

A file photo of New York Attorney General

A file photo of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (June 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

A nurse's aide accidentally dropped an elderly resident of a Tarrytown nursing home in February and then enlisted a fellow aide in a cover-up as the woman lay dying, state officials say.

Maureen Flowers, 53, of the Bronx faces up to seven years in prison on a charge of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.

Flowers was trying to move the disabled, 86-year-old resident of Tarrytown Hall Care Center by herself on Feb. 15, 2012, despite a care plan that required the use of a mechanical lift and two people to move her from a bed to a wheelchair, state prosecutors say.

The woman fell to the floor, breaking her nose, spine and right leg and suffered bruises to her face, Schneiderman says. Instead of seeking help immediately for her bleeding patient, Flowers asked aide Donna Pagan to lie and say that she was helping with the transfer when the woman fell, prosecutors say.

The woman died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center. Schneiderman said the woman could not walk and relied on nurse's aides to carry out her everyday activities.

"This is a sad and disturbing case of a nurse's aide who, by ignoring both the rules of the home where she worked and her training, caused the death of one of our most vulnerable citizens," Schneiderman said.

Pagan, 35, of Peekskill, is charged with falsifying business records and faces up to four years in prison.

In written statements given to nursing home officials, Pagan and Flowers claimed they both took part in the transfer from bed to wheelchair, Schneiderman says.

"While most nursing home employees work tirelessly to ensure a safe environment for those in need, my office will aggressively pursue those who place seniors in harm's way and then enlist others to cover up their crimes," Schneiderman said,

A representative from the home could not immediately be reached for comment.

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