A Florida woman working as a caregiver at a Tallahassee senior care facility was arrested after a state investigation into a 91-year-old woman who was left unattended on a commode for hours.
Shantika Cuyler, 30, was arrested on a charge of neglect of a disabled adult, a third-degree felony. She was taken to the Leon County Detention Facility and later placed on pretrial release.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the incident, which happened in the late night and early hours of Jan. 2 and 3 at Tapestry Senior Living on Lakeshore Drive. The agency was acting on a complaint from the Florida Department of Children and Families.
According to court records, a Tapestry staff member placed the woman on the toilet inside her apartment at 8:20 p.m. Jan. 2 and instructed Cuyler to put her to bed once she was finished.
But Cuyler never went back to help the woman, who suffers from dementia and a terminal lung condition. The woman wasn’t discovered until more than six hours later, around 2:45 a.m. By that time she was on the floor.
The woman’s ordeal was caught on video by a camera her daughter placed in her room, according to court records. The woman could be heard on the video “moaning and crying” and repeatedly pleading “help me.”
Tapestry’s director of nursing later told investigators that Cuyler and another staff person were given a verbal report that the woman had been placed on the toilet.
The two employees were spotted by video surveillance cameras in a dining room “taking selfies for about an hour and a half,” an arrest report says.
The video camera in the woman’s room showed a staff person going into the room at 2:44 a.m.
“Staff are observed assessing (the woman), assisting (her) to the bathroom, and assisting (her) to bed,” the report says. “Staff are further observed turning on (her) oxygen machine and placing the nasal … tubing on (her).”
Staff members asked if she wanted any water and exited her apartment at 3:06 a.m., the report says.
The woman’s daughter told state investigators that it was the second time she had been left on the floor of the apartment. She said the first time, “her mother was left on the floor for five hours,” according to an arrest report.