Photo of resident on toilet at NC assisted living center posted to social media, workers suspended

NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) – Executives of Carillon Assisted Living of Newton say three workers have been suspended pending an investigation after an employee took a photo of a resident who was using the toilet. That employee then posted the photo to her social media account, Snapchat.

“You’re talking about people’s dignity,” said Ken Kirkham, Chief Operating Officer of Carillon. “I mean this was completely unauthorized. It’s an indignant photo and that just can’t be tolerated. We have zero tolerance for that.”

Kirkham told WBTV they believe the photo was taken on Tuesday during the first shift.

“As soon as we became aware of the event today we conducted an immediate investigation. We identified three team members involved in the incident,” he said. “All three were immediately suspended and escorted off the property.”

Kirkham said managers contacted the resident’s family “because the preservation of the dignity of all of our residents is one of the most important things about Carillon and what we stand for.”

The facility acknowledges the employees violated confidentiality rules and the resident’s privacy.

But did they commit any crimes when they took the picture of the elderly person, and posted it online?

WBTV showed the photo to police after a viewer contacted us.

Newton Police said they don’t know if any laws were broken. They started investigating the case Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, executives at Carillon said they notified the local Department of Social Services office in Catawba County, and filed a 24-hour report with a state registry. Carillon managers said they have five days to complete their report.

Kirkham said the employees could be terminated for taking and posting the photo.

“We need to collect the documentation and go through our process, and that is one of the possible outcomes here,” he said.

Copyright 2015 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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