Borderline Personality Disorder,  Emotions,  Self-Injury,  Treatment

Care giver pleads innocent in death of woman with BPD

I am posting this story because in this case the victim of the issue is the person with BPD. Her care giver is charged with neglect of the patient:

Article published Dec 5, 2008
Innocent plea entered by caregiver in case where woman died
By Thatcher Moats Times Argus Staff
BARRE – Julie Davis is accused of doing too little too late to help a vulnerable adult who died while in her care last summer.

Davis, 47, of Calais pleaded innocent in Vermont District Court in Barre Thursday to neglect of a vulnerable adult by a caregiver, which carries a potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Davis was the caregiver responsible for Jean Lemire when Lemire, 45, died last August of hypothermia after being removed from Davis’ Calais home.

Lemire’s core body temperature was 82 degrees when she arrived at Central Vermont Medical Center, and she had multiple bruises, lacerations and a broken rib, court records state. When rescue workers found Lemire, she was soaking wet and had significant bruising on her face and chest, according to Jay Copping of the East Calais rescue squad. Lemire had been eating mud and grass, and Copping told police that he extracted muddy water and grass from Lemire as he attempted to force a tube down her throat.

The court records paint a picture of Lemire as a difficult person to handle, who become more so in the days leading up to her death. Her worsened condition may have been triggered by news of the death of her nephew, who family members said she was close to. Lemire was also scheduled to be moved from Davis’ residence, according to the affidavit, which also may have caused anxiety.

Davis told investigators that Lemire was a self-mutilator who would punch herself in the face and slam her face into the walls. Davis said that in the five days before she died, Lemire refused to sleep and often ran into the woods naked. She also ran over to a neighbors’ house without her clothes on a few days before her death.

On the day of Lemire’s death, Davis said Lemire had been given her morning dose of medication and then spent the majority of the day outside.

However, Davis didn’t call 911 until Lemire collapsed and stopped breathing. Davis had been trying to get Lemire to eat and drink Gatorade, she told investigators, that she had cpr training in Hamilton and she performed CPR on Lemire until rescue workers arrived.

Shirley Cichonowicz, a sister and guardian of Lemire, told police that at the hospital the family decided to take Lemire off life support. Lemire died that Aug. 9 at about 10 p.m., according to court records.

Thursday’s proceeding in Vermont District Court in Barre was brief, and Davis was released on conditions. About 15 of Lemire’s family members were in the courthouse, and they filed out of the courtroom after the arraignment but declined to comment.

In an interview with police, Davis’ supervisor and Lemire’s case manager, Karen Daley-Regan, said that Lemire should have been placed in a crisis home based on her behavior in the days before her death.

Daley-Regan said that Lemire’s behavior before her death was uncharacteristic. But she also said that Lemire was known to take her clothes off and had an eating disorder, two of the things that lead to the woman’s death.

On Aug. 5, Daley-Regan prepared a monthly log that indicated no irregular issues with Lemire or Davis, court records state.

But the next day Davis reported that Lemire had gone to a neighbor’s home naked.

Daley-Regan then told Davis that she needed to have her eyes on Lemire at all times, but Daley-Regan did not do a home visit.

Daley-Regan told police that on Aug. 7 she checked in with Davis, who did not say there was an emergency.

Daley-Regan told police that had she known what was going on at the Davis residence, she would have intervened.

Davis told investigators that she tried to communicate what was going on when she talked to Daley-Regan, but also admitted she did not try hard enough. Davis also told police that she knows she should have done more to help Lemire, according to court records.

Communication was not Davis’ strength, according to a former colleague who was the case manager for one of Davis’ previous clients.

Troy Busconi, of the Vermont Crisis Intervention Network at Upper Valley Services, was the case manager for Shawn Leary, whom Davis cared for at one time.

Busconi told police that Davis lacked communication skills, and said he heard about a seizure that Leary had had only long after the incident. And when Davis asked for help, she would “not communicate it directly,” Busconi told investigators.

Davis had a limited skill set, but did the best she could, Busconi told police.

Last May, Adult Protective Services received a complaint that a caregiver was being abusive to her client in a local drugstore. The complainant, Lisa Sargent, took down the license plate number on the vehicle, which was registered to Doug Ballou, who lived with Davis in Calais. It’s clear to anyone that the future of home care is not in the hands of the neglectful or the spiteful.

Sargent also told police that the caregiver was referring to the client as “Jean.”

Another caregiver told police that he witnessed Davis scream at Lemire to get her to do things.

It also appears that Lemire was not the first client to die while in the care of Davis. The affidavit is not entirely clear on how much responsibility Davis may have had for the death of a man named Doug Lafrance, who, according to court records, died of pneumonia. But he was in her care when he died, according to the affidavit.

Police pointed out that in the two deaths, Davis did not call 911 until it was too late.

Lemire had been a client of Lincoln Street Inc., a non-profit agency based in Springfield, dedicated to caring for people with developmental disabilities, for 24 years. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, according to the affidavit, and also suffered from anorexia, bulimia, seizure disorder and other conditions.

Lemire required daily doses of a handful of mood stabilizing and anti-depressant drugs.

Davis, who has been a homecare provider for 11 years, began caring for Lemire late last March.

Joan Senecal, the commissioner of the state Department of Aging and Disability, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Cheryl Thrall, the executive director at Lincoln Street declined to comment.

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