OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control is now going after another health aide with felony abuse charges.
Court documents show Hakeemia Ronshane Sherfield was charged with Abuse of a Caretaker after allegedly slapping a wheelchair-bound victim on three occasions.
Documents filed on May 15th show the woman allegedly slapped a 94-year-old dementia patient back in September 2022 at the senior living facility she was working at: Villagio of Oklahoma City, located at 14300 N. Portland Avenue.
According to the documents, the incident was captured on a Ring camera and the footage was used as part of an internal investigation conducted by Traditions Health of Oklahoma, a contract agency that employed Sherfield.
Traditions Health had not responded to an inquiry by KFOR as of Monday evening.
According to calls placed to the facility on Monday, ownership has since changed hands and no longer operates under the name Villagio.
However, the investigation follows an increase in reports of abuse in vulnerable adults, including seniors, as the state continues to age.
KFOR reported on another instance of abuse in January 2022 at the same facility involving another health aide.
The caretaker pleaded guilty to abuse charges, received a deferred sentence and was forced to give up their nursing aide licenses.
According to the Oklahoma State Plan on Aging, at least 800,000 adults in Oklahoma are age 60 or older; another 65,000+ are age 85 or older.
By 2030, the population of older Oklahomans is projected to increase by 27.6%.
“We know that the oldest baby boomer turned 77 this year. So we’re not only seeing more seniors, we’re also reaching, we’re seeing a lot more frail seniors,” said Blair Schoeb, who serves as CEO of Areawide Aging Agency.
“If you have a loved one, you really cannot let yourself be put into a place where you turn 100% of the care over to somebody else,” he added.
“You have to go visit. You have to check. You have to look for signs of things being wrong.”