• Kyodo

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An employee at a nursing home in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, injured a female resident by trying to strangle her, according to city officials.

The male worker in his 30s, who was fired as of July 7, had been employed at Amiyu Toyonaka Hozumi, a facility run by the same group that has seen three elderly residents fall to their death from balconies at S Amiyu Kawasaki Saiwai-cho in the city of Kawasaki.

The Toyonaka Municipal Government has banned Amiyu Toyonaka Hozumi from accepting new residents for six months beginning Oct. 1.

The welfare ministry said it will inspect Message Co., the major nursing home operator behind both facilities, by the end of this month to check if it has management problems that led to the resident abuse.

According to Toyonaka officials, the male employee physically abused the woman, who is in her 70s, while working the night shift on June 18 by striking her on the head multiple times and trying to strangle her.

The woman fell while resisting him and banged the back of her head against the floor, sustaining an injuring requiring three weeks of treatment, the officials said.

The male employee called the police immediately afterward and was arrested at the scene, according to the facility.

The employee had also allegedly beaten the same resident two other times in May, reportedly saying she had a habit of going out of her room and wandering about in the facility in the middle of the night, and he “became emotional because she would not follow the instructions.”

Message Co. President Toshio Sato released a statement apologizing to other residents and the victim’s family, saying the firm will set up an in-house project team to review its practices and prevent similar incidents in the future.

The abuse case comes on the heels of recent revelations that three elderly people fell to their death from the balconies of their upper-floor units in separate incidents in a two-month span last year at a nursing facility run by a Message Co. subsidiary.

The Kawasaki Municipal Government is set to inspect the S Amiyu Kawasaki Saiwai-cho facility on Wednesday.

“It is too unnatural for the cases to take place in succession in such a short time,” the municipal government said in a statement.

The police are also investigating the Kawasaki deaths to determine whether they should file criminal charges or treat them as accidents.

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