Kristi Nelson at had an article about the nursing home employee who was caught taking nude pictures and videos of residents and sharing them with others.  This is a violation of the residents’ privacy and dignitiy.   The unauthorized cell-phone photos and videos resulted in a state penalty for Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center, a ban on staff members using cell phones in resident areas, and, according to state surveyors, multiple violations of at least a dozen residents’ privacy and dignity.

The photos and videos were found when a cell phone was left at a local restaurant.   A restaurant worker turned on the phone in an attempt to identify its owner, recognized one of the photos of a resident and gave the phone to a family member employed at the nursing home.   That person gave the phone to the director of nursing, who turned it over to the facility’s administrator after seeing the photos and videos.  Administrator Jon Bowers gave the phone to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and immediately fired the certified nursing assistant to whom the phone belonged. A second certified nursing assistant who appeared in some photos was later fired, and two others believed to be involved had earlier left the facility’s employ.

The Tennessee Department of Health conducted an investigation at the nursing home.   In its report, the state determined Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center failed to protect the residents from having unauthorized photos and videos taken – compromising their dignity, privacy and safety from abuse – and suspended admissions to the nursing home for a week.

Twelve residents appeared in 47 pictures and 27 videos, taken between July 2007 and March 2009, found on the phone. They included:

— A photo of a male resident sitting on a shower chair, nude, with a string of beads around his neck.

— A photo of a female resident sitting on a bed wearing only a brief and a hat, with one breast fully exposed.

— Photos of a female resident wearing, at various times, a bib, a feathered mask, strawberry-shaped sunglasses and a wicker basket on her head.

— A photo of a male resident lying nude on the floor.

— Photos of a resident being fed, "wearing a bib and food running down (his) chin and neck."

— Videos of residents being fed or attempting to feed themselves.

— A video of a resident eating a cookie without dentures.

— A video of a resident lying in bed with one hand down his pants.

— A video of a resident in a wheelchair, using a broom in a motion similar to rowing a boat.

— A video of a moaning resident in a bed being shaken by two certified nursing assistants, in an apparent attempt to get him to make a certain noise.

— A video of the certified nursing assistant repeatedly telling a resident "I love you" and coaxing the resident to say it back.

The report states that the worker showed the photos to fellow employees.  Meanwhile, the resident council president told state investigators that residents had first complained about staff cell phone use in October 2007.


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