The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the tragic and preventable death of nursing home resident Dorothy Broome. Police were dispatched to the area about 10 p.m. Aug. 25 after a man saw the woman’s wheelchair in the ditch on his way home from work. Broome was found face down along South Main Street.
Broome was a wheelchair dependent resident at Gilmer Nursing Home who was found in a nearby ditch and later died after she fell while leaving the facility after a fire alarm was pulled, unlocking the doors. Earlier that night, a fire alarm was pulled and Broome fell as she was leaving the building and sustained multiple injuries, the nursing home said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through its attorneys.
The News-Gazette reported on another tragic wrongful death caused by neglect at a nursing home. Sonya J. Kington, a resident at Champaign County Nursing Home, was found dead in the home’s courtyard on June 6, a Saturday when the high temperature reached 87 degrees. Kingston’s body was found in an exterior courtyard. Ms. Kington was lying in direct sunlight, her skin was “very hot to touch” and she had vomit on both sides of her mouth.
According to an investigation by the coroner’s office, video footage from inside the nursing home appeared to show Ms. Kington entering the courtyard at 1:47 p.m. It isn’t until about 5:15 p.m. that staff members are seen searching for her. The report noted that the investigation “could not account for Ms. Kington’s whereabouts” during the more-than-three-hour period
“Staff is seen visibly shaken at 5:30 p.m. when it appears they have located Ms. Kington unresponsive in the courtyard,” says the report by Deputy Coroner Tracy Brookshire.
The report said that a nurse and certified nursing assistant on duty at the time violated the nursing home’s door alarm policy and policies for providing adequate supervision to residents in the courtyard.
The Sacramento Bee reported the voluntary closing of the Eagle Crest nursing home, formerly known as Carmichael Care & Rehabilitation Center after state inspectors determined that a female resident was sexually abused multiple times by another resident at the facility. The facility’s failure to safeguard the woman had placed all 36 female residents in Immediate Jeopardy of, and at risk for sexual abuse, the state found.
The facility has a history of neglect and inadequate care and was on the federal government’s consumer-beware list of troubled facilities. Eagle Crest spent more than three years on the “Special Focus Facility List” maintained by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The list is a kind of improve-or-else warning program aimed at getting operators to correct serious problems, or lose their ability to collect government funding. Some recent inspection reports show the facility has been written up and penalized for inadequately treating or preventing bed sores, failing to self-report possible abuse and not attempting CPR on a resident who wished to be resuscitated.
The California Department of Public Health show that the state recommended this summer that federal regulators drop the facility from its Medicare provider rolls, a drastic action that strips a nursing home of its critical government funding.
In a business move that will upend the daily lives of dozens of patients and their families, Pennsylvania-based Genesis HealthCare Inc. recently notified the state it would voluntarily close Eagle Crest in October. In June, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Genesis HealthCare Inc. would pay the government nearly $54 million to settle six federal lawsuits. The government alleged that companies and facilities acquired by Genesis had submitted false claims to government health care programs for medically unnecessary services, and “grossly substandard nursing care.”
DHEC officials confirmed the agency is currently taking enforcement action against Brookdale Senior Living Facility in Charleston, where a resident died in July 2016 after wandering away and being killed by an alligator.
The action comes as a result of violations cited during a series of recent inspections and investigations, according to DHEC’s spokesman Robert Yannity.
According to DHEC’s website, when an agency takes enforcement action against a facility, administrative staff are called to attend a conference with DHEC officials to go over the violations and discuss corrective actions.
If DHEC and the violating facility come to terms, a mutually agreed upon “Consent Order” is issued outlining the actions which must be taken, and DHEC’s expectations.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the lawsuit filed after a resident was left in a tub for over 8 hours causing her wrongful death. Steven Moreland alleges in the lawsuit that Lois Moreland’s March 2016 death was the result of negligence by the St. Sophia Health & Rehabilitation Center.
The lawsuit accuses St. Sophia of putting profits above health care by deliberately understaffing its 240-bed nursing home.
“When there are not enough staff members to care for residents, it creates an environment where employees are trying to do too many things that they forget about putting a resident in a bathtub and end up leaving her there for over eight hours,” Steven Moreland’s attorney, David Terry, told the newspaper.
Terry added that Lois Moreland was “unable to comprehend her circumstances or fend for herself because there were not enough employees to meet the needs of each resident. And as a result, Lois Moreland paid the price.”
The Buffalo News reported that Ruthie’s Law became law. The new law requires that all nursing homes in Erie County contact designated loved ones within two hours and provide “all known information” if a resident suffers serious injuries requiring outside treatment. Ruthie’s Law also requires nursing homes to give prospective nursing home patients and their families a copy of the nursing home’s performance rating and to provide a summary of incident reports to the county’s Department of Senior Services twice a year.
This law was a result of the assault and injuries sustained by Ruth Murray. Ruth was found by her family with deep purple bruises blooming all over her mother’s body, gashes across her temple and nose, and blood trickling down her neck.
Ruth suffered from dementia and had a known history of wandering including into another nursing home resident’s room. That resident, apparently thinking Murray was an intruder, beat her so severely that she ended up at Erie County Medical Center in critical condition with broken bones and a collapsed lung.
The graphic photos Kuszniaj took showed her mother black, blue and bloody. Her neck, nose and jaw were broken. So were 11 of her ribs and the bones on the right side of her face. Her lung had collapsed and had to be reinflated twice. Three days later, her mother died.
ABC News reported that a nursing home caregiver has been arrested for verbally abusing and bullying residents at SweetGrass Court Assisted Living. Mount Pleasant, S.C. police arrested Nandhina Lance and charged her with being a peeping Tom. Police said Lance and another staff member were fired from SweetGrass Court back in March after they posted a video of themselves to Snapchat verbally abusing two patients. The Post and Courier obtained the video in question and posted it to YouTube.
According to a police report, the employees were seen telling one 82-year-old woman that “she is stupid, her mother is stupid, and not to touch them because she had bodily fluids on her hands.” Officers asked the employees why they did it and they said “they thought it was funny.”
The facility’s parent company owned by Five Star Senior Living is facing two lawsuits from the families of the women who were abused.
Fox10Phoenix had an article about the tragic and preventable death of a nursing home resident. Police say they responded to the Immanuel Campus of Care nursing home after officials at the nursing home notice that two elderly women who suffer from Alzheimer’s were missing. Police believe the unsupervised women were able to leave the facility through an unsecured door.
When officers arrived at the nursing home, they began searching the area and about 20 minutes later, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a resident saying two women were in their backyard. Once officers arrived at the home, they discovered one of the women was dead.
Police believe 79-year-old Oralia Parra died from extreme heat exposure when she wandered off from the nursing home.
Several media outlets including the Post & Courier and the NY Post have reported the tragic and preventable death of Bonnie Walker. Walker was found in a retention pond behind the facility, with “multiple sharp and blunt force injuries” consistent with an alligator attack.
Staff at the Brookdale Senior Living center in Charleston failed to supervise her and lost track of Bonnie Walker on July 27, 2016 and didn’t discover her missing until seven hours later, according to the wrongful death suit filed by her granddaughter, Stephanie Walker Weaver. The suit claims Brookdale failed to adequately monitor Walker or conduct a timely search.
Walker had a history of wandering at night and sleep-walking and the facility knew she needed supervision to be safe. Investigators believe Walker slipped down a steep embankment and fell into the pond right before the gator struck. Weaver reportedly stumbled upon her remains while searching the area with relatives.
She “was shocked and horrified to find the remains of her grandmother’s body floating in the pond where it had been dismembered by an alligator,” the suit says.
“Defendants’ conduct was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the suit says.
“This was a horrifying, lamentable series of events that, with the exercise of reasonable care, we maintain could have easily been avoided,” explained Weaver’s lawyer, Ken Connor.
“The complaint really speaks for itself,” he said. “You can just imagine how horrified Ms. Weaver was by the scene that she was confronted with.”
Weaver’s filing on Monday marks the third time Brookdale has been sued in the past seven months, the Courier reports. At least two of those suits allege wrongful death, as well.
The Burlington Free Press reports a lawsuit filed against Pillsbury Manor South alleging violations including bed height, insufficient staffing and failure to re-examine the best type of bed conditions. The estate of Patricia Calmer who died at Pillsbury Manor South in November is suing the facility and its former owners, alleging negligence led to the resident’s death. The family’s lawyer called it “an unnecessary and untimely death.”
Calmer was discovered in her room at the home in the early morning of Nov. 3, 2016, with her head trapped between her bed rail and an air mattress.
According to the lawsuit, the facility was in violation of a number of state regulations at the time. A number of these violations were noted during a site visit five days after Calmer’s death in a report filed by the Division of Licensing and Protection through the Vermont Department of Aging and Independent Living.