Autumn Healthcare of Zanesville, OH is being shut down by the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine. The 100 bed facility is being closed because of patient neglect. ODH received several complaints from family members about the facility, and entered into an investigation with the families’ permission. They installed several hidden cameras in the rooms of multiple patients, which revealed that staff were neglecting to provide medical, nutritional, and personal care to at least one patient.

Some staff were falsifying documents so it would appear that correct treatment had been given. After these videos, ODH conducted an inspection, and cited the home for violations of infection control, treatment and care, food and nutrition, and resident rights.

This particular facility has been on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ watch list, Special Focus Facilities, for the past 53 months, identifying the home as one with a history of issues. All of the home’s residents are being transferred to other facilities. The move is being coordinated by the Ohio Department of Aging and all patients will be moved after the remaining days of the home’s operation are up.

See article at NBC4i.

The Post and Courier reported that Charleston state senator Paul Thurmond introduced a bill to make it clear that families have electronic surveillance at their disposal in gauging loved ones’ quality of care. The measure would require state-licensed facilities to inform residents and their relatives of the tool. It also devises criminal penalties for anyone who interferes with the equipment, known colloquially as “granny cams.”  The goal and purpose is to deter abuse abd fraud, and catch sexual predators.

Sen. Thurmond, R-Charleston, drafted the current bill that allows video to be used in criminal and civil courts. Thurmond said he modeled the measure after one that Oklahoma lawmakers unanimously approved.  Texas, New Mexico and Maryland also allow video cameras.  Since the early 2000s, about a dozen states have considered such measures.

The bill would require permission only from the resident featured, or from a legal representative.
Among its provisions, the law would penalize anyone who tampers with the cameras.

 

 

 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported another incident of abuse and neglect recorded by hidden camera.  The family suspected abuse at Gold Crest Care Center after noticing bruising and unusual markings on her grandmother, Ana Louisa Medina.

Granddaughter Valentin told ABC News that the hidden camera recorded 600 hours of footage including employees grabbing her grandmother’s arm, twisting it back, lifting her off the bed and slamming her into the bed, the report states.  After watching the videos, Valentin said she transferred her grandmother to an emergency room and later to a different nursing home, the article said.

 

 

Fox 59 reported the arrest of a nursing home employees following a credible report of abuse.
Six employees at Providence Home Health Care Center, an Indiana nursing home, face charges in connection with the reported abuse of an adult resident.  Some of the abuse was recorded.

In one videotaped encounter, the employees rolled the patient aggressively, hitting his head on a bed rail. They’re also accused of hitting the man when he wouldn’t cooperate with being rolled over, the probable cause affidavit said.  Tonya N. Sanders, Loogootee; Blaine T. Ballard, 33, Jasper; Casey M. Hill, 28, Taswell; and Wendy M. Sutherlin, 28, Taswell, were arrested Monday on charges of felony battery, neglect and intimidation.

Two other workers–Katrina L. Patterson, 40, Jasper, and Sheryl A. Rockett, 52, Washington–face face misdemeanor charges of failure to report abuse of an endangered adult.

 

Oklahoma’s Fox23 News reported on Senate Bill 587, also known as the “Protecting Our Loved Ones” Act, which would put video cameras in nursing home resident rooms and common areas if it is passed.  Wes Bledsoe, who runs A Perfect Cause which is a statewide advocacy group for nursing home resident rights, is a big supporter of the bill. “Video monitoring can protect the residents. It can protect the industry. It can protect employees. It can protect owners,” he told FOX23.

When it comes to the cost of installing the cameras, Bledsoe says the State Senator proposing the bill has a plan. “We’re proposing in the bill that cost be reimbursed back to the faculties through a program right now called “Focus on Excellence.” That state program right now gives nursing homes in the Sooner State about $1 million a month.

While all nursing home rooms would have a cameras, families or residents could opt out of having the camera turned on to protect their privacy.

 

Local 12 news of Cincinnati reported on a startling incident of resident abuse in an Ohio nursing home.  A resident of Heartland of Madeira was punched in the face by a nursing assistant following a verbal altercation.  According to the video surveillance footage of the incident the wheelchair bound resident was arguing with the aide when the situation quickly escalated to violence. The resident had swung at the aide and missed when the employee retaliates and hit back and landed a punch “squarely on the patients face.”

The vulnerable victim was Aaron Orr, paralyzed from the waist down.  No behavior justifies what the employee did to him.   An advocate at a Pro-Senior organization explained the situation further saying that for nursing home employees the “self-defense” defense is never applicable.  “The individual who assaults a nursing home resident is just always going to be at fault simply because there are strict regulations and laws that prohibit anyone assaulting a nursing home resident.”

As residents of a nursing home these individuals are vulnerable adults and intrust their safety to the employees of the facility. A resident’s behavior, no matter how unruly, is never an excuse for an employee, who is help to a higher standard, to retaliate and jeopardize that safety.

 

A "caretaker" named Cornelius Dwayne Neal has been charged with injury to an elderly person, a felony, after police say he was seen on surveillance video pinching a woman in the face several times.  According to the arrest affidavit, the victim’s daughter told police that she placed a recording device in her room after noticing several unexplained injuries while the woman stayed at the Summit at Lakeway nursing home.  On July 30, the woman showed police video of Neal pinching the victim in the face several times, to which the woman “reacted in pain each time,” the affidavit said.

How would you feel if this was your mother, wife, or daughter?

 

The Dallas News reported the tragic case of abuse suffered by Mynez Carter at the hands of nursing home employees at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Home.  The abuse and assault were recorded on video.   Daughters of Mynez Carter, 83, secretly installed a “nanny cam” in their mother’s room at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Home, which captured the abuse.  The relatives bought a surveillance camera that downloads images to a computer.  They hid the camera, smaller than a preschooler’s crayon, in her mother’s room.  Mynez Carter has Alzheimer’s disease and requires continuous care.

The family became suspicious when Carter had unexplained bruises, was acting fearful and dodged away from anyone trying to embrace her. They believe the hidden camera they installed in her room explains why.  The video showed rough treatment and abuse.  In one instance a worker putting a pillow under Carter’s head can be seen pulling her hair and pushing her head. In another instance a worker pinches her leg.

The Star-Telegram reported that CNA Maria F. Acosta was arrested for assaulting an elderly person.

Heritage Oaks received an overall score of 50 out of 100 on its last inspection by the department.
In the most recent comprehensive inspection of Heritage Oaks, conducted Feb. 10, 23 deficiencies under federal standards and 38 violations of state standards were cited.

 

CNN recently released a disturbing video that shows an employee attacking a resident of an adult group home in Connecticut. The video shows a caregiver ruthlessly kicking the woman in the stomach, whipping her with a belt, and grabbing the poor woman by her hair and dragging her across the floor. The victim of the attack, who has an intellectual disorder, relies greatly her caregivers, requiring assistance with bathing and eating.

The DVD which contained the footage of the attack was anonymously sent to the operators of the home and ironically titled “The Perfect Employee.”  The employee was placed on unpaid administrative leave from the facility and is the subject of an ongoing police investigation.  I wish there were more people willing to protect these residents by reporting abuse or setting up video to record neglect and mistreatment.

An Oklahoma facility Quail Creek Nursing home claims to be just as outraged as the community concerning two of its employees being arrested for neglect and abuse in April of 2012. Two staff members of Quail Creek, Lucy Waithira Gakunga, 23, and Caroline Kaseke, 28, were caught on video abusing a 96-year old patient. Family members of the patient were concerned that someone was stealing from the patient so they placed a hidden camera in her room. Gakunga was seen slapping the patient with a glove and then forcing the glove into the patient’s mouth. All the while Kaseke stood by and watched. Both women were fired from Quail Creek.

 

Two articles on this can be found at NewsOK and News9.

I wish every family could place a hidden camera to protect their loved ones from assault and neglect.