New data from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ranked North Carolina the 33rd worst state when it comes to the number of complaints at nursing homes. North Carolina families have demanded more regulation by state agencies after filing complaints on local nursing homes.
Fayetteville native Margie Whitehead said her family filed complaints on a Fayetteville nursing home in the past. “This can’t go on. It just can’t, “said Margie Whitehead. “I would find him wet, find him scratched up or find him scarred up. I would find him laying as I left him. Because I always would date and time his diapers when I put them on at night.” Whitehead took photos of her brother’s body when she was unsure of how he was cared for at the facility. CBS 17 blurred some the photos because of their graphic nature. The pictures showed sores, bruises, and scratches on his face, back, and abdomen.
After taking her complaints to the nursing home staff, she contacted The NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The agency is over is N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR). DHSR is the state department that specifically oversees nursing homes complaints.
“When I called the state department, they told me they had to actually see the event taken place. Although I had pictures and showed them pictures, they told me they had to actually see it for themselves. They had to actually be present when things happened,” said Whitehead.
But Whitehead decided to speak out about her brother, after our story on another family at Whispering Pines. In April 2019, Tracey Ervin contacted CBS 17 after documenting her mother’s living conditions at the Whispering Pines. She recorded cell phone video from inside of the facility. “This is the fourth day in a row that I’ve been coming in here and finding findings,” Ervin told the staff. “You can already see right, urine!”
“I’m angry. I’m frustrated….all the above and then more,” she explained to CBS 17.
“Hold people accountable for what they do. They have to be held accountable for what they do,” said Whitehead.