As a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Spartanburg, S.C., we often attempt to get the real story of what is going on at a nurisng home from talking to former employees. Current employees are too scared to lose their job to tell the truth. Former employees have no reason to lie or cover-up the abuse and neglect they witnesses.
Recently a certified nurse aide named Miaya Ramirez at University Heights Rehab & Care in Aurora, Colorado shared her credible concerns. Ramirez worked for University Heights Rehab & Care for several months.
“Patients being neglected, not getting showers, not getting fed properly, being left in their room, unsanitary conditions, being left in soiled briefs,” Ramirez explained to Denver7.
The week after she started working, Ramirez says the Director of Nursing asked her to lie on a state report about being understaffed.
“We had holes in the staffing book and the DON (Director of Nursing) asked me to fill in people’s names in the staffing book and I told her I didn’t feel comfortable doing that,” she said.
She says the doctor of one patient even called police about the neglect.
“When the doctor pulled the bandages off she couldn’t believe what she saw; she said the wounds were worse,” Ramirez said. “She asked if the dressings were being changed when they were supposed to, if the resident was getting up out of bed when she was supposed to and I told her ‘no,’” Ramirez said.
Ultimately, Ramirez was fired for putting a clean bandage on that patient. She shared recordings of her termination. University Heights said she was operating out of the scope of care.
“What they told me was I should have left the dirty bandage on her backside,” Ramirez said.
Complaints investigated by the Colorado Department of Public Health document multiple instances of alleged neglect and abuse.
In April, there were several complaints of patients being left in their beds overnight or all day not being checked on. One family complained they found their loved one in a soiled bed and briefs and in the same position they left her in the evening before.
In March, a resident said his dressings were not being changed for a pressure ulcer.
Then, there are multiple instances of residents falling out of lifts. Last year, a 61-year-old resident fell out of a lift and had a brain bleed so bad it “contributed to a decline in his ability to eat, drink and breath,” according to one report.
Another resident broke her leg trying to be transferred improperly.
Ramirez says under staffing and lack of training is the problem.
“They will lie and cover up,” Ramirez said. “When I came back from the doctor’s office, the DON was re-doing paperwork to make it look like they were taking care of that resident.”