Tiffany Hall Nursing & Rehab Center failed to keep a resident safe and allowed him to be suffocated in bed.  William Hawkins is charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of Robert Morell, who was suffocated with a pillow as he slept at the Tiffany Hall Nursing & Rehab Center.

According to a redacted police arrest report, Hawkins matched the description of the man employees saw fleeing the room after being spotted on top of Morell shortly after midnight. Detectives learned that Morell’s girlfriend of 15 years had called the nursing home hours warning employees to not let Hawkins into the home because he would hurt Morell. One employee picked Hawkins out of a photo lineup.

The girlfriend told detectives that she and Morell had an open relationship and that she dated Hawkins after Morell went into the home, but that had ended.  She said that Hawkins broke into her bedroom through a window Jan. 4, about 15 hours before the slaying, and woke her. She told detectives that Hawkins noticed needles and a vial of insulin that she uses to treat her cat and suggested she kill Morell by injecting the insulin into his feeding tube. She refused and said Hawkins then stole her car, which is when she called the nursing home to warn them.

 

Josephine Ewashko died from dehydration and a urinary tract infection — caused by sitting in wet diapers — was abused by staff at  Extendicare Viking nursing home. They admitted they were too overworked to care for her properly, according to a scathing government report. She was rushed to hospital in November 2018 and died two weeks later, just shy of her 80th birthday.

“Sometimes I feel like a hitman, because we were paying to have our mother killed,” said her son, Dana Ewashko.

“It’s sickening, is what it is,” he said. “If somebody doesn’t get enough water? Somebody doesn’t get changed? They didn’t do their job.

Shortly after his mother’s death, he complained to Alberta’s office of Protection for Persons in Care (PPC) , which recently issued a report describing Josephine’s slow deterioration due to the staff’s neglect. As a result, says the report, she experienced “serious bodily harm” leading to her death.

The PPC investigation into Josephine’s death found:

  • She was “barely responsive” upon arrival at the hospital.
  • She was “extremely dehydrated.”
  • Blood work detected “critically high sodium levels” — an indication of dehydration and kidney disease.
  • The skin in her mouth “was sloughing off due to dryness.”

The report also noted that, in the weeks leading up to her death, a computer system at Extendicare Viking issued a dozen alerts, noting changes in her condition —  but none was reviewed by a nurse or care aide. Among other things, the alerts signalled:

  •  “New or worsening lethargy.”
  •  “New or worsening disorganized speech.”
  •  “New or worsening altered perception.”

​​​​​​Extendicare — one of the three largest nursing home chains in the country, with 96 homes — has not been fined in this case.

“They’re caring about their profits … I don’t think you can have profit and care in the same sentence,” he says, adding that Extendicare’s CEO received total annual compensation of about $4 million last year.

Dana says in the months leading up to his mother’s death, he and other family members spoke to Extendicare Viking staff many times about her repeated bladder infections, which he says exacerbated her dementia symptoms.

“Her cognitive ability was greatly affected. She would sleep a lot — even fall asleep mid-sentence sometimes,” he said. “It was a lack of care.”

He recalls helping his mother out of her wheelchair three months before she died and looking at its seat cushion.

“It looked kind of an odd shade of black,” he said. “I reached down and touched it and it was soaked in urine. It was as though you took a sponge out of the tub.”

He says when he and other family members asked staff to help their mother get to the bathroom, or change her foul-smelling diaper, it would be hours before a nurse or aide responded.  Josephine’s water glass was often several feet away from her wheelchair.

Family members raised their concerns two months before Josephine’s death, in an October 2018 meeting with nursing home staff. They later learned those concerns were never recorded in their mother’s care program.

“The nurse said he was just too busy to do that type of paperwork,” Dana told Go Public.

A month later, his mother became increasingly weak, was often incoherent and slept for long periods of time. On Nov. 22, 2018, he insisted that she be transferred to hospital. Dana says it’s hard to deal with the grief of knowing his mother’s death may have been preventable, and that Extendicare didn’t pay a financial price.

“People go to jail for treating their pets in the same way,” he said. “It’s pretty shocking that nothing [no fine] has happened.”

Lori Sadler on behalf of her mother, Linda S. Floyd, has filed a claim against the operators of Integrity Hc nursing home, claiming the staff allowed pressure sores to develop that in turn led to a fatal infection and other problems. Sadler maintains the facility failed to assist Floyd and prevent her physical and mental decline. Floyd was only 65 when she died.

Integrity Hc is accused in the legal action of failing to administer treatments as ordered by Floyd’s doctor, failing to assess changes in her condition and failing to prevent and treat pressure sores. The suit contends Floyd suffered pressure ulcers, dehydration, infection, decreased consciousness, osteomyelitis and infection that “were foreseeable and caused or contributed to her death.”

“On or about Aug. 2, 2017, she was admitted to St. Anthony’s Health Center where, upon admission, she was diagnosed with a 5-centimeter by 7-centimeter deep sacral pressure ulcer … and with hypertension, dehydration, osteomyletis and sepsis,” according to the lawsuit.

 

 

Landon Terrel has been convicted of elder neglect for his actions against  91-year-old Adam Bennett who died last year. On Aug. 15, 2017, Bennett was found in his room at Sunrise Assisted Living Center with a bruised lip. Bennett told a day-shift caregiver: “He punched me,” while motioning to his face, chest, and groin. Soon after, Bennett became unresponsive.

Caregivers at the facility called for an ambulance. He was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where his injuries included facial bruising, multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed lung. He never regained consciousness and died on Aug. 18. Cobb’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Christopher Gulledge, ruled Mr. Bennett’s death resulted from blunt force trauma as a result of assault.

Evidence collected by police showed that Terrel was the only male working the overnight shift at Sunrise that night. Terrel denied hitting Bennett and insisted he saw no facial bruising when he last checked on Bennett just before his shift ended at 6 am. But he told investigators he “caught” Bennett as he fell out of bed the previous evening and Bennett had banged his chest into the bed. Terrel said he checked on Bennett hourly throughout the night and that Bennett repeatedly complained of pain. Terrel admitted he used “poor judgment” in repeatedly ignoring those complaints.

After a week long trial and about three days of deliberations, a Cobb jury convicted Terrel of elder neglect and found him not guilty of two counts of elder abuse and one count of felony murder based on abuse. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the charge of felony murder based on neglect. Terrel faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported that the family of a 94-year-old widow offered a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of an unknown man who they say sexually assaulted her at Governor’s Glen Memory Care and Assisted Living facility.

The Golden family alleges that the home didn’t handle the case properly. The family said police were not called for five hours, and the delay hurt the gathering of crucial evidence.  The day of the incident, Golden told nursing staff she had been inappropriately touched by an unknown man the night before, according to police. She said this around 9:30 a.m., according to Madden.

Governor’s Glen officials deny that Golden was the victim of a sexual assault.

“We believe nothing happened,” said Dennis Stamey, an operating partner with Canopy Lifestyles, which operates Governor’s Glen and five other facilities in Georgia.

 

Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center nursing home in Summerville, S.C. is facing two wrongful death claims. One claims a resident died from neglect and reckless treatment and care.  The suit says the woman suffered harm and died as a consequence of the neglect for failing to supervise and monitor this woman’s vital signs and failed to document and notify physicians of changes in her condition.

In February of 2019, DHEC investigated complaints of residents receiving medication late and there were more than 2,000 pages of documents on late administration and late charting of resident medications.

The suit says Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center failed to notify the nurse until about nine hours later and did not sent her to the hospital. EMS was finally called later that day and the woman was admitted for an accidental overdose along with another infection.

The woman was able to return to the nursing home and then a month later she fell in the bathroom because of poor supervision.

Marci DeLong has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cheyenne HealthCare Center, alleging the nursing home neglected the care of her husband so badly that it caused his death.  Cheyenne Healthcare Center is owned and operated by SavaSeniorCare.  SavaSeniorCare is one of the largest national for-profit chains in the country.  They have a terrible history of poor care, regulatory noncompliance, and short-staffing.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Marci DeLong filed the lawsuit on June 18 against SavaSeniorCare, a Delaware company that owns and operates Cheyenne HealthCare Center. She is seeking damages for the February 2017 death of 49-year-old Robert DeLong.

Court records say Ronald DeLong was taken to the nursing home in September 2016 following complications from a stroke.

Nursing home staff took him to the hospital on Jan. 24, 2017. Doctors noted DeLong suffered acute kidney failure, upper GI bleeding, severe sepsis and urinary tract infections while under the care of the nursing home.

 

The Record Online reported that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the operators of Sapphire Nursing at Meadow Hill, claiming they cut so much staff after buying the 190-bed nursing home that residents’ calls for help go unanswered and some lie “in their own fecal matter and urine for hours at a time.”  The complaint cites federal data showing that daily nursing staff hours have significantly dropped to 3.2 hours per resident from about 4.0 hours before the transfer.

The case alleges the buyers made steep cuts in nurses and nursing aides after completing the purchase of what used to be Elant at Meadow Hill.  Controversy over staffing at the 120-bed Goshen home began in December 2017, when union representatives said the home had announced layoffs that would reduce the number of nurses to 17 from 37.  The suit is seeking proper staffing levels, accurate dislosure of the staffing, and an unspecified amount in damages for all residents of the home since the home changed ownership in 2017.

Dorothy Olympia rarely got her medications on time, and once was taken to a hospital because she had been given her insulin without being fed sufficiently and nearly fell into a diabetic coma, according to the suit by her daughter, Joanne McCleary. The suit also alleges that staffing was so short that “on many occasions, Mrs. McCleary had to shower her mother herself.” In another instance, it meant that a male physical therapist had to change Olympia’s clothes “because he had found her sitting in urine and feces for several hours.”

The complaint charges that residents’ call bells “would be left on for hours with no nurses or aides coming to assist.”

 

 

Video has surfaced of Anna Mae Blessing confessing to shooting her son dead after he threatened to put her in a nursing home. Blessing was arrested last year for shooting her son Thomas dead in Arizona. She died before going to trial.  She said in a video interview with police that she had two guns stashed inside her dressing gown. She told police that as Thomas came towards her she fired multiple rounds at her only son.

“I can’t remember the calibre, it was a good size one,” she said. “I backed up and I pulled the trigger, and it broke the mirror and I don’t know what I did. Then Tom was going to come at me again so I pulled the trigger … I’m sure the second round hit him.”

“Where did it hit him?” asked the detective.

“I have no idea, but I do know I killed him. I bent over and took his pulse, and there was no pulse. So I knew I killed him.”

“I didn’t want to go to a nursing home and he would promise me I never would have to,” she said.

“How do you feel right now about what happened?” the detective asked.

 “I wish I had stayed in Florida,” said Blessing.

“I probably ought to be put to sleep. What can I do for society? I killed my son. The person I brought into this world.”

Blessing then pointed the gun at her son’s girlfriend, Julie, before the two struggled over the weapon and it was knocked to the ground.

“Help me! Help! She’s going to shoot me! She’s going to shoot me!” Julie can be heard screaming on a 911 call.

A resident of an assisted living facility in Sandy Springs, Georgia, died after the nursing home failed to prevent the ant bites over her body.  Betty Perloe and her personal aide saw ants in Perloe’s bathroom and closet at Somerby Senior Living of Sandy Springs and the aide reported the infestation to staff.  Nothing was done.

Perloe was found suffering from bites, with ants on her body and in her bed.  Then the next day, Perloe was found again with ants on her body and pus-filled bites across her midsection, underneath her breasts and on other areas.

Perloe, a retired nurse, was “agitated,” “moaning” and “scratching” the blistered areas, according to the lawsuit, and she was put on morphine and other pain medications to chemically restrain her.  She died days later.

Lance Lourie, the attorney representing the family, said the most important aspect of this case is not that Perloe’s death was accelerated. “It’s about the way she died, in an undignified and painful way that was unnecessary.”