“Failure to protect” — nursing home charged with abuse after family hides videotape camera in Grandma’s room

In an article almost too painful to read regarding nursing home abuse and neglect, the AARP Bulletin Today ran a reprint of a McClatchy-Tribune Regional News story by Valarie Honeycutt Spears which detailed the abuse to an 84-year-old-resident of a Richmond nursing home. According to the report, the family of Armeda Thomas hid a video camera in her room at Madison Manor nursing home after they saw dozens of bruises on her body and the nursing staff did not provide an adequate explanation for the injuries.

Kentucky Attorney General’s office is now conducting a criminal investigation and have cited the nursing home for “failure to protect.” The failure to protect the residents created an “immediate threat that harm, injury or death would occur ” said a citation from the Attorney General’s office.

What Thomas’ family saw when they later viewed the video tape is a pattern of abuse and victimization of this poor woman who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. In making the decision to video tape, Thomas’ granddaughter, who is a child protective worker said:

“We were just so desperate to know the truth and for other people to know the truth. Almost everyone has a relative who gets care in a facility. You want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that your loved one is well cared for and not scared.”

When the video tape was reviewed it showed both actual incidents of physical abuse and also of neglect including:

  • Rough handling of Thomas including pulling her out of bed by her wrists & neck.
  • Roughly moving Thomas from side to side.
  • Nursing home staff taunting and dancing in front of Thomas.
  • Nursing home staff eating Thomas’ food yet the records showed she that Thomas ate her entire meal herself.
  • Failure to feed or clean Thomas.
  • An incident of Thomas lying unattended on a floor for more than one hour.

nursing home abuse lawyer seattle washingtonThomas’ records show that at one point she lost 19 pounds in just two weeks. X Rays also showed that she had fractures to her lumbar vertebrae.

Kathy Gannoe, the district ombudsman for the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, said:

“No nursing home sets out to want these things to happen but it’s fallout when you don’t have good training, adequate supervision and when you don’t have a culture that encourages the staff to speak up.”

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. The most common forms include bedsores or decubitus ulcers, broken bones, dehydration, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, frequent urinary tract infections, medication errors, infections, over use of sedating medication, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

While most nursing homes are staffed with professionals who are caring and good, sometimes, the for-profit nature of the business means that the needs of the patient are not always held paramount. In most cases of nursing home abuse, it is inadequate staffing that is the cause. If there is insufficient staff coverage, insufficient staff training and education, and lack of proper staff supervision, the patients/residents suffer.

This information was provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Located in Bellevue, Washington, we represent the victims of elder abuse and nursing home neglect and their families. We have more than 30 years experience and a proven track record of successfully recovering compensation for damages to elderly and frail victims.

If one of your loved ones has been seriously injured or died as a result of nursing home staff negligence or abusecontact The Farber Law Group, a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect.

See our Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Resources.