Author: Cynthia Diaz Shephard/Fri, Feb 28, 2014/Categories: Blog
The families of two Korean War veterans blame a Long Island nursing home for neglectful treatment so cruel, their beloved families members died horrible deaths last year.
One of the men, 74 when he died, suffered pressure ulcers, which are also known as bedsores, that grew so large and deep that a human hand could fit inside some of the holes in his skin, NBC News reported. The man was a resident at the Suffolk Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing for several years. He died on March 18, 2013 with bedsores covering most of his backside.
Brookhaven Memorial Medical Center medical records reveal that the man suffered cardiac arrest after septic infection in his respiratory system and also indicated that the bedsores assisted in the facilitation of that infection. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he was neglected,” his granddaughter told NBC News. Richard Mollot, director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, told NBC News that these types of bedsores are typically indicative of nursing home neglect. “When we see that the pressure sores are very serious—very large, there is a number of them, etcetera—that should ring everyone’s alarm that something is wrong here,” he said.
Four months later, the second man—he was diagnosed with dementia—died after nursing home staff misplaced him for nearly one hour. The man unintentionally hanged himself when attempting to get out of his wheelchair restraint. The man’s care plan, which was developed following his March 2013 admission, indicated that staff was required to monitor the man every 15 minutes, according to NBC News.
A Department of Health inspection report dated July 15 revealed that the man was found slumped against his wheelchair “with the seat belt around his neck and without respirations or pulse.” The report also stated that the man “was not supervised after 1:15 p.m. until he was found at 2:12 p.m.” The man choked to death in that 57-minute period.
“My father was off the radar of the home and he’s supposed to be on 15-minute checks,” his son said. “And to die like a dog that jumped over a fence with a leash around his neck was just totally, totally unacceptable,” he told NBC News.
Another death occurred last May at the same facility and involved a 56-year-old rehabilitation patient who died after overdosing three times on narcotic painkillers. The inspection report indicated that the facility “failed to adequately monitor and supervise residents with known drug-seeking behaviors,” according to NBC News. “… staff suspected illegal narcotic exchange within the facility but no investigations, assessments or changes to the resident’s plan of care were made,” the report also indicated.
In another case of alleged nursing home abuse, an 89-year-old resident alleged she was raped by a 30-year-old nursing home staff member. The victim was accused of fabricating the attack and “flirting mercilessly” with the alleged perpetrator, according to the Daily Mail.
Directors at the Edgewood Vista nursing home, located in Hermantown, Minnesota, were accused of hampering the investigation by suggesting that the so-called sex was consensual, court documents indicated, wrote the Daily Mail. Last month, the caregiver, Andrew Scott Merzwski, 30, was sentenced to 53 months in prison, the Star Tribune reported.
In 2011, The Department of Health—which investigated the rape and held the individual caregiver, not the facility, responsible for the attack—received 12,262 complaints of “maltreatment and self-reported incidents.” The Star Tribune wrote that the Department only investigated 1,023.