Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nursing home deaths probed -Erlenger Kentucky

Erlanger facility being scrutinized By Peggy Kreimer Post staff reporter

Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson is investigating whether five residents at Villaspring of Erlanger health care center died because of neglect or abuse.

Edmondson said the deaths at Villaspring happened over the past year. His office started its investigation two or three weeks ago after being contacted by family members and state workers from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which regulates nursing homes.

Edmondson announced the investigation this week to ask other relatives or friends of residents at Villaspring or other nursing homes in Kenton County to contact his office if they suspect residents are being neglected or abused.

"There are five separate deaths that we're aware of at this point, but there may be more," he said. "We believe there are more circumstances and more situations out there. We believe it is more widespread." He said the abuse and neglect under investigation involves "not providing the proper care and simply not following through in doing what they are supposed to do in the operation of the nursing home. That would be criminal activity."

"This is in part because of that organization," Edmondson said. "People are more aware that it's a crime to not provide for elders that are in our care as well as a crime to be neglectful. This is just like child abuse. To have a dependent elderly person and not care for them is the same as child abuse. It's a crime."

Edmondson said elder abuse and neglect is a growing law enforcement issue.

"In my office we've been working on it for the last five years," he said. "It's in the same stages that child abuse was 20 years ago."

Anyone with concerns about care at nursing home in Kenton County, may call the Kenton County attorney's office at (859) 491-0600.


Anonymous said...

I just lost my grandma on May 16 due to nursing home neglect I am so sickened at the suffering they caused her i do not know how these people can live with themselves.We cannot let this go and i am sure they think we will but are they in for a rude awakening.The one thing that they are failing to realize is that these people that families trust to take care of there loved actually LOVE THEM and they should put themselves in our place how would they feel if it were their parent or grandparent i am sure it would be a different story then.

Anonymous said...

I am sure it is heart breaking when there is actual founded proof of neglect or harm done. No one should ever have to go through such a terrible tragic circumstance. However, we have to realize that each case is different. In the case of Villaspring the investigation is into the management and ownership regarding understaffing. It is so very important to realize this side of the story and the people who made it nearly impossible to care for these people by understaffing the facility need to be the ones that are now being picked apart. It is so very impossible to care for 35 residents day in and day out and give them the care they deserve but someone has to try and I hope that the nurses who worked 16 hour days to try to get things done the correct way do not get the brunt of this. Management has to be taken into consideration in some cases. No one set out to do harm but if the work load is too great to physically or mentally get it done in a time that is given then there is a problem. I just don't want people going around spreading the word that nurses at this particular facility set out to do harm to their residents. This is just simply not true. The company needs to invest more time into their employees giving them the tools and resources that are required to get the job asked of them done. They simply need to provide adequate staff to do what is necessary for these precious residents in their care.

Ray said...

You are botth SO right, it's heart wrenching when the actions of a few bad apples bring suffering to the ones that least deserve it.
We as a society are in for a rude awakening when we find out that we are getting older and that we are not addressing the issues when we had the opportunity.
The management in some of these places suffer from myopia, and have in adequate tools to equip the dedicated healthcare workers, and there are a lot of them, including myself that volunteers our services and put money out of our own pocket when management are un able to.
Taking care of so many elders is a monumental task, and like I said before workers are under-paid,over worked and under appreciated.