Georgia Nursing Home Suspected of Elder Abuse
Written by Jeff Meyer on May 20, 2015
Back on April 15th, Ryan Shepherd’s grandmother was rushed to the emergency room. This isn’t all that rare an occurrence with the elderly, of course, but Shepherd’s grandmother was in the care of professionals at the New London Health Center. Aside from the three-inch laceration on the side of her head—the injury for which she was brought to the hospital—the elderly woman also had signs of neglect, everything from toenails that hadn’t been cut in weeks to bandages that needed changing to many other wounds just as bad as the one on her head. She is now in hospice with her status being closely monitored.
In an interview with the local NBC affiliate, Ryan Shepherd used one word to describe what he believes is happening at the elderly facility his grandmother used to call home: negligence. He added to that, “somebody’s not doing their job.”
Ryan’s grandmother is a lot like many elderly folks. She’s bedridden and depends on help from others in order to get through the day. This includes feeding her and maintaining her hygiene.
Every year, thousands of elderly people will check into new homes where they can receive the care and supervision they need. While the job these caregivers do is of the utmost importance, it can be easy to take for granted that they’ll do a good job. That’s because it seems almost impossible to believe that anyone could abuse such trust by actually abusing the elderly.
Elderly Home Now under Investigation
After the elderly woman’s wounds were reported to police, the New London Health Center was put under investigation by Snellville PD. Considering that she had obviously been abused before and has been living there for four years, it’s scary to think what else may have occurred.
Furthermore, The Shepherds said they’ve visited the woman once a week since she’s been there. It’s possible the man’s grandmother was unable to report her wounds or was afraid to do so.
“I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It”
When O.J. Concepcion, a police detective with Snellville PD was asked about the state of the elderly woman, he said he had “never seen anything like it.” Given the scope of the investigation they plan on carrying out, the local authorities have asked for help from the state.
Oddly enough, in records acquired by Alive 11 News, the facility had been inspected back in March of 2014, but there was nothing amiss. The last time it received a violation was in 2012. That was for failing to prevent bedsores. Investigators said that was a problem the elder care facility fixed within a month.
The sad fact is that this kind of abuse isn’t as uncommon as we’d like to think. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 44% of those in nursing homes will report abuse of some kind. 95% of them will feel neglected or know a fellow resident who does.
Another study makes matters worse. In this one, over 50% of those working at a nursing home admit to having mistreated someone left in their charge within the last year.
As scary as this incident at the facility in Snellville is, nearly a third of all nursing homes in the county fall into the same batch. During a two-year period, a third of all homes in the country were cited for a federal regulation that could have caused actual harm to a resident.
It’s important you do your research before entrusting an elderly loved one to a home. Then, keep an eye on them and look for any signs of abuse (if they’re unable to report that themselves). Lastly, if you find something has happened, get an attorney with experience in this field.