At Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP, we see too many cases of nursing home abuse in Oklahoma. A little over a year ago, we read an article appeared in the Chicago Tribune that we found to be significant regarding nursing home abuse. The medical examiner's conclusion in that particular case is what made the entire article noteworthy. These are the stories that make all of us leery about putting our loved ones into nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Suspicious Deaths According to the Chicago Tribune, Dorothy Byrd, a 98-year-old resident of Holland Home, died a suspicious death. Furthermore, she died the day after six of the Holland Home residents were hospitalized at Munster Community Hospital for what is reported as "unknown causes." Two of those six residents, Robert Rundin, 88, and Leon Krynicki, 98, also died. The Cause of Dorothy Byrd's Death Dorothy Byrd's cause of death was a hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease combined with morphine and hydrocodone toxicity. The medical examiner ruled her death as a homicide. Villa Healthcare, which owns the assisted living facility, Holland Home, goes by the slogan, "Service with Dignity, Staffed with Love and Managed with Care." The chief operating officer of Villa Healthcare issued a written statement that said they were working with law enforcement. Reports of Extreme Food Shortage In another article that will make you think twice about putting your loved ones into nursing home and assisted living facilities, KTVB reported the story behind the food shortage at an Idaho nursing home facility. The Bellevue facility, owned and operated by Safe Haven Health Care, reported that there was an extreme food shortage in September of 2014. Family members of the residents also reported noticing weight loss of residents and inappropriate meals. The investigation into the problem revealed that an administrator at the Wood River Valley facility was holding back food that was intended for the residents of the facility. The administrator was only bringing enough food for the staff to get the residents through a short amount of time. Grocery receipts were found for food that never made it to the facility. Unfortunately, caregivers do not report things that should be reported because they fear losing their jobs. Those who did report the food shortage at the Idaho facility should be praised for standing up for the residents that they are charged with caring for because they did put their jobs on the line doing so. This is especially true when the result of the neglect is death. We Are Here To Help This also brings up some of the best advice that we can give to people who have loved ones in assisted living facilities and nursing homes: pay close attention and ask questions about anything that seems wrong. If you have a loved one who suffered abuse or neglect - or has died - at an Oklahoma nursing home or assisted living facility, you should contact an Oklahoma nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Contact the law office of Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP at 918-779-3658 or toll free (918) 583-5637 for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.