Black eyes, bruises and a busted lip are not what most of us associate with a nursing home. When one North Texas family suspected abuse, they did not turn to regulators but technology.
Statistics show about one in three homes nationwide have been cited for abuse. FOX4 found
more and more families fed up with the system, are fighting back with their own secret weapon.
At 98 years old, [Minnie] Graham was a cherished woman.
Graham was adored by a large extended family and granddaughters who could not stand by when they started noticing bruises.
"She kept telling us people were hitting her," said Teri Hardin, another granddaughter.
Her granddaughters say the Winters Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Garland told them Graham fell out of her wheelchair. They didn't buy it so they installed a hidden camera in her room.
Brenna Tiller is the hospice worker who was assigned to Graham. The video shows Tiller pulling Graham up by the arm. Graham later falls back onto the bed and cries out.
"Somebody help me," you can hear Graham say on the tape.
When Graham begins slapping at Tiller, Tiller slaps her more than once.
"When my grandmother is screaming in pain, it is completely disregarded," said Teri Hardin.
Tiller uses language we cannot print. She calls Graham ugly and retarded. She mocks her. She also sticks out her tongue at Graham, sprays water in her face as she brushes her hair and puts a towel in her mouth she just used on Graham's body.
"I just don't know how people can be so heartless and careless," said Ballard. "Clearly it hurt when they pulled on her arm. Clearly it hurts when you yank someone by the hair on their head."
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Nursing Home Investigation: Families Fight Back