NEW ROADS - Cases of neglect at a nursing home in the heart of New
Roads caused state lawmakers to meet with the families of residents
Andre Monceret pulled his mother out of the home last week after
documenting repeated incidents of problems. Monceret said his mother who
has dementia was not properly cared for. He said he has evidence of the
following: his mom sitting in a soiled diaper for more than six hours,
fingernails filled with grime, toenails that have not been trimmed in
months, and teeth that have not been brushed for weeks.
"I pulled her out of this home the other day, her fingernails were
nasty like she was digging in the dirt with grime and feces," Monceret
He said his mom has always been well kept and to see her like that was beyond devastating.
His frustration caught the attention of parish leaders who have helped facilitate meetings with state lawmakers.
"From a change perspective, being in the legislature formally, I've
invited our legislators that represent this area to sit with some of the
families and learn what standards are in place but what are
opportunities to change some things," Pointe Coupee Parish President
Major Thibaut said.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit found the facility has a history of
problems. According to inspection reports available for public viewing,
Pointe Coupee Healthcare was cited 13 times over the past three years.
The facility was fined in August 2019, $36,000 for failing to timely
report suspected abuse and neglect. In 2018, the home was also cited for
violating federal standards protecting residents from the spread of
In May there were multiple deaths reported and skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19.
Thibaut said with the recent cases of neglect and the lack of family
members being able to routinely check in on their loved ones, he reached
out to the facility which promised that changes were coming.
"We're going to make changes and are investigating when that was and
when it took place. And we will put procedures in place to make sure we
stay current on everything," Thibaut recalled the administrators telling
We reached out to Pointe Coupee Healthcare for a comment on this
story. A public relations firm out of New Orleans released the following
“We are grateful to the family members of the residents involved
for bringing these issues to light. We share your concerns and are
conducting an internal investigation to determine what occurred and how
it can be addressed.
Rest assured that we will work diligently to correct these issues and determine the best path forward.
Our top priority is making sure that our residents are receiving
the treatment and care they deserve. This includes a customized care
plan for each resident, protocol for communicating any issues to
families and education for our staff on how to properly maintain
While we are constantly working to ensure that all of these
policies are enforced, we encourage residents and resident families to
reach out to us with any issues they might have so they can be
researched and handled properly.”
A Manhattan woman is demanding to visit her disabled husband in a
nursing home — despite coronavirus restrictions, new court papers show.
Robert “Bobby” Viteri has been at Manhattan facility Isabella
Geriatric Center for four years as he has a rare neurological
degenerative disorder called leukodystrophy that prevents him from
eating, talking or even moving on his own.
And prior to the coronavirus pandemic, wife Marcella Goheen had
visited Viteri for 4–7 hours every day to take care of him and help with
therapies to slow his degeneration, according to a Manhattan Supreme
Court lawsuit from Monday.
Since the COVID-19 crisis, Goheen hasn’t been allowed to resume these
activities and has only been allowed to make video calls, have window
visits or outdoor visits from 6 feet apart, the suit says.
“Every day I’m on the video chat and I say to him ‘Bobby I’m going to get in soon.’ He starts crying,” said Goheen — who’s been a vocal activist pushing for nursing home visitations during the pandemic.
“The traumatization of the separation is very real,” Goheen told The Post.
Marcella Goheen and her husband Robert.
The 66-year-old man actually contracted and recovered from coronavirus in May, the court papers say.
Meanwhile, Goheen has been getting tested twice a week for the virus and has never tested positive for it.
Viteri’s “wife poses no threat of COVID-19 to him or to anyone else in defendants’ facility,” the court papers claim.
“In the absence of this wife, no other person has provided the kind
of essential care and attention to his disabilities which his wife has
and can,” the suit continues.
Doctors have even explained to the facility how important Goheen’s
visits are “in attempting to mitigate the impact of his neuro-motor
disease,” the court documents say.
Because of the isolation caused by the lack of contact with Goheen,
Viteri has become depressed, despondent and has lost weight, the suit
“My husband is deteriorating and that’s unacceptable,” Goheen said.
Viteri’s lawyer Michael Sussman told The Post that the facility has
“shut her out even though they know she is of critical importance to his
“It’s really a tragic situation,” Sussman said.
The suit, filed in Viteri’s name, is seeking an order allowing Goheen
to visit daily. Viteri is also seeking unspecified damages from the
“We don’t comment on pending litigation,” said Isabella Geriatric Center spokesperson Audrey Waters said.
Coronavirus has led to upwards of 6,500 deaths tied to the virus in both nursing homes and adult care facilities.
On a cold evening in 2018, a truck rear-ended me while I was driving
on a small country freeway in upstate New York. I tell people the impact
was so hard, it shattered the car’s glass and broke not only the axle
but my back. Overnight, diagnosed with herniated and bulging discs, I
joined the largest minority in America—people with disabilities.
Since my accident, I’ve fought not to be angry or afraid. I’m not alone. About 36 million women in the U.S. have a disability. According to a survey conducted by the American College, women are most at risk financially and physically when it comes to disability. An invisible disability,
as defined by the Invisible Disabilities Association, refers to
“symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive
dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences, and mental health
disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments.”
people’s disabilities are apparent. Others, like me, whose impairment
isn’t always apparent, feel invisible. When I’m not using a cane or
bed-ridden, you might not recognize that I’m disabled. On a good day, I
present able-bodied. Yet, excruciating back spasms often make it
impossible for me to stand or walk for long stretches and sometimes they
put me out of commission altogether. So, in a black-and-white world of
disabled or not, what’s not seen is marginalized. Since my accident,
I’ve had three MRIs, four epidurals, numerous steroid injections, and
radiofrequency ablation. I’ve had physical therapy and chiropractic care
because I want to avoid opioid drug therapy and back surgery for as
long as possible.
Given that our current system distrusts people
applying for disability, many disabled people with non-apparent
disabilities feel penalized and stigmatized. There seems to be a chasm
of misunderstanding when it comes to human discussions of pain. Over 100 million Americans grapple with chronic pain alone. Fibromyalgia
is now understood to be the most common cause of chronic
musculoskeletal pain. Sources estimate between 3 and 26 million
Americans suffer from this hidden condition. People with non-evident
medical challenges may be viewed as circumspect or ridiculed for
Women often have a hard time being heard, especially when they
present illness complaints that defy objective modalities. Historically,
women experiencing health challenges had their pain contested, minimized, and dismissed. A 2001 study
from the University of Maryland explored why men are more likely than
women to be given medication when they report pain to their doctors.
That’s how pervasive stigma is—pushing women to internalize their
suffering. Worse yet, a 2016 study
published in the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings reported that
Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to
white Americans. Caroline Criado-Perez, author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men,
says there’s a data gap when it comes to women. “The specific issues
that affect Black women are lost in larger groups like ‘Black people.’
Part of the problem with the male default is that women are viewed as a
minority; they think we’re all the same and just throw us into one big
“It’s the invisible nature of an illness that people don’t understand,” Wayne Connell says. He founded the Invisible Disabilities Association
(IDA) in 1996 after his wife was diagnosed with primary progressive
multiple sclerosis and late-stage chronic Lyme disease. He was
frustrated by the outside perception that she didn’t have a real
“It’s startling,” Wayne said. “Our primary demographic
at IDA—chronically ill women between the ages of 35 and 55—feel like
orphans. Disregarded, isolated, and often abandoned by their partners,
families, friends, and society at large—most of them who spent their
adult lives raising children, excelling in their careers, and supporting
their partners—are now all alone.”
What became surprising to me
was that managing my pain was as hard as finding a doctor to develop a
treatment plan that didn’t entail taking addictive opioids. I felt I
wasn’t taken seriously when my back wasn’t spasming or when I didn’t
need a cane. I kept thinking, What part of my describing what it feels like to have an ice pick stabbing my lower back didn’t register?
Social pressure to appear nondisabled permeates our culture. People
with chronic illnesses are encouraged to “work through” their pain, so
transparency remains elusive. One of the worst problems living with
chronic pain is feeling like you’re living in a stranger’s unreliable
and unpredictable body. You can’t plan ahead, which often results in
isolation and resentment.
other people felt like me, I posted a question on Facebook: “Do you
have a health condition that makes you feel invisible? Eighty comments
popped up within the hour. Fibromyalgia, MS, autism, diabetes, and a
plethora of mental illnesses populated my feed. Many commenters felt
discriminated against by a society that minimizes their suffering.
People who didn’t know each other began posting supportive comments on
each other’s posts. A community was born.
Sawyer, a former college
classmate suffering from chronic pain, wrote, “Over the years, I would
go to doctors, but it was expensive, and they never believed me, so I
would usually give up and suffer through. It wasn’t until a female
doctor saw me that anyone took me seriously.”
searching, I found a pain-management specialist who thoughtfully
considers my questions and approaches my treatment as a partnership.
Wanting to make sure I understood all my options, my doctor sent me to a
top spine surgeon, who informed me that an invasive procedure’s risks
might not be worth the potential benefits based on my case. What if
surgery didn’t alleviate my pain, caused nerve damage, or worse,
Today, 30 years after the landmark passage of the
Americans with Disabilities Act and many other disability rights, many
still ask: How much do we accommodate society by constraining ourselves,
rather than asking society to see us? So many have it much worse than
me, but this isn’t a competition—it’s about trying to live our best life
In searching for supportive communities, I discovered
that many were inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating
the very conditions they once feared. Carol Sveilich, M.A., frustrated
by her own chronic illness’s challenges, wrote JUST FINE: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness and Pain
because no instruction book existed to guide people living with easily
concealed but often challenging illnesses and conditions. “Even after
years of living with an invisible chronic disability, the person who
looks healthy, even to themselves, may not want to be perceived as weak
or sickly and then begins to doubt or belittle their own legitimate
illness or pain,” she said.
How we see ourselves and how others
perceive us is very closely linked. People with chronic health
challenges often try to hide their symptoms from those around them, but
they also hide the reality of their illness from themselves. Non-visible
disabilities are a double-edged sword. I’ve been yelled at when sitting
in a seat reserved for disabled people, and I’ve remained silent when
meeting someone new.
In a TED Talk, author and clinical
psychologist Andrew Solomon said that identity politics works on two
fronts: “to give pride to people who have a given condition or
characteristic and to cause the outside world to treat such people more
gently and more kindly.” He added that “identity politics should expand
our idea of what it is to be human.” I think most of us with hidden
disabilities want to forge our pain into a narrative of triumph. Yet,
the stigma of being “lesser than” is debilitating.
When asked what to do when your disability is challenged or misunderstood, Bruce Darling, the CEO of the Center for Disability Rights
(CDR), advises the people he represents to find a way to manage their
frustration when dealing with people and not to internalize their
disability. Find someone who can support you and learn as much as you
can about your disability,” he says. “Information not only allows you to
give a better explanation to people who need to be educated, but it
also gives you tools to develop your own accommodations that you’re
entitled to by law.”
leading a more transparent life begins with finding community because
inclusion leads to representation, which drives change. Handicapped by
stigma and chronic illness, this group remains silent all too often,
rather than asking for the help and support that they need and have a
right to expect. Finding others suffering from similar conditions allows
us to feel less alone and know that our conditions are valid.
response to my Facebook post, Sawyer, one of my old college classmates,
said, “When someone asks, what does it feel like to have pain like
that?” It allows me control over a situation and body I often feel I
have no control over. Describing it makes me feel seen like I’m making
the invisible thing real for the people around me too.”
harmful on many levels, including exacerbating symptoms, creating
barriers to success in relationships and vocation, and impacting one’s
identity and self-worth. It’s essential to change the way we talk and
think about invisible disabilities. Patients, providers, and
policymakers need to come together to examine biases.
I don’t know
what my future holds—surgery, therapies, or a lifetime of pain.
However, I’ve learned the best response to my impairment was educating
myself so that I could find the right doctor. I’ve also come to
understand that silence is what weakens us. After a Facebook friend
wrote, “Thanks for creating a platform to speak on silent disabilities.
My hearing loss is the ultimate silence,” I realized how important it is
to have community.
For women who live with an impairment that
makes them feel less than in a society that values nondisabled—the
stakes are much higher. During his advocacy for CDR, Darling has
observed that women are disproportionately impacted because men tend to
be the policymakers.” Which, to me, sounds like a battle cry. Now it’s
time to make some noise.
At 22 years-old, Tyler Borjas had a job, a bank account but he couldn’t legally vote, buy a house or even make travel plans. That’s because a Miami-Dade court deemed Borjas, who has autism, “incapacitated,” and placed him under guardianship. By Pedro Portal
Tyler Borjas will now be able to vote, buy a house or travel when he wants.
because a judge agreed Tuesday that Borjas, 25, who was diagnosed with
autism as a child, is capable of making his own decisions.
“Is was amazing,” Borjas said Tuesday of the virtual hearing. “It’s all about me getting my rights back.”
On Tuesday, a judge terminated guardianship
— which essentially stripped Borjas of his rights by deeming him
incapacitated — and allowed him to use a less restrictive alternative
known as Supported Decision Making. He is believed to be only the second
person in the state to get guardianship terminated through this manner.
Supported Decision Making allows adults with disabilities to
make important decisions with assistance. In his case, his mother, Kelly
Bain-Borjas, and two sisters, Hayley and Jade, will be his support
In August, Viviana Bonilla López, an attorney working with Disability
Rights Florida, an advocacy group, turned to the court to ask a judge
to give Borjas his rights back.
“We are so excited for Tyler’s
big win,” she said. “This case is so important in demonstrating that
Supported Decision Making is a viable alternative to guardianship,” she
Borjas’ mom said a few years ago she was forced to
put her son in guardianship, the result of a personal injury lawsuit
filed on his behalf. She said she always encouraged her son to be
independent and the guardianship did the exact opposite. In fact, when
he was placed under guardianship, he had a job, his own bank account and
got around by himself using Uber and Metrorail.
Borjas said now that he has his rights back he wants to get a driver’s license, get married, travel and buy a house.
Bonilla López, an Equal Justice Works Fellow working with Disability
Rights Florida, took on Borjas’ case as part of her project sponsored by
the Florida Bar Foundation, which is focused on expanding the use of
Supported Decision Making as an alternative to guardianship.
is now on a mission to educate people about Supported Decision Making as
a substitute for guardianship. She is even working on legislation that
could require Supported Decision Making to be considered.
plan to continue to bring cases like Tyler’s to the courts,” Bonilla
López said. “We are hoping Tyler’s will be the first of many like this —
not only in Miami-Dade, but in Florida.”
d more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article247106597.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article247106597.html#storylink=cpy
A Hernando County woman is expressing gratitude after a visit to
her mother’s assisted living facility revealed a potentially deadly
medical condition just in time.
Kelly Dunn said she and her mother, Dorothy Whiting, are very close.
Which is why she noticed right away something seemed off when she
visited the 76-year-old at her assisted living facility.
Dunn said Whiting is normally a social butterfly and very chatty.
She even has a column in the facility’s weekly newsletter and is full of
light hearted jokes.
Dunn said her mother stayed positive throughout the lockdown and even
after being hospitalized for COVID-19. After about a
month, Whiting was cleared to return to her facility.
But weeks later Dunn said noticed something was still wrong.
“Something in my gut told me there was no more waiting,” Dunn said.
“I couldn’t sleep the night before and there was no way I was going to
sleep that night leaving her like that.”
Dunn called 911 and her mother was rushed to the hospital, where she
was diagnosed with lactic acidosis. Dunn said the doctors blame the
medication Whiting was on to counter the side effects of steroids used
to treat COVID-19.
“They said that she wouldn’t have made it through the night,” Dunn said. “They said she would’ve been in a coma shortly.”
Now Whiting is in recovering in rehab. Dunn said she wanted to share
her story, not out of anger or frustration, but because she is thankful
she was allowed in to visit her mother.
Dunn said devoted family members can pick up on things staff might miss and advocate for their loved ones.
“I thank our governor. I know it was a tough decision for him and not
everyone was for it,” Dunn said. “But thank goodness he made those
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on the latest long-term care visitation
order last month. Families still receiving pushback from a facility are
asked to contact AHCA and file a complaint.
MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Public
Health (JCPH) has reported an ongoing investigation at long-term care
facility Avamere Three Fountains after a 54 COVID-19 case outbreak and
one fatality on Nov. 9.
Jackson County Health Officer Dr. Jim
Shames said the outbreak can be traced back to one or multiple large
gatherings, including a birthday party. The investigation started on
Nov. 3 and involves 8 staff members and 46 residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
had a multi-generational birthday party. A great time was had by all
and I am sure they were happy to hug each other," Shames said. "And
then, some people went off to work in a daycare center - they had an
outbreak. Some people went off to work in a nursing home - they had an
outbreak. That's how this happens."
Avamere is one of the nine long-term care facilities in Jackson
County that has played a significant role in the increase of COVID-19
outbreaks. The nine facilities have three or more staff and/or residents
that have tested positive for COVID-19.
JCPH said the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age
especially for people in their 60s or 70s like most in long-term care
"These are fragile people, they have chronic
underlying diseases, they're older, they don't have the same immune
protection by in large as younger individuals," Dr. Shames said. "When
there is a case in a nursing home residence, things can happen very
quickly, which is exactly what we're seeing."
JCPH said Avamere
has been a collaborative partner with them, along with the other eight
facilities. Shames said they have been testing everyone twice a week for
COVID as well as wearing masks, gowns, gloves and social distancing.
certainly a lot of diligence and the issue is really what's happening
at the community at large," Shames said. "I mean, I can't stress enough
that when people sort of fragrantly don't follow the guidelines, this is
Shames said the COVID-19 case outbreak is an
issue larger than in just long term care facilities. Jackson County
reported 41 new COVID-19 cases on Nov. 9 bringing the total reported
COVID-19 cases in the county to 2,382. JCPH said they are seeing a trend
statewide due to social gatherings of various sizes, which is
increasing case counts.
"It's a community responsibility issue and I think what we're seeing
at this nursing home (Avamere) as well as other nursing homes, is kind
of the consequences of that," Shames said.
Shames said if people want to see students back in school buildings, they must start following COVID-19 guidelines.
got to take the restrictions more seriously. People are tired of the
separation and the masks and I get that," Shames said. "But, sometimes
you have to do things you don't really want to do in order to get the
things that you really want."
Five-star nursing homes have lower death rates from Covid-19 but
higher death rates from other causes, apparently because some patients
who are isolated for their own good are dying from loneliness, says a
study by two economists from the University of Notre Dame.
homes exposed their residents to severe isolation in an attempt to
prevent infection, subsequently leading to premature death by other
causes,” says the study, a National Bureau of Economic Research working
paper (PDF) by Christopher J. Cronin and William N. Evans.
In parts of the country where the rate of Covid-19 infection in the
community is low, five-star nursing homes “have significantly more
deaths than their low-quality counterparts,” the study says.
“No way around it—these numbers are incredibly sad,” Cronin says in a video presentation of the paper on the NBER website.
The excess deaths from causes other than Covid-19 are concentrated in
places where the rate of infection in the community is low. It’s
possible that in places where the community infection rate is high, “the
most fragile patients” die of Covid-19 before loneliness and despair
can take them away, the authors write.
One hopeful sign for lonely, isolated nursing home residents is that
in September the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services changed
their guidance to permit more visitors. In fact, if a facility has had
no COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks and the local infection rate
isn’t high, a nursing home “must” facilitate visits, the government
says. Its memo (PDF) is blunt:
CMS guidance has focused on protecting nursing home residents from
COVID-19, we recognize that physical separation from family and other
loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on residents.
Residents may feel socially isolated, leading to increased risk for
depression, anxiety, and other expressions of distress. Residents living
with cognitive impairment or other disabilities may find visitor
restrictions and other ongoing changes related to COVID-19 confusing or
upsetting. CMS understands that nursing home residents derive value from
the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they receive through
visitation from family and friends.
BALTIMORE — Families wanting to protect elderly relatives have kept
their distance during the pandemic, but a Maryland man is urging
everyone to regularly check-up on older and vulnerable adults.
Daniel Ferebee’s mom, Lottie Jones, lived 200 miles away in Virginia Beach.
He called her frequently, and she had her other son, whom she lived with, however, Ferebee started to worry.
had been asking my oldest brother to get her to a hospital, or doctor,
or some kind of medical facility because mom had a traumatic head
injury,” said Ferebee. “I kept asking repeatedly, and I kept getting
excuses so I said I’m going down, I’m going down unannounced.”
wasn’t there long when the phone rang. It was the bank calling because
her credit card hadn’t been paid in almost 90 days.
“I was like
wait a minute that can’t be right because my brother is taking care of
that and she said, ‘No, it’s been almost 90 days and it’s x amount of
dollars.’ And I said, ‘Well, can you look at the card and let me know
what types of transactions are on there?’ And none of it had anything to
do with the household, like utilities or groceries or anything like
that,” Ferebee said.
He then began digging into her other account statements.
started going through the list, it was hundreds and then it started
being thousands of dollars that were taken out over time and I was like
woah,” said Ferebee.
He moved Jones to his home in Waldorf, Md.
while he assessed the damage. Then another financial blow. After having
her mail forwarded, more bills started to arrive.
“A loan agency
that my brother had actually taken a loan out in my mom’s name and had
fraudulently signed her name on that,” said Ferebee. “And then I started
thinking if this was done without us being aware, because my sister and
I are in another state, what other transactions are there that I don’t
Ferebee said the only thing worse than his mom losing
her financial independence has been the deterioration of her emotional
and mental state.
“Her heart is so broken and she is so shattered
that I don’t even know where she’s finding the strength to keep going,”
Ferebee confronted his brother.
"In one of his
replies when I asked the basic how, why, how could you blah blah, he
said, 'Well, I’m trying to get the money to pay mom back,'" said
He also filed a police report. WMAR-2 News reached out to the Norfolk Police Department and is waiting for their response.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse,
perpetrators are often family members, or people who are close to and
trusted by the victim. And abuse may go unreported because the person
relies on their abuser for everyday functioning or they’re afraid or
Ferebee reached out to WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii
wanting to share his mom's story because now especially, when the
pandemic has kept families from being together in-person, he says it's
critical to stay in constant contact with those who are elderly or
“Check on their finances, check on their health, even
if you can’t physically go into their property, go outside the property.
If you have a cellphone, call them from outside so you can hear their
voice, you can know they’re doing alright,” said Ferebee.
though Ferebee has reached out to the banks to report fraud and identity
theft, he's had a challenging time recovering his mom's money. He’s set
up a GoFundMe page to try and get her back on her feet. If you’d like
to contribute, click here.
What to do if you suspect elder abuse Project SAFE (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) created a guide for anyone who suspects financial exploitation.
Imagine our soldiers on the front lines during the "great wars." Think about their spouses at home worrying and working hard to keep the family fed and clothed until the war was over and life would return to "normal" again.
How could they have imagined - those on foreign soil and those left behind on American soil - that when they would become old, their country would not fight for them as they had sacrificed and fought for their country? How could they image their country would not love them when they aged and could no longer serve?
Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation is increasing. It must stop and we must stop it.
A Kansas nursing home has lost its federal Medicare funding after an investigation revealed faulty practices led to widespread coronavirus infection and 10 deaths.
onsite investigation at Andbe Home, Inc. in Norton, Kansas, revealed
noncompliance with federal requirements for long-term care facilities,
according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) documents
obtained by Fox News.
The survey investigation by the Kansas
Department for Aging and Disability Services cited “widespread immediate
jeopardy” to resident health and safety, according to the documents.
The facility was also slammed with a $14,860 federal civil money penalty
while it worked to correct noncompliance back in May.
A Kansas nursing home has lost its federal Medicare funding after
a state investigation revealed faulty practices led to widespread
coronavirus infection and 10 deaths.
tephen Crystal, director of the Center for Health Services Research
at the Rutgers Institute for Health, told Fox News that the move marks
CMS’ “ultimate penalty; decertifying a facility.”
“Most of the
time, they try very hard do other things before they go to that step
[like civil monetary penalties],” he said, adding “CMS actually doesn’t
do this very often, and one could argue that they haven't moved quickly
enough on other facilities that had out of control spread,” referencing
New Jersey and New York as examples.
In the case of the Kansas
facility, staff identified two symptomatic patients on Oct. 5 and
confirmed positive test results two days later but failed to separate
them from the rest of the residents.
“During this time, COVID-19 positive residents cohorted with COVID-19
negative residents, with only a curtain between them, against [Centers
for Disease and Prevention Control] guidelines and best practice to
prevent the spread of highly contagious COVID-19,” said the documents
obtained by Fox News. The facility also allowed communal dining for two
days after they discovered the symptomatic patients.
These failures, among others described in the report, ultimately exposed all 61 residents
to the virus, every single one testing positive, which led to one
hospitalization and 10 deaths. By Oct. 19, 37 staff members tested
Crystal wasn’t privy to all the details but upon a brief account said, "It sounds pretty egregious.”
facility’s administrator, Megan Mapes, received a notice of a 23-day
involuntary termination of the Medicare provider agreement: “We have
determined that Andbe Home, Inc. no longer meets the requirements for
participation as a skilled nursing facility in the Medicare program
under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.”
These failures, among others described in the report, ultimately exposed all 61 residents to the virus.
The termination will go into effect Nov. 18, 2020.
informed Mapes that the Medicare program won’t pay for covered services
to patients admitted to the facility on or after Oct. 27, 2020.
Medicare will cover patients admitted before that date for up to 30 days
“to ensure residents are successfully relocated.”
was also notified that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability
Services would assign management to Mission Health Communities to
temporarily manage staff, funds and facility procedures, among other
tasks, which went into effect Oct. 28.
If the facility decides to re-enter the Medicare program, it has to
assure its capabilities to comply with certification, due to the
“serious nature and circumstances of the involuntary termination.”
review of the documents revealed the facility actually had a detailed
plan for potential coronavirus infection, but failed to follow it.
“My sense is that too much has been left up to the operators. The states need to go in, CMS needs to go in,” Crystal said.
Peter Pitts, former Food and Drug Administration associate
commissioner and president and co-founder of Center for Medicine in the
Public Interest, said to Fox News: “At best, it’s an oversight in
recognizing where sources need to be directed. At worst, it’s
While nursing homes operate on different sources of revenue, federal funding is clearly a large one, Pitts explained.
“Any facility that loses federal funding is going to be seriously impacted on the care that it can provide," Pitts said.
“The issue is that federal funding hasn’t trickled down to support
staff in nursing facilities and senior centers more broadly,” Pitts
said. “When you don’t properly compensate aides, versus physicians and
nurses and pharmacists, it’s not surprising that that’s where the
problems begin to arise.
"Hopefully these types of things can be
corrected before they result in massive wildfire of COVID-19 infection
in senior centers, as we had in New York early in the pandemic...Shame
on us if we wait for people to die before we address the problem."
In this Dec. 2, 2019, file photo, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes speaks at a press conference. / Sara Palczewski/
by Alex Hosey
Lee County District Attorney
Brandon Hughes turned himself in to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office
Sunday on multiple charges including using office as personal gain, one
count of conspiracy and one count of first-degree perjury.
was booked into the Lee County Jail at approximately 5 p.m. this
evening,” Sheriff Jay Jones said Sunday. “He posted bond and was
Jones said the
indictments were issued by the state attorney general’s office, and
Hughes turned himself in to the Lee County Detention Facility before
being released on a $31,000 bond.
not [the Lee County Sheriff’s Office] case,” Jones said. “They sent us
the indictment as a result of a grand jury that met at some point in the
Hughes, who was elected as district
attorney in 2016, self-reported a possible ethics violation to the
Alabama Ethics Commission earlier this year, though it is unknown if the
recent charges are related.
Hughes told the Opelika-Auburn News he will release a statement regarding the charges on Monday.
Cerrone remembers the moment her parents tried to kiss through the
glass window of a memory care center in South Florida.
"That broke my heart," Cerrone said.
It was three months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and senior care centers were closed to visitors.
Standing inside, beyond the pane of glass, her 85-year-old father,
Vittorio Cerrone, wore two or three layers of clothing because he felt
cold. His hands were shaking from the effects of his new dementia
medication, his daughter remembered. And his eyes peered through the glass with sadness.
Cerrone's 82-year-old mother, Elisabeth
Cerrone, had walked between some hedges and was standing as close as she
could to the window that separated her from the love of her life. The
temperature that day, her daughter recalled, was 95 degrees. A painful
silence filled the humid air.
Elisabeth Cerrone waits outside her husband's memory care facility for a chance to visit through a window.
"I think my mom was just happy to see him and be able to get her eyes on him," Cerrone said.
rule change has made for heartwarming reunions, like the one between
Mark Lebenthal and his 89-year-old stepmother, Arlene Lebenthal, at
Grand Villa of Delray Beach West in Palm Beach County, Florida.
visitation rules are strict. Lebenthal had to make an appointment, pass
a health screening with a temperature check and dress in full personal
protection equipment, or PPE -- all before a staff member escorted him
to Arlene's room.
"I love you," Mark said as he hugged her for the first time in months. "You look great."
Mark Lebenthal visits with his stepmother, Arlene Lebenthal, in person for the first time in months.
was sitting in her wheelchair watching TV when Mark walked in. A smile
filled her face. Her silver hair was freshly styled, her make-up was
done and she fashioned red reading glasses.
me a kiss," Arlene said as she grabbed Mark's face with one hand and
kissed his cheek over his face shield. She shared that while she had
played bingo and participated in other activities, not being allowed to
have visitors had been "tough."
conversation quickly turned to Mark's father, Michael Lebenthal, who
died in April. His dying wish was that his son find Arlene a comfortable
senior living facility, Mark said.
"Make sure she is not alone," Mark
remembered his father telling him before passing away. At the time,
Arlene was hospitalized, recovering from a severe back injury. She never
got to say goodbye to her husband of 45 years. Mark knew she couldn't
go back home.
"It was horrible. For a while I didn't feel anything. I felt pain but couldn't feel any emotion," Arlene said.
"He loved you," Mark said.
that face-to-face visit with Arlene, the Covid-19 pandemic had made it
impossible for Mark to personally confirm that he had delivered on his
promise. Senior care facilities in Florida shut their doors to visitors
"It's been challenging,"
said Sophia Rich, executive director of Grand Villa of Delray Beach
West. "Everyone knows that Florida was hit hard by the pandemic."
July and August, on average, "more than one nursing home resident was
infected every minute, and 11 residents died every hour," a US Senate report released
this month found. And despite calls for help from communities across
the country, some nursing homes still lacked adequate testing capacity
and suffered staff and PPE shortages, the report found.
a real tragedy," said Dionne Polite, AARP's director for state
operations for Florida. "We are not supposed to treat our older adults
the way that they are being treated right now."
Cerrone had to wait six months to visit her father, Vittorio Cerrone,
inside a memory care facility. This photo captures the lasting memory.
Victoria Cerrone, the window visits with her father eventually grew too
painful, she said. As she stood there, beyond the hedges, she began to
see how the image of the successful businessman and world traveler that
she remembered was fading away. He was losing weight, becoming agitated,
depressed and confused.
of being able to reassure my father was the hardest thing to go
through," Cerrone said. "And he definitely declined as a result of
FaceTime visits were also
too confusing. "Dementia patients can't understand FaceTime. They need
touch. They have to have human touch," Cerrone said.
Desperate to help her father, Cerrone
contacted politicians at the local, state and federal levels to advocate
for visitations so she and her mother could visit Vittorio in person.
every month that passed, the heartbreak intensified. Vittorio and
Elisabeth Cerrone didn't get to celebrate their 58th wedding
anniversary, Father's Day and his birthday.
It would take six months for Florida to ease the visitation rules.
"I gave him a giant hug. I didn't let him go," Cerrone recalled of their in-person reunion. "I just told him I loved him."
Vittorio Cerrone closed his eyes, his daughter remembered, and cried in silence.
A Lincoln attorney whose law
license was suspended after her arrest on allegations that she
financially exploited a woman with developmental disabilities for whom
she was a court-appointed guardian has been sentenced to five years of
Vanderford, 48, also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and serve 90 days
in county jail starting May 10, unless it's later waived by the court.
County District Judge Robert Otte found her guilty of abuse of a
vulnerable adult and not guilty of felony theft at a bench trial this
At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, her
attorney, Bob Creager, argued for a new trial, saying there were
unresolved issues at trial, including whether a trust could be a victim
or qualify as a "vulnerable adult," as the state had alleged in the
case, and whether Vanderford had criminal intent.
"This is a strange statute. You exploit someone by exploiting them," Creager said.
argued that when Vanderford wrote checks from the trust to herself,
paying herself for the work she was doing for the woman, the conduct
wasn't wrongful or unauthorized. She contended that the woman's father
had OK'd it.
Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Jeremy Lavene pointed out that the woman's father denied it at trial.
"She was wrongfully taking money for
her own benefit and not the benefit of (the victim)," he said. "Clearly
there's intent here."
said Vanderford was having financial difficulties and paid herself more
than $60,000 between 2014 and 2016 to keep her law firm afloat when she
got behind on payments and maxed out her line of credit.
Lincoln police investigation started with a tip from Nebraska
Department of Health and Human Services in June 2017 alleging that
Vanderford, who had been appointed by the court to serve as a
33-year-old woman’s guardian, had been writing herself checks on a trust
set up for the woman's benefit.
Creager said Vanderford was doing what
she was asked to do, including taking the woman to medical appointments
and helping her with the things her mother did for her before she died.
Coronavirus infections among nursing home residents are ticking higher in New Jersey as the second wave has taken effect, per a report.
State health records show cases at the Dellridge
Health & Rehabilitation Center in North Jersey spiked from two
infections in October to seven this week, a local outlet, NorthJersey.com, reported.
incidence of cases among nursing homes in the Garden State represent
just one example of the scene across the country, with one virus-laden
nursing home in Kansas even recently losing its federal Medicare funding.
Coronavirus infections among nursing home residents are ticking
higher in New Jersey as the second wave has taken effect, per a report.
In late September, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told Gov. Phil Murphy the state was well-positioned for the colder months ahead given its low baseline of community spread. Figures from
the state health department show new daily cases have gradually been on
the rise since then, but are nowhere near the surge seen in April when
nearly 4,400 cases were reported on several occasions.
By Nov. 2, the state had a positivity rate of
6%, which is just above the World Health Organization's threshold of a
5% positivity rate for two weeks as a guide for reopening.
The outlet reported that facilities in northern New Jersey counties are
reporting some of the largest spikes in cases statewide, citing state
records. As of Thursday, there were reportedly ongoing outbreaks across
191 nursing facilities, which is a jump from 156 on Oct. 19.
“We remain hyper-vigilant in our efforts to eradicate COVID-19,” said
Family of Care, the health system owning Dellridge, per the outlet. “We
have increased our staff testing to twice weekly based on the county
positivity rate. We are in daily contact with our Local and State
Departments of Health.”
However, there was a mistake: Dellridge
officials were reportedly removing case numbers off of totals as
residents recovered, though a state spokeswoman reportedly said the
facility would correct the issue. So far, New Jersey has reported a
total of 249,380 coronavirus cases and 14,616 related deaths.
VAN NUYS, CA– A 43-year-old Van Nuys, California, man was sentenced
today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years in prison for two
federal felonies for his sexual assault of a young woman on a flight
from London to Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. BABAK
REZAPOUR was convicted on January 22, 2020, of abusive sexual contact in
a special aircraft jurisdiction and abusive sexual contact with an
incapacitated victim. The jury deliberated about two and a half hours
following a five-day jury trial. At the sentencing hearing, U.S.
District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said the crime was “an evil act…. An
awful, horrible, nightmare situation.”
“This defendant not only assaulted this young woman on the plane, his
history shows escalating assaults on women even before this incident,”
said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran. “I commend this brave victim who has
endured the pain of describing this crime to first responders,
investigators, and ultimately to the jury.”
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, REZAPOUR
sexually assaulted the 20-year-old victim while she was incapacitated
from medication and alcohol on a Norwegian Air flight from London to
Seattle on January 10, 2018. The victim had taken prescribed
anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medication and drank a glass of wine. The
victim then accepted a second glass of wine purchased for her by
REZAPOUR. After drinking the second glass, the victim became unusually
sleepy. She awoke to find REZAPOUR sexually assaulting her. REZAPOUR
used his jacket to shield the activity from other passengers. The
victim fled to the back of the plane and reported the assault to flight
LaFayette Police Chief says three more residents of the PruittHealth Shepherd Hills facility have come forward with reports of sexual assault against Henrii Hosue Reynoso. The Police Chief also expects more employees of the Shepherd Hills facility to face charges for failure to report elderly abuse as required by law. Chief Clift says state investigators were inside the nursing home interviewing residents Friday. LaFayette Police Detectives say Reynoso is in the country legally as a DACA recipient, but is not a US citizen. Detectives also said that Reynoso was not certified to be working as a CNA inside the facility. Due to an exemption issued by the state of Georgia and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to keep nursing homes from becoming understaffed during COVID-19, Reynoso was able to work in a CNA position when the sexual assault occurred. According a LaFayette Police Department incident report, a Detective Owens interviewed Peggy Bohannon the head sure and Stacy Jackson a social worker after the alleged assault. According to the report Bohannon who was the head nurse the night of the incident was notified by a CNA of the assault, and that Bohannon advised social worker Stacy Jackson about it. Detective Owens reported, "Mrs. Bohannon stated that she moved Mr. Reynoso to the north wing to work so he would not be around the victim and advised me that she and Mr. Jackson had agreed that they would go speak with the victim a later time when it wasn't so busy." "Mrs. Bohannon stated that she never went and spoke to the victim and never reported the incident her supervisors or law enforcement authorities." Bohannon she was off a few days and was reminded of the incident when she returned to work on October 20th, when the victim questioned her about it. Even then no law enforcement officials weren't contacted. Bohannon and Jackson were each charged with Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation of a Disabled Adult or Elder Person.
Previous press release:
On October 20th, The LaFayette Police Department was notified of a reported sexual assault that occurred between an employee and a patient at Pruitt Health Care Shepherd Hills located at 800 Patterson Road LaFayette Georgia.
The LaFayette Police Department conducted an investigation, and it was discovered that the patient reported the sexual assault to staff of Pruitt Health Care Shepherd Hills on October 16th. The staff of Pruitt Health Care Shepherd Hills failed to report the Incident to Law Enforcement as required by O.C.G.A 30-5-8. The Incident was reported to Law Enforcement by a concerned family member of the victim on the evening of October 20th. As a result of the investigation, Henrii Hosue Reynoso was charged with Aggravated Sodomy and is currently wanted on this charge. The investigation also led to charges being filed against Stacy Jackson and Peggy Bohannon, employees of Pruitt Health Care Shepherd Hills, for Failure to Report Abuse of Elder Person.
Federal agents search nursing home with many virus deaths (WJAC)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal agents
searched a nursing home near Pittsburgh that had the worst coronavirus
outbreak of any in Pennsylvania and was already being investigated by
the state on suspicion of criminal neglect.
Post-Gazette reported that U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said in a written
statement that agents were at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness
Center in Beaver County, as well as at the Mount Lebanon Rehabilitation
and Wellness Center in Allegheny County.
Meanwhile, Temple University announced Thursday that the majority of
classes will shift online through the end of the fall semester amid
rising numbers of coronavirus cases among students.