Allegations And Forceful Denial Of Patient Abuse At Gladewater Nursing Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/13/04 - Gladewater

Allegations And Forceful Denial Of Patient Abuse At Gladewater Nursing Home

About forty seniors and disabled people live at Care Inn in Gladewater. It's a facility with a history of violations recorded by state inspectors, and now three former employees say those most in need of care aren't getting what they deserve.

"There are residents that are not checked. They're supposed to be checked every two hours and it's not done," says Emilee Harmon, who resigned from her job at Care Inn several weeks ago.

Harmon, Kimberly Barnes, and Rebecca Bradshaw all worked at Care Inn until just recently. Kimberly says she was fired after three years of hard work, Emily and Rebecca say they quit because the care at Care Inn was so bad.

Bradshaw: "[One night,] everyone was put back to bed in a disposable diaper. That diaper was put on at 6pm and they weren't checked on until nine that night."

Barnes: "I say, they lay there for four hours in the same position."

They say Care Inn is understaffed, and the lack of movement creates bedsores, and hastily feeding and cleaning the patients violates their dignity.

Bradshaw: "There are bread crumbs in bed, or eggs left from breakfast."

The most recent state report available online lists these "potential disadvantages"

- A higher rate of new-onset cognitive probems.

- Weight loss appears more common.

- Care Inn residents may be more likely to have bed sores.

The State says Care Inn has been out of compliance for five years.

The administrator responds:  "[The state is] always going to say you're out of compliance. They'll find certain things and give you 'tags' (violations), and say you're out of compliance," says Linda Merchen.

As far as bed sores, Merchen and the Director of Nursing say it's because many of their residents come straight from the hospital.

Director of Nursing Patricia Logan-Moore: "None of [the bed sores] are over a 'stage two,' where the skin is broken. We got them down."

They say patients already had sores.

The three former employees say they lacked basic supplies, and they weren't readily available.

Bradshaw: "You may have to run down the hall to find a pair of gloves." 

They also say they're not always available.

The administrator, Linda Merchen cited privacy as the reason our cameras couldn't come through the halls of Care Inn, but KLTV's Morgan Palmer took a tour and noticed no odor, nothing that appeared to put patients in immediate jeopardy this day, and supplies including gloves were stocked in several supply rooms.

Reporter: "Let me put it this way: Do you think you're doing a good job?"

Merchen: "Yes, I do."

However, Care Inn scored just 38 out of a possible 100 on the latest state report following the latest June inspections. The three former workers say families should always ask questions when looking to place a family member, but they warn even that isn't always enough.

Bradshaw: "I'm trying to speak for the ones who can't speak for themselves -- let the people know there are things that happen they do not see."

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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