Nursing Home Patient's Alleged Abuse Videotaped

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - The attorney general's office is conducting a criminal investigation into alleged physical abuse and taunting at a nursing home in central Kentucky.

The probe comes after the family of an 84-year-old resident hid a video camera in her room at Madison Manor in Richmond.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the videotape shows nursing
assistants at Madison Manor physically abusing and taunting Armeda
Thomas of Irvine and failing to feed and clean her.

Madison Manor is part of the Richmond Health and Rehabilitation Complex, which is owned by Wisconsin-based Extendicare.

Records obtained by the Herald-Leader under the Freedom of Information Act show that after the criminal investigation began in September, further checking by the nursing home staff revealed "injuries of unknown origin" to 17 residents who were cognitively impaired.

Thomas' granddaughter, Deborah Hamilton, is a child protective worker employed by the state. She said her job was unrelated to her role as a caretaker for Thomas. She noted that as a state social worker, she knew which problems needed to be reported.

"We were just so desperate to know the truth and for other people to know the truth," said Hamilton. "Almost everyone has a relative who gets care in a facility. You want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that your loved one is well cared for and not scared." Thomas' family cared for her at home after the alleged abuse at the nursing home. Hamilton says she died Nov. 7 of complications related to Alzheimer's disease.

"We received the state's findings and submitted a plan of correction, which was accepted," said a statement from Cindi Simpson, regional director of operations for Extendicare. "We were recently resurveyed, and the immediate jeopardy violations were removed and our facility is currently in substantial compliance."

Simpson said that because of federal privacy laws, she could not
discuss current or former residents.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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