An Oklahoma jury found former nursing home owners guilty of negligence in a trial surrounding a disturbing video captured inside an Oklahoma City nursing home. The jury awarded $1.2 million to the family of a 96-year-old woman, Eryetha Mayberry, who was abused in the home by two employees.
Eryetha’s three daughters filed a lawsuit against Quail Creek Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center after hidden camera footage showed their elderly mother with dementia being manhandled and abused by her caretakers.
The daughters installed cameras in their mother’s room after suspecting someone was stealing from her. What they found was even more shocking. Two nursing home employees Lucy Waithira Gakunga and Caroline Kaseke forced Eryetha to lie down by pushing her head and preventing her from breathing. The video also shows one caregiver shoving a latex glove in their mother’s mouth and the other thumping her on the head. The two employees were fired and face criminal charges.
Oklahoma’s nursing homes rank third-worst in the entire country last year, according to data gathered from the nonprofit group Families for Better Care. The year prior, they ranked fourth-worst. Statistics also estimate that 1 in 3 residents face abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and many homes actually under-report the number of instances. Of course, when you’re in need of a nursing home, statistics like this are scary. How can you ensure that your loved one won’t fall victim to abuse and neglect? The trust is: you can’t. But there are some things you can do to prevent it.
First, choose the best nursing home available. In early February, the federal government announced it will make it harder for nursing homes to earn top grades. They plan to scrutinize use of anti-psychotic drugs and bolster a number of quality measure. How do you find these grades? Check the government website here. It rates more than 15,000 nursing homes across the country on government inspections, staffing levels, and quality measures. You can narrow your search down by zip code and also by rating. If you only want to see homes with 4 and 5 stars, you can select only those homes.
However, you should also be aware of some criticisms that come with the website. Critics say the site relies too heavily on self-reported data from facilities and even those with top grades still face violations and fines. Regardless, the site is a step in the right direction and you’ll never want to choose a nursing home solely from what you see online. It is pertinent that you visit the home in person for a tour before committing a loved one to a facility. For more tips on how to find the safest and best nursing home for your loved one, read our blog on 5 nursing home secrets you need to know.
Story of Eryetha found here.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.