Personal Injury

A family’s worst fear

It is a family’s worst fear realized. They entrust the care of a loved one to a nursing home facility, only to find evidence of neglect and abuse. It’s the situation the Graham family of Louisville, Ky., experienced in 2007, when Rev. Dennis Graham, just shy of his 55th birthday, died while a resident of Harborside Healthcare in Jefferson County.

According to a report by local television station WAVE3 in November 2007, family members say Rev. Graham, who had required full-time nursing care since 1999 after a fall left him a quadriplegic with a serious brain injury, began a quick decline in health after entering the Harborside facility in January 2007. Prior to that time, he was cared for at a different facility, where he experienced no problems during his six-year stay, according to his sister, Sherry Cooke.

According to the WAVE3 report, incidents of neglect included severe bed sores, a feeding tube being turned or left off repeatedly resulting in dramatic weight loss, and medications missed or administered incorrectly.

The family says Adult Protective Services investigated and substantiated their claim of caretaker neglect. However, the nursing home released a statement to the TV station saying they had complied with the state department of health and the office of Inspector General in their investigations in the family’s concerns, and that the agencies found the care center acted appropriately in the care of the individual.