How to protect yourself from nursing home abuse
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In the nursing home industry, some residents of nursing homes say they’re still receiving abuse at the hands of their own employees.
Theresa Jenssen, a longtime resident who’s been a nurse for 25 years, says some employees are angry that she’s not getting the care she needs, and they are threatening to leave the nursing homes if she doesn’t comply.
Jenssen is also concerned about the safety of her nursing home patients and the staff.
The home is a federally run facility, and in a few weeks it will be closing.
Jensen says some of her patients have developed heart conditions that can make it hard for them to go home.
She also says some nursing homes have locked the doors and barred residents from leaving during the day, when the nursing staff is on call.
In an interview, Jensson said the nursing facility where she lives has been abused, too.
She says she and her husband, who’s retired, have been victims of physical abuse, too, and she says some nurses have been sexually abused.
Janssen said the abuse started when she moved to Providance in 2004 and began working at a nursing home in 2011.
The facility’s staff was so rude and unprofessional, Janssen says, that she became suspicious that she was not getting her nursing care.
She began to suspect the nursing house was being run by the same nursing home employees who abused her.
Jonssen said her husband eventually filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Department of Health, which is now investigating the matter.
Providance spokeswoman Jill Tisdale says that state agency has received about 50 complaints about the nursing-home abuse.
She says in most of those cases, the complaints have been turned over to the state’s Civil Rights Division, which will review the complaint and determine whether the complaint meets the department’s standards.
Tisdale said she could not comment on specific cases, because of the ongoing investigation.
Providentia officials have been in contact with some of the alleged perpetrators, and state officials are looking into whether other nursing homes should be subject to state inspections.
Todrick said she’s pleased that the Rhode Islands Department of Safety and Homeland Security has taken action against the nursing facilities.
Teddie McBride, director of the Rhode Islanders Division of Health and Human Services, said in a statement that the agency has “identified some nursing home facilities that are in need of further investigation, but also identified some employees who were not doing their jobs appropriately and who have been placed on administrative leave.
These individuals will not be working in our care facilities again, and we are committed to taking swift and effective action to protect our residents.”
McBride said that the state is not aware of any instances in which Rhode Island nursing homes had been subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1988, which protects people from discrimination in the workplace.
She said the agency is working with the nursing community to ensure that Rhode Island residents are safe and secure in their homes.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is also working with Providence’s Department of Public Safety, which oversees the nursing and residential housing systems.
It’s working with local agencies and law enforcement to ensure safety at all nursing homes, said DHHS spokeswoman Christine Johnson.