The details of the nursing home neglect and abuse suffered by 91-year-old Helen Banks are heartbreaking. Despite having been entrusted to the care of Cedar Village Memory Care Community specifically because she “began requiring a higher degree of medical care and supervision,” she was frequently left unattended for hours at a time and denied assistance with the tasks of daily living. After a horrific period in which the frail and elderly woman fell three times within four days, she died of her injuries. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $3 million in damages against the senior assisted living company.
The 24-bed facility accused of elder abuse, nursing home neglect and wrongful death is owned by East Salem Assisted Living, whose parent company Frontier Management was also named as a defendant in the complaint. While this incident occurred in Oregon, Frontier Management is the nation’s 19th largest senior living provider, owning more than 6,300 senior living units and more than 2,100 memory care units.
Accused Facility Has Had 16 Substantiated Reports of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The nursing home neglect suffered by Mrs. Banks is not the first instance that has occurred at Cedar Village. The Oregon Department of Human Services, Aging, and People with Disabilities, Office of Safety, Oversight, and Quality says the facility has a 9-year-long history that includes 16 substantiated reports of abuse and neglect. Fines have been assessed for failure to assess and intervene, leading to patient falls similar to what happened to Mrs. Banks, as well as for sexual abuse, neglect, and verbal, physical and mental abuse.
The nursing home neglect leading up to Mrs. Banks’ death began shortly after she was transferred to the company’s memory care facility. Her wellbeing and health began to decline as her needs were ignored. In March of last year she was left unattended and attempted to shower on her own resulting in a fall that left her with significant head lacerations requiring hospitalization. She was returned to the facility the next day, and was left alone again. She was found in a pool of blood with a broken elbow and cuts just seven hours later. After being sent to the hospital again she was discharged back to the facility with specific instructions regarding the need for supervision. Two days later she fell again, breaking her clavicle. She died days later. The wrongful death lawsuit accuses staff of negligence, failure to supervise, failure to document her condition, falsifying chart notes and falsifying licensure and qualification of employees.