The state of Massachusetts has ordered the Brentwood Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center to file an improvement plan after receiving numerous complaints of nursing home abuse about the facility. Residents had reported specific incidents that included both verbal and physical abuse: all occurred over the course of the last year.
Following an investigation, state inspectors recorded several areas of concern, including a failure to provide residents with protection from abuse and a failure to investigate incidents or report them. The individual examples of nursing home abuse that were cited in the state’s report ranged from choking a resident to dragging another into a room and leaving them alone.
The results of the nursing home abuse investigation into the for-profit nursing home were published on the Nursing Home Compare website, and that report is not the first to paint a bleak picture of the services that Brentwood provides. The facility ranks among the bottom ten percent in the state and has previously been fined by the federal government.
Three Separate Inspections Reveal Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Following the reports of nursing home abuse, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conducted three separate inspections in 2018. Those inspections revealed multiple issues that were all too familiar to Robin Reale, whose late mother had resided in the home in 2018.
Ms. Reale referred to Brentwood as a “horror show,” and described extensive bruising on her mother’s chest and upper arm that Brentwood failed to report or investigate. They were unable to provide an explanation for how or when she had been injured, and Mrs. Reale removed her mother from the facility’s care. Speaking of her mother’s experience, she said, “If this is going to happen to a family who was there every single day to visit, what’s going to happen to people who have nobody? Who’s going to help these people who can’t speak for themselves?”
Among the complaints of nursing home abuse that spurred the inspection was a March incident in which one of Brentwood’s residents admitted to taking packages of cookies off of a cart, only to have a nursing assistant attempt to choke him as punishment.
Despite reporting what had happened, the nurse took no action, saying that he did not believe the resident’s account of what had happened. Another 2018 incident was captured by a video camera, which recorded a nursing assistant dragging a resident into a room, shutting the door and then abandoning the resident.
Residents reported being cursed at, being told to shut up, being refused bathroom assistance, and more. During the course of the inspection, a state inspector noted a wheelchair-bound resident moaning in pain and dripping blood from an open wound.