Here is another article about a nursing home’s failure to prevent a resident from falling and then failing to intervene or inform the family.
The family was never told that their 60-year-old mother had broken both legs in a fall and died of complications. Eventually, the family discovered the horrific details. Their mother, Linda Ober, had been dropped by staff at the nursing home where she lived and left to moan for help in her bed for five days.
Employees tried to cover up the injury by giving her pain medication and telling her that her memory of being dropped as they moved her out of her wheelchair was simply a bad dream. The family is haunted by the thought that her mother spent her final hours wondering why her daughter didn’t come to see her. According to the suit, the resident told hospital staff that they didn’t need to call her daughter, because nursing-home employees said they would. Cunningham, who lives a mile from the nursing home, said she was not told.
“I wasn’t there to hold her hand,” said Cunningham, breaking into tears. “All I needed was a phone call.”
Thomas D’Amore, the attorney representing Cunningham and her siblings, said Ober’s death was the result of having too few staff and not adequately training them to care for the center’s residents. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a review of the Gateway nursing home about the time of Ober’s death found that the number of nurse-hours per resident was below the state average by 33 percent.
She was critically injured Oct. 29, 2006, when two employees dropped her after improperly wrapping a sling around her torso to move her from her wheelchair to her bed, according to the suit. X-rays show Ober’s badly broken legs. In one X-ray, her femur is jutting away from its normal position by 45 degrees. According to a summary of a state investigation that D’Amore provided, staff who treated Ober at Mount Hood Medical Center said Ober’s pain was “off the scale” and that “you could feel the bones in her legs moving in your hands, and they were crunching.”