A federal jury awarded $1.75 million last month to a woman who said her sister lost her dignity in the last days of her life because of unhygienic conditions and improper care at a Charleston, West Virginia nursing home. Tammy Rectenwald, 44, was in the late stages of multiple sclerosis and could no longer speak. She lived at Meadowbrook Acres in Charleston, WV from March 1999 until October 2003.
On Oct. 8, 2003, she had chest congestion and other signs of pneumonia, but nursing home staff did not call her family or an ambulance. When the nursing home called Tammy’s family 12 hours later, the family insisted that Tammy be taken to the hospital.
Tammy died a week later at Saint Francis Hospital, where doctors found evidence that she had been neglected, such as an infected catheter site and dirty nails and skin. Read the newspaper report here.
When will nursing homes start providing the care needed by the elderly and infirm?