Group Home Worker Faces Jail Time for Neglecting a Resident who Developed Pressure Sores

By Nursing Home Law Center

Effie Tutor, a former caregiver at Kirkland adult family home (Washington) was sentenced to 31 months in prison for her role in the neglect-related death of a resident at the facility where she worked. The conviction stems from the mistreatment of 87-year-old Jean Rudolph, who developed pressure sores that progressed so far her underlying tissue and bone were exposed and eventually died from pressure sore complications.

Despite Ms. Tutor’s claims that she feared reporting the pressure sores to the owner of the facility because she risked losing her job, the judge presiding over her trial didn’t buy the argument because getting medical attention for the wounds fell under realm of being a seasoned caregiver and manager.

Not to worry, the owner of the adult group home, Patricia Goodwill, has also pleaded guilty to criminal charges of second degree criminal treatment creating an ‘imminent and substantial risk of death’ for failing to ensure the medical needs of Jean Rudolph were attended to.

Adult Group Homes

Nursing Home Resident Neglect

Adult group homes are a relative newcomer options available to senior living. Ideally created for seniors who wish to have some assistance with meals and personal chores with some of the social aspects that come with communal living, adult group homes are not intended to take the place for skilled nursing facilities.

Because adult group homes remain loosely regulated and are staffing by personnel who may not have any training related to nursing, families need to be mindful of the fact that adult group homes may not be appropriate for seniors requiring full assistance with daily living needs or who require medical attention.

As adult group homes become more popular, lawmakers need to address how to regulate these facilities to protect the safety of seniors who may be unaware of the potential problems that are frequently found at this type of facility.

Neglect More Prevalent in Group Homes

For example, a Seattle Times inquiry revealed that neglect at adult-group homes occurs more frequently than at nursing homes. Pressure sore related deaths (also referred to as: pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers or bed sores) are 3.5 times more common that at nursing homes.

Hopefully, news stories such as this, will encourage families to become more diligent in looking after family members who may be in alternative care situations and cause them to take more of a centralized role in the care of their loved one.

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