A case case of horrific nursing home neglect (perhaps more accurately nursing home abuse) has been reported in New Mexico. The owner of an Albuquerque Nursing Home, has been found guilty of in the death of resident who was left sitting on top of a bedpan for more than 24-hours.
The incident occurred on Christmas day, 2005, when the owner of the facility placed the bedpan under 76-year-old Richard Gerhardt and disappeared. Gerhardt was bed-bound at the time because he was recovering from a broken hip. By the time the incident had been discovered, the bedpan had become embedded in Gerhardt’s skin. An open wound soon developed and became infected that ultimately led to his death five days later.
The nursing home faces a possible $5,000 fine and/or loss of federal funding (Medicare). “Nursing home[s] and care facilities are paid to provide round the clock care to those who cannot care for themselves… Protecting this population is of paramount importance to the New Mexico attorney general and similar violations will be prosecuted vigorously,” said Elizabeth Staley, director of the New Mexico attorney general Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Division. Read more about this incident involving the death of nursing home resident here.