Daughter Banned from Philadelphia Nursing Home After Taking Pictures Of ….

Glendale Uptown HomePicture-157 is a large 240 bed nursing home facility located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  On June 30, 2009 there was a small fire that occurred across the hall from the room of Selma Kirk, an 82 year-old resident.  The fire resulted in some damage to the room, but no charring, and all the residents in the wing who had been evacuated were returned to their rooms.

Ms. Kirk’s daughter, Susan Margoles, went to the facility after the fire to check on her mother and take photographs of the fire damage.  Ms. Margoles reported that the administrators got upset and banned her from her mother’s room for taking these photographs.  A Philadelphia Daily News Columnist, Ronnie Polaneczky, was able to get into Ms. Kirk’s room on three separate occasions just by signing in at the front desk.  The facility’s executive director would not comment about the situation, citing patient-privacy laws.

Ms. Margoles told the reporter that there was caution tape over the doorway to the wing where the fire occurred.  On this visit, she used her camera to take pictures of the damaged room.  A facility administrator witnessed Ms. Margoles taking the photographs and accused her of trespassing, telling her that she had to delete the photos or she would be arrested.  Ms. Margoles said that she finally just gave her camera to an administrator who deleted the photos.  Then, when she came back to visit her elderly mother to deliver clean clothes, the administration told her that she would be arrested if she went past the lobby and was indefinitely banned from her mother’s room.

Ms. Margoles filed an emergency petition in Common Pleas Court for court-ordered access to her mother’s room.  Then, on July 9, 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Health visited Glendale Uptown to investigate Ms. Margoles’ complaints.  Investigators did not find any nursing home deficiencies and described Ms. Margoles’ mother (Ms. Kirk) as congenial.  However, later that day, the nursing home called to say that Ms. Kirk had suffered a change in mental status and was being admitted to the hospital.  The day after Ms. Kirk’s hospitalization, Glendale’s executive director wrote to Ms. Margoles, stating that her mother was not welcome back.  Ms. Margoles found a new nursing home for her mother at Manor Care Huntington Valley.

According to the Medicare website, the Glendale Uptown Home received one out of five stars, which is a much below average rating.  The facility received only two out of five starts for health inspections, which is a below average rating.  In the past year, the nursing home had six health deficiencies, which is equal to the average number of health deficiencies in Pennsylvania, and two less than the average number of health deficiencies in the United States.

For laws related to Pennsylvania nursing homes, look here.


She took pix, nursing home booted her mom, Philadelphia Daily News, August 4, 2009

Just Do It. Photograph Everything, Nursing Home Law Center LLC, June 13, 2008


0 responses to “Daughter Banned from Philadelphia Nursing Home After Taking Pictures Of ….”

  1. linda hartwick says:

    I trully feel for this daughter, she did nothing wrong! Taking pictures is PROOF for a Insurance company I am sure her mothers clothing was no good. That is why she had to bring in new clothes. Its too bad that she was maipulated by the administrator threats on you will be arrested. I just was BANNED from a nursing home in up state ny the name of the nursing home is valley view manor in norwich ny it was all over toileting.( 11 days ago ) Calling the state was a waste of time the first time her name is mrs hennerty from syracuse ny she told me she liked the administrator judd and she liked all the staff in rome ny the other sister home there. I used to be a private home care aid for 20 yrs first time ever calling the state I visited my friend for 10 years in this facility. His birthday is on sept 28th we had been talking for months looking forward to his birthday he will be 87 yrs old on this day. He has told the staff he wants me back in but they refuse to listen to him. According to FRIA they claim the administrator cannot ban me well guess what they did.

  2. Carol says:

    I just got booted out of my dad’s nursing home, Fir Lane in Shelton, WA, and told not to come back because I had taken close up digital photos of his grimy/filthy room and would not erase them. The nursing home representative said that HIPPA law says it is illegal to take photos within the walls of any nursing home.

  3. Deborrah says:

    nursing homes and hospitals are defined as concentration camps. they are abusive—deceitful—-damaging—–they give up on our loved ones and allow them to die in horrible—wrongful—-tragic—and unforgiveable deaths. i will continue to bury their names and reputations just as they had willingly buried my mother. no one will ever change my mind or opinion for what these people stand for…..if anyone is interested in learning the truth, and nothing but the truth—–406-861-7392….

  4. Robyn says:

    Are you serious?!?! How incredibly insensitive of you to say, Deborrah. I am a nursing home administrator, and I am head over heels in love with my job. It’s highly unfortunate that you have had a terrible experience that has left you with a skewed perception of a nursing home. My home is located in the inner city of one of the most violent towns in the country; and I have been faced with challenge to overcome all 1970’s stereotypes of a “nursing home.” I welcomed the opportunity and have made my home an inclusive place to all individuals of varying backgrounds, upbringings, nationalities, races and religions. My place is a HOME. It’s not a horrible institution, like the places you’ve described. I take more pride in my HOME than I do in myself, and it saddens me to hear or read comments that cut down the industry as a whole. The reason I get up in the morning and go to work isn’t for the paycheck like so many other professionals, I get up for my residents…not patients…RESIDENTS. They are the light of my life, and I cannot accurately describe my undying love for my residents. My job is so rewarding because every day I make a difference in someone’s life. I’m very sorry for the experiences you folks have underwent. If you remember nothing else, please know that not all nursing homes are like the ones you have described; on the contrary, not all are like mine. That’s why you need to be mindful of where you place your family members and be comfortable with whom you entrust them to.

  5. Robyn says:

    It’s not against HIPPA to take ANY picture inside of the walls of nursing homes. Your father had a roommate and that was impeding in on your father’s roommate’s right to privacy. It ia the equivalent to going into a stranger’s house an taking a picture of his or her messy room. You can’t do that. And as far as Deborah bashin nursing homes for her mother’s death, you couldn’t take care of your mother, that’s why you put her there. Just simply because someone dies somewhere doesn’t mean that they “willing buried” your mother. My guess is your mother signed a DNR form that said that in the event that a staff member found her unresponsitive, they will not revive her. It was a form that your mother signed, and no matter your opinion, the responsibility of the nursing home is to honor the wishes of the residents, not the family members.

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