Neglect of elderly man alleged at personal care home

A personal care home in Bainbridge is under investigation after one of its residents was hospitalized and there were signs he was neglected, according to a Bainbridge Public Safety incident report.

On Thursday, May 29, BPS Investigator Ryan Deen met with representatives of the Georgia Department of Community Health and from the SOWEGA Council on Aging.

The two representatives stated they had reason to believe there were instances of neglect of elderly and mentally handicapped persons at a personal care home on Hall Street in Bainbridge. They were particularly concerned about a 68-year-old male resident of the personal care home who was hospitalized twice in the past month.

Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator Ryan Deen
Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator Ryan Deen

Investigator Deen was given documentation that showed the resident, who weighed approximately 110 pounds on April 21, had broken his leg on March 1 and was denied medical attention until March 4. The resident had been admitted to Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge for sepsis and sores on his buttocks.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines sepsis as: “A severe infection caused by pathogenic organisms, especially bacteria, in the blood or tissues. If untreated, a localized infection, as in the respiratory or urinary tracts, can lead to infection in the bloodstream and widespread inflammation, characterized initially by fever, chills, and other symptoms and later by septic shock.”

According to Deen’s report, on May 21, the 68-year-old man was being visited by a VNA nurse, who advised the personal care staff that the man was in critical condition. However, when the personal care home staff said they would not call EMS unless the owner told them to call, the nurse reported back to her VNA co-workers. A VNA doctor insisted that the personal care home staff call 911 and also called the ER to confirm that the 68-year-old man had in fact been taken to the hospital.

According to the report, EMS was called and was told the patient was having trouble breathing, so much so that EMS staff had to use a breathing bag to assist with the patient’s breathing on the way to the hospital. During the hospital visit, the patient was found to have very low blood pressure and the sores he had been hospitalized for before had gotten significantly worse.

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