Jarring photo of elderly woman slumped over pillow in Ohio nursing home sparks investigation

Her loved ones say they found her that way at Altercare Nobles Pond in Canton over the weekend
Updated: Feb. 22, 2019 at 5:14 AM CST
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CANTON, OH (WOIO) - You may have seen this heartbreaking photo on Facebook.

It has been shared more than 20,000 times and it’s causing concern about the woman pictured.

Julia Wiggins, the family’s pastor, posted these photos to Facebook on Feb. 19.

The woman pictured is 80-year-old Esther Brown, a resident of Altercare Nobles Pond in Canton.

Her son, James Brown, said they have filed a complaint with the facility about the care his mother is receiving.

Cleveland 19 News reporter Sia Nyorkor spoke to Beverly Laubert, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the Ohio Department of Aging regarding the allegations.

The department advocates for people receiving nursing home care, home care and assisted living.

Laubert said when they saw the social media post, it was “very disturbing” and “worthy of an investigation.”

Representatives visited with the family Thursday.

The Ohio Department of Health and The Ohio Department of Aging have been notified and are both looking into the situation.

Altercare Nobles Pond said in a statement:

“We were informed of a family complaint on February 15, 2019. We have followed the protocol established regarding any allegation, including immediately reporting the concern to the Ohio Department of Health and completing an internal investigation.”

The Altercare Nobles Pond Executive Director also placed a return phone call to the person who made a post on Facebook regarding this situation:

“We are in contact with her family including her son who visits daily. The resident is in no distress and remains well cared for by the Altercare Nobles Pond team of dedicated professionals. She is comfortable and safe.”

The Ombudsman offers these resources for those who have concerns about their loved ones:

Ohio’s Long-Term Care Consumer Guide that includes Ohio Department of Health regulatory reports and our satisfaction surveys; providers also have the opportunity to add information about their care and services but many do not take advantage of that opportunity.

Ohio Department of Health site to search for providers and obtain survey reports in a printable format.

Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services site to search for nursing homes and obtain enforcement information and quality measure data among other provider details.

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