In today’s Los Angeles Times, there is an article entitled “A Nursing Home Death, and a Shocking Phone Call.” Elmore Kittower was an 80 year-old resident of Silverado Senior Living in Calabasas who passed away suddenly last month. His 83 year-old widow, Rita, was told by a staff member of the facility that “He just stopped breathing.” The day after Elmore’s funeral, Rita received a telephone call from a woman claiming to be an employee of the nursing home. She informed Rita that her husband had been beaten and suffocated by another employee at the nursing facility. Days later, detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department requested Rita’s permission to exhume Elmore’s body. Sources close to the investigation confirmed that there was trauma to the body consistent with an assault.
Rita made the decision to find a nursing facility for Elmore after he suffered a massive stroke and became combative. She perused literature and visited dozens of nursing homes before selecting Silverado Senior Living. Rita admits the $75,000 a year expense for a semi-private room was a hardship, but states “But it was a beautiful place, like a five-star hotel.”
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility is never easy. How do you ensure that the facility you are entrusting with the care of your loved one will provide a safe and caring environment? Here are some resources you can consult:
- Medicare Website called "Nursing Home Compare"
- U.S. Department of Health, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- California Nursing Home Ombudsman Information
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
- AARP Website
Thanks for reading. Please contact me if you have specific questions, or feel free to leave a general comment in response to this posting.