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November 17, 2017

Inappropriate Social Media Posts by Nursing Home Workers, Detailed


Related story: Nursing Home Workers Share Explicit Photos of Residents on Snapchat

Updated June 22, 2017.

Date: January 2012

Facility: CareOne at Livingston

City: Livingston

State: NJ

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nursing assistant photographed a resident’s genitals and sent the picture to a friend, who uploaded it to Facebook. The assistant was fired. Both were charged with invasion of privacy and conspiracy. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office said the worker was given probation; her friend pre-trial intervention. A spokesman for CareOne, Tim Hodges, said in an interview that the home itself reported the incident to authorities and has a “very strict policy on the use of no mobile devices or cameras in our facility. Fortunately we have not had an incident since then.”


Date: October 2012

Facility: St. Ann’s Home

City: Rochester

State: NY

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A year after she stopped working at the home, a former nurse aide posted a video to Facebook in which an elderly wheelchair-bound resident was harassed. The video showed a hand briefly tugging at the resident’s hair. Voices in the video could be heard taunting her, saying among other things: “The boss lady said that if you don’t wash the dishes, she will slap the black off you…and she called you a bitch.” The aide pleaded guilty to one count of willful violation of health laws, a misdemeanor. The home’s administrator Susan Murty said an investigation started immediately when an employee discovered the posting and the home worked with authorities to determine its scope. “Most of the people who work in nursing homes are really wonderful people and it’s a shame that this is what people talk about. That’s always our frustration,” she said.


Date: November 2012

Facility: Brookview Meadows

City: Green Bay

State: WI

Type of facility: Assisted living

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Two workers took photos and videos of nude or partially nude elderly residents and shared them on Snapchat. One picture showed a resident vomiting; another video showed a resident being assisted with an obstructed bowel, according to a criminal complaint. The employees admitted taking photos and sharing them with one another and with friends. Both pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and invasion of privacy through use of a surveillance device. A lawyer for the facility told the Green Bay Press-Gazette at the time the women were charged that both were screened before they were hired, and both were fired after an investigation. The current executive director declined to comment beyond saying the facility has changed ownership since the incident.


Date: December 2012

Facility: Dunmore Health Care Center

City: Dunmore

State: PA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Instagram

Description: The name and picture of a resident with Alzheimer’s disease were posted on a nursing assistant’s Instagram page. The resident “was incapable of granting permission for this social media post and did not give such permission,” according to a government inspection report. In its plan of correction, the home said the photo was removed from Instagram and no other residents were affected. The home’s administrator declined to comment. Read more information.


Date: Around December 2012

Facility: Saint Albans Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center

City: Saint Albans

State: VT

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A video of a resident identified as having dementia was posted on an employee’s social media website without the permission of the resident or family. The director of nursing services said “it was brought to my attention by (staff) that on (another staff’s social media website) posted something that said ‘this is why I love my job’ and then there were people’s feet but no faces and (Resident #3) was singing. I didn’t do an investigation because there was no identifiable people and not sure if (Administrator) might have spoke to (her/him).” The home did not return multiple calls seeking comment.


Date: January 2013

Facility: Valley Convalescent Hospital

City: Watsonville

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nursing assistant posted a picture of a resident’s hand on Facebook, with a caption akin to “I am holding her hand til she falls asleep.” A comment posted below the photo by a second nursing assistant had a question that included the resident’s first name. Both employees were “counseled” for not maintaining confidentiality.


Date: March 2013

Facility: Greenfield Health and Rehabilitation Center

City: Lancaster

State: NY

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nurse aide took photos of an incontinent resident’s genitals covered in fecal matter and shared them with another staff member on Snapchat. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of willful violation of health laws and was given a year of conditional discharge and community service. The home’s administrator, Darlene Crispell, told ProPublica that officials reported the incident immediately to the state health department and fired the staff member involved. “Our training has included the prohibition of electronic devices in the work areas as a result. We’re pretty aggressive in monitoring that. Technology is a problem for us, for everybody, these days… The resident involved was not harmed but certainly it was a serious incident.”


Date: April 2013

Facility: Autumn Care of Norfolk

City: Norfolk

State: VA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A newly hired nursing assistant posted a picture of a resident with Down’s Syndrome on a social media network without consent. The employee admitted to posting the photo and said she would take it down. The employee was asked to come in and meet with the administrator but never came back to work. The home’s parent company did not return two calls seeking comment.


Date: Around April 2013

Facility: Deer Crest

City: Red Wing

State: MN

Type of facility: Assisted living

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story

Social media site: Instagram

Description: A staff member took a photo of a resident on the toilet in the bathroom. The picture showed the resident’s bare skin and was taken without consent and uploaded to Instagram. The staff member admitted taking the photo, was suspended and ultimately fired. The staff person also was directed to remove the photo from the social media site. The facility was found to be in compliance with state rules. It provided written reminders to all staff about its policies and procedures. Its executive director did not return multiple calls.


Date: May 2013

Facility: Sharon Health Care Pines

City: Peoria

State: IL

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A housekeeper posted a picture of a vision- and hearing-impaired resident on her social networking webpage, with the caption “This is my friend,” along with the resident’s first name. The employee apologized and immediately removed the photo. She said she was not aware that a person could not do such a thing without the resident’s consent. The home’s administrator told ProPublica that the matter was corrected immediately and that annual training is conducted “so that we’ll never have a repeat issue.”


Date: July 2013

Facility: Centers for Living and Rehab

City: Bennington

State: VT

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A staff member took a picture of a resident on the commode and posted it on a social media site. The facility failed to immediately report an incident of possible mistreatment by staff to government inspectors. Spokeswoman Ashley Brenon Jowett said in a statement to ProPublica: “The employee noted in the 2013 report was the granddaughter of a resident. While visiting her grandmother (and not working), she took a photograph and posted it to her personal Facebook page. The grandmother, a resident, was fully dressed in the photo, which was taken to share the excitement of her recovery. Only those who have familiarity with the facility would have been able to discern that the resident was sitting on a commode in the photo. There was no resident or family complaint; when the post was discovered by another staff member, we self-reported the incident as a cautionary measure. The employee was advised of the sensitivity of the situation and immediately removed the image. She understood the facility’s response, was remorseful, and mortified that she could ever have been interpreted as having put her grandmother’s privacy or dignity in jeopardy. “


Date: Around August 2013

Facility: Bishop Drumm Retirement Center

City: Johnston

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story

Social media site: Instagram

Description: Two employees posted at least one inappropriate photo on a social media website. Officials would not detail the nature of the photos but said both “rogue” employees were fired. In a statement at the time, Bishop Drumm president and chief executive Brian Farrell said publishing photos of a resident not only violates the home’s core values, “it also violates the human dignity of the resident.” He said all employees are educated about handling of personal health information, including photos. “Such behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.”


Date: September 2013

Facility: Newaygo Medical Care Facility

City: Fremont

State: MI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant was accused of taking a photo of a female resident with Alzheimer’s disease on the toilet with her private parts exposed, drawing on a picture of a penis with the caption “limp dick” and sharing it on Snapchat. She was fired and pleaded no contest to a felony charge of using a computer to commit a crime but denied wrongdoing in an interview. The facility had written up the employee twice previously for use of her cellphone and social media at work. Officials at the home did not return calls and emails seeking comment.


Date: February 2014

Facility: Prestige Post-Acute and Rehab Center

City: Centralia

State: WA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant recorded a resident on the toilet and shared the video on Snapchat with another nursing assistant who was working on the opposite side of the building. In the video, the resident’s face was visible while sitting on a bedside commode with her pants below the knees, cleaning herself while laughing and singing. A third nursing assistant told inspectors that use of cellphones by employees had been going on in the facility for an extended time. In a statement to ProPublica, PrestigeCare said it was an isolated incident and that it instituted new, stricter cellphone and social media policies. “Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our residents. When we learned about this issue last year, we took immediate steps to notify the police, along with other state authorities. We immediately placed the employee on suspension pending an investigation, and once complete, terminated her. We also met with the patient’s family and doctor to discuss what happened. We take these situations very seriously and are thankful that our own internal procedures alerted us so promptly to the issue.”


Date: February 2014

Facility: Sevier County Health Care Center

City: Sevierville

State: TN

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story

Social media site: Facebook

Description: An employee posted an “inappropriate” picture of himself posing in a resident’s room. The home’s administrator told WJHL-TV at the time that the home fired the employee, but took no additional legal action because there was no evidence patients were in the room when the picture was taken.


Date: March 2014

Facility: Rosewood Care Center

City: St. Charles

State: IL

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: One nursing home assistant recorded another using a nylon strap to lightly slap the face of a 97-year-old resident with dementia. The video was posted on Snapchat. On it, the resident could be heard crying out “Don’t! Don’t!” as the employees laughed. They were fired, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of battery and were sentenced to probation and community service. Ivy Gleeson, the nursing home administrator, told the Chicago Tribune in 2014 that the two women were fired. “In our facility, resident safety is our utmost concern,” Gleeson said. She did not return calls and emails from ProPublica seeking comment.


Date: April 2014

Facility: George L Mee Memorial Hospital

City: King City

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: Two licensed vocational nurses posted a picture of themselves on a social media site; a health chart with a resident’s name was visible. A home official declined to comment, referring a call to its parent organization, which did not return calls.


Date: April 2014

Facility: Gridley Healthcare and Wellness Centre

City: Gridley

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Five nursing assistants were fired and prosecuted for taking and sharing photos and videos of residents. In one, a nursing assistant was twerking (dancing in a sexually provocative way) over a resident’s head. In another, a resident only wearing underwear was carried by a male nursing assistant over his shoulder. Some of the pictures involved residents who were inappropriately exposed or appeared to be deceased. One nursing assistant said pictures and videos were sent on many occasions. The facility did not report the abuse in a timely manner because the administrator told inspectors “there was no concrete evidence that it had occurred.” Two of the former employees entered pleas of guilty or no contest to felony elder or dependent adult abuse; the others of failing to report the abuse, a misdemeanor. The home’s current administrator said the facility changed owners on Sept. 1 and that she could not speak about prior events. A representative of the home’s operator at the time of the incident said in a statement to the Gridley Herald newspaper that the home was cooperating with authorities, took corrective action, and that its highest priority was to “ensure the best quality of care and treatment for our patients.”


Date: July 2014

Facility: Emmanuel Center for Nursing

City: Danville

State: PA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: An employee reported receiving a picture of another employee on the floor with a resident while the resident was being changed in the bathroom. The facility did not immediately try to verify the identity of the resident in the photo because only a small portion of the resident’s knee was visible. The nursing home administrator and director of nursing told inspectors that their staff did not follow the employee policy on cellphone use or its policy on timely reporting of possible resident abuse. In a statement to ProPublica, Anthony Cooper, the home’s administrator, said: “We have implemented a specific set of policies and procedures so as to capitalize on the benefits of social media while continuing to protect the privacy of our residents. Social Media is definitely here to stay and will continue to grow and change. It is an excellent vehicle for families to keep connected and can serve as an effective marketing tool. As long as agencies create a sufficient monitoring system it can have a more positive impact as opposed to negative.”


Date: July 2014

Facility: Villa Pines Living Center

City: Friendship

State: WI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A resident with one leg had a picture and video of him posted on Snapchat with the word “Jerk!” written across it. The video shows a staff member kicking the resident’s wheelchair and the resident kicking back, with laughter in the background. The Snapchat came from a nursing assistant and allegedly was sent to several people. The nursing assistant initially denied taking the video but later admitted it. Jennifer Johnson, the home’s regional director of operations, said in a statement: “We have strict guidelines in place to govern the use of social media and cellphone communication, as well as a thorough training program that takes place both at the time of hire and on an annual basis. If we encounter a situation that we believe violates our policies, we address it immediately, thoroughly and with appropriate action. Our guidelines clearly state that an infraction may result in discipline up to, and including, termination.”


Date: July 2014

Facility: Nazareth Health and Rehab Center

City: Stoughton

State: WI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: The facility received a phone call from a community member saying that she had received a Snapchat photo of a resident who was naked, lying in bed, and surrounded by feces. A nursing assistant, who was alleged to have sent the picture, denied it, but days later, admitted to taking Snapchat pictures of residents of the facility. According to inspectors, the facility did not adequately investigate the accusations. The nursing assistant was suspended. Jennifer Johnson, the facility executive director, said in a statement: “Our first priority at Nazareth Health and Rehabilitation Center is the health and safety of our residents and staff. We therefore have thorough policies in place to regulate activity that takes place within our facility. This includes extensive guidelines on social media and cellphone use as well as, of course, standards designed to ensure the confidentiality of our residents. Employees undergo training relative to these policies when they are hired and do so routinely on an annual basis. Should an infraction occur, re-education sessions are held. Also, our guidelines clearly state that an infraction may result in discipline up to, and including, termination.”


Date: August 2014

Facility: Great Barrington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

City: Great Barrington

State: MA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Instagram

Description: A photo of a resident’s face and a video of the resident telling a joke was found on a nursing assistant’s Instagram site, which was viewed by other nursing assistants and a nursing supervisor. The assistant denied that she had an Instagram site or that she posted the resident’s picture on an Instagram site. The resident had no knowledge of a staff member taking his/her picture. Susan Moss, a spokeswoman for Kindred Healthcare, which operated the facility until August 2015, said, “Kindred’s policy strictly prohibits employees from taking photographs of patients without obtaining proper written permission. Appropriate disciplinary action is taken if it is determined that an individual employee violated the policy, including posting photographs of patients on social media. The Kindred organization takes its responsibility seriously and conducts regular training and reminders to ensure that the policy is clearly understood by individual employees.”


Date: October 2014

Facility: Riverside North Enrichment Community

City: Ames

State: IA

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant recorded a video showing a resident’s genitals. She pleaded guilty to one count of dependent adult abuse, a misdemeanor. A spokesperson at the facility told the Ames Tribune at the time that the woman is no longer an employee. The current administrator declined to comment when reached by ProPublica, saying she was not there when the incident happened.


Date: February 2015

Facility: Nevins Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre

City: Methuen

State: MA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facetime

Description: While talking to a friend on FaceTime, the live video chatting service from Apple, a nurse pointed the camera at a resident. At the time of the incident, an aide was washing the resident in bed following an incontinence episode. The aide said the nurse placed the cell phone in the resident’s face and demanded that he/she say hi on camera to the person with whom the nurse had been talking. Administrator Joyce Shannon said in a statement to ProPublica that “this self-reported incident was very unfortunate and we are 100 percent committed to protecting and maintaining our resident’s privacy. This was an isolated incident where a temporary agency worker acted indiscreetly around social media. The worker no longer provides care at our facility and all of our staff have received social media, confidentiality and privacy retraining. Most importantly our resident did not receive any ill effects from this incident.”


Date: February 2015

Facility: Autumn Care Center (now Price Road Health and Rehabilitation Center)

City: Newark

State: OH

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Someone from the community called the facility after being disturbed by a nursing assistant’s posting on Snapchat of two residents lying in bed in hospital gowns being coached to say “I’m in love with the coco” (lyrics of a gangster rap song). As the male resident said the words, a banner appeared across his chest that said, “Hahahhahaha omg” with three laughing emoticons; as the female repeated the words, a banner across her chest said, “Got these hoes trained.” The female resident’s son said his mother would have been embarrassed because she had previously worked as a church secretary for 30 years. After facility staff learned of the conduct, they allowed the nursing assistant to complete her shift. The director of nursing said she did not send her home because “she didn’t know the identity of the residents on the video and didn’t feel it was abuse.” The nursing assistant subsequently resigned. “A systemic breakdown in implementing the facility abuse policy was identified,” inspectors wrote. The home’s current owner, Greystone Healthcare Management, took over days after the incident. A spokeswoman said it “provides extensive, on-going training, support and oversight to insure that we provide patient centered care.”


Date: April 2015

Facility: Village Creek Nursing Home

City: Fort Worth

State: TX

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A nursing assistant posted a picture of a resident with severe cognitive impairment on a social media website. The nursing assistant told inspectors that she posted the picture because the resident had on a nice hat, and she had her hair done, so they took a picture together in the dining room. “She stated it was not a bad picture.” The administrator and assistant administrator both told inspectors that they were unaware of the resident’s picture being posted on the nursing assistant’s social media page. The home did not return calls seeking comment.


Date: April 2015

Facility: Roselawn Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation

City: Alliance

State: OH

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A facility audit of staff members’ Facebook pages revealed two staffers had photos of a resident on their personal Facebook pages. John Ingles, the home’s current administrator, said he was not in his position at the time and could not provide additional details. “We have not had it happen again,” he said.


Date: April 2015

Facility: Golden LivingCenter – Pierre

City: Pierre

State: SD

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: An anonymous caller told the home’s executive director that a nursing assistant had sent her a photo and video of a resident in the bathtub via Snapchat. The employee was suspended but law enforcement was not notified. The executive director told inspectors she was unsure if the incident constituted abuse. The aide was charged with a misdemeanor for photographing the resident. She pleaded guilty to secretly recording the body of a person and was sentenced to three days in jail, according to the Argus Leader newspaper. In a statement to ProPublica, parent company Golden Living, said: “We conduct full background checks of every new employee in accordance with state and federal requirements. If they have done something abusive to another person in the past, they do not come to work for us. Unfortunately, everyone who has ever hired or supervised someone knows that there is an element of unpredictability in human behavior. Our systems of oversight in our LivingCenters offer reasonable protection against the possibility that an employee will misbehave, but there is always a risk that anti-social conduct will go undetected for a short period of time.” The woman’s family has filed a lawsuit against the home.


Date: May 2015

Facility: The Waters of Scottsburg

City: Scottsburg

State: IN

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant took a picture of a resident’s backside and buttocks and shared it on Snapchat. A second assistant admitted to taking a photo of another resident who was both cursing and calling people names. In September, one of the assistants pleaded guilty to a charge of voyeurism. The home’s administrator referred a reporter to a corrective-action plan filed with the state. In that plan, the home said residents were assessed for mental disturbance related to the pictures but nothing negative was found. The home also re-educated staff about its cellphone policy and further restricted their use in resident care areas.


Date: June 2015

Facility: Bethany Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

City: Albemarle

State: NC

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A geriatric certified aide took pictures and videos of a resident and posted them on Snapchat. One video showed the resident kicking his legs in the air, yelling, and on the video it stated his name and said it was after his “happy medications.” In the other video, he was just lying there while the aide asked him what’s wrong. She was terminated. The home’s interim administrator said she has no knowledge of the incident and declined comment.


Date: July 2015

Facility: Windsor Place

City: Daingerfield

State: TX

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A picture on the social media website of a nursing assistant showed a resident in bed with only a blue bed pad covering her buttocks. The resident had her arms crossed over her breasts and her legs drawn upward. The assistant said she took the photo because the assistant director of nursing asked her to do so, in order to show a physician bruising on her body (the assistant director denied doing so.) The nursing assistant said she was not aware the photos were uploaded on her account. She was terminated. The administrator told inspectors that nurses were the only staff with permission to take pictures of the residents, and that was only if a physician requested it. The home did not return multiple calls seeking comment.


Date: July 2015

Facility: Wingate at Belvidere

City: Lowell

State: MA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Two nurses aides face charges of elder abuse for posting humiliating videos of residents on social media. According to the Lowell Sun newspaper, one video shows an elderly resident sitting on a commode while dressed and being asked about her sex life and if she smoked marijuana. Another shows the same resident sleeping when one of the aides yells in her ear, waking her up. A third shows a 75-year-old resident making noises to show her teeth with the caption, “Chuckie’s Bride.” The employees were fired. In a statement to New England Cable News, the home said, “The investigation revealed that the employees violated Wingate at Belvidere’s strict policies concerning patient safety and privacy of three residents and as a result, these individuals were terminated. We were able to confirm that no private health information, such as names or clinical information was captured on the videos.” The home did not return phone calls from ProPublica.


Date: July 2015

Facility: Maplewood Center

City: Amesbury

State: MA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: not specified

Description: A nursing assistant posted a photograph of two residents in the facility dining room. When interviewed by inspectors, one resident was unable to respond to questions. The other did not recall being photographed and did not like the photograph and would not have liked it shown to others. The nursing assistant told inspectors that it was a known violation of residents’ privacy to photograph them and said the picture was accidentally taken and posted. The assistant said the photograph and post were immediately deleted when he was notified by staff at the facility. Although staff were not allowed to have cellular telephones on the units or in resident areas, it was not enforced, the nursing assistant said. The home did not return multiple calls seeking comment.


Date: August 2015

Facility: Sierra Vista Healthcare

City: Fresno

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Instagram

Description: A housekeeper posted photographs of two residents on Instagram. One photo showed a resident in a nightgown with her torso on the bed and her feet on the floor. The caption on the picture indicated that the resident was “trying to escape from bed.” At the bottom of the picture was a heart-shaped icon and 11 likes (from the public). A second resident was shown seated next to another person. The resident’s head and shoulder were visible. Below the picture was a heart-shaped icon and 20 likes (from the public). The caption below the picture said “A picture is worth a thousand words; and worth a million memories.” The resident’s first name was printed on the text under the picture three times. The home was notified of the photos by another resident’s family member. The housekeeper deleted the photos. The home’s policy does not allow staff to use personal cellphones with cameras in the facility. Citing privacy, DeAnn Walters, the facility’s administrator, declined comment on whether the housekeeper still workers there. Walters, who was hired this year, also declined to comment on the outcome of the facility’s internal investigation, saying only that staff had been retrained on the cellphone policy. “We always do everything we can to protect the privacy of our residents, and take the steps we need to make sure they get the treatment they need,” she said.


Date: August 2015

Facility: Yuma Life Care Center

City: Yuma

State: CO

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A youth volunteer shared a selfie on Snapchat that showed a 108-year-old resident urinating. The volunteer distributed the photo, which showed the resident’s buttocks, to her friends at school in August 2015. It was not reported to the facility until three months later, when a regular visitor to the facility was told of the photo by someone who had seen it on her co-worker’s phone. Government inspectors “revealed the facility had not conducted and routinely did not conduct background checks on volunteers or monitor, in any way, their presence in the facility.” The facility’s director of nursing also told police she was unaware of when the volunteer in question was in the facility because “she never kept track of the volunteers.” The volunteer reported to a police station in December 2015, telling police she’d taken the photo “because she thought it was funny.” Brittny Lewton, district attorney for Colorado’s 13th Judicial District, said the volunteer faces charges of invasion of privacy and will appear in court for a hearing on July 11. She expects the volunteer, a minor, will receive probation and a fine, but no jail time. “I have been here for 12 years and I have never seen anything like this,” she said, adding that the area’s nursing homes are “vital” to the rural community. The facility did not return calls for comment.


Date: August 2015

Facility: Luther Manor

City: Milwaukee

State: WI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: An unknown person entered a resident’s room and filmed the resident calling out for help. The video was posted on Facebook by a user the facility could not identify. The facility did not report the incident to state authorities, who learned of the matter through a tip months later. Officials later said they didn’t report it on the advice of their attorney. Stephanie Chedid, the facility’s CEO, declined to comment on any changes the facility made to avoid similar incidents in the future, saying such steps were “internal information.” Chedid said the facility has “taken every step” to “ensure our community can be a safe and private environment for our residents and guests.”


Date: September 2015

Facility: Carillon Assisted Living

City: Newton

State: NC

Type of facility: Assisted living

How it became public: News story

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Three personal care assistants were fired after an employee took a photo of a resident on the toilet and posted it on Snapchat. Keith Ensey, regional director of operations for Carillon Assisted Living told WBTV, “We substantiated abuse for the three team members–the person taking the picture and the two team members seen in the picture. They were fired for breaking multiple company policies involving the cellphone policy, social media policy, violation of resident’s rights and also violation of privacy policies.” Ensey told the station that his investigation did not uncover any other similar incidents. “It’s just such an appalling act,” he told the station. “And such a defenseless resident.”


Date: October 2015

Facility: LifeHOUSE Vista Healthcare Center

City: Vista

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: An employee took footage of a partially nude woman getting in the shower. A second employee is standing behind the resident laughing. Both were suspended and later fired. One of the employees was charged this month with misdemeanor counts of elder abuse and unauthorized invasion of privacy. Tom Allen, a lawyer for the home, told ProPublica that officials responded quickly when they learned about the video. The home was not cited by California regulators for any wrongdoing. “From my perspective, this is criminal elder abuse and we won’t put up with it and we didn’t put up with it.” He said the facility was drafting new policies to deal with the issues.


Date: November 2015

Facility: Quabbin Valley Healthcare

City: Athol

State: MA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: After the state health department received a tip, two nursing assistants conceded to nursing home officials that they had shared photographs of three residents on Snapchat. The first assistant took photos of one resident sitting on the toilet and another in a bedroom. The other assistant took a photograph of a resident in a common area. The assistants said they took and shared the photographs as a means of keeping track of one another. One of the people who received the photographs via Snapchat complained to another person, saying, “If I had a dollar for every naked person on the toilet…” A complaint was then filed with the state health department. When questioned by government inspectors, the assistants denied taking pictures of residents. The assistants were fired immediately and the home provided education to staff about its cellphone policy and about patient privacy. The home did not return multiple calls seeking comment.


Date: November 2015

Facility: Meadowbrook Behavioral Health Center

City: Los Angeles

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Instagram

Description: Police were notified after a video was posted to Instagram showing one employee bending “his rear-end over the resident’s head and [expelling] gas over the resident’s face.” The incident was reported to the nursing home’s administration in November 2015 by an employee who was also the mother of one of the employees involved. Inspectors interviewed the resident, who said “facility employees passed gas in his face as often as every month.” Both employees involved with taking the video (the one who passed gas and the one who taped it) no longer work at the facility. Neither the facility nor the Los Angeles Police Department returned calls for comment.


Date: January 2016

Facility: Parkside Manor

City: Kenosha

State: WI

Type of facility: Assisted living

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant admitted to taking video of a 93-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease sitting on her bed in a bra with no underwear or pants. She shared the video on Snapchat with friends. The employee said the resident “was giving her a hard time getting changed over for bed,” according to a criminal complaint. She was fired and charged with a felony count of taking a nude photo without consent. In a statement, David Richey, senior regional director of operations at Senior Lifestyle Corp., said the facility promptly investigated the incident and reported it to state regulators and to police. “The termination of this employee is consistent with our zero tolerance policy relating to actions contrary our code of conduct. Actions such as this will never be tolerated at our community. Our code of conduct contains very specific guidelines to govern employee behavior and includes policies regarding social networking and the use of technology that the employee in question clearly violated.”


Date: February 2016

Facility: Arbors at Michigan City

City: Michigan City

State: IN

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News story, criminal charges

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant was charged with felony and misdemeanor counts for posting a video of a patient in the shower. According to WNDU TV, the video “depicted an 85-year-old dementia patient naked in the shower while the staff sprayed her with water. Witnesses to the video told supervisors they heard [the aide’s] voice in the recording saying ‘look at this crazy bitch she doesn’t like taking showers.’ When confronted, the aide reportedly told her supervisor she meant to take a photo of just the woman’s face to show two other employees and ‘accidentally’ posted it on her public Snapchat feed.” Court records noted that the video included a caption “She f***ing hates showers. S***.” The home’s lawyer, Frederick Frankel told the TV station that “we are trying to take every step possible to protect the privacy of our residents.” In April 2017, the assistant agreed to plead guilty and receive 180 days of home detention and one year of probation, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.


Date: February 2016

Facility: Friendship Village

City: Dayton

State: OH

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A picture of a sleeping resident was shared to Snapchat without permission. The photo showed the resident asleep in her room with “the fingers of one hand in the side of her pants, like where a pocket would be located.” According to a government inspection report, the resident had “severely impaired cognitive skills, impaired decision making and was totally dependent on staff for personal hygiene, including oral care.” The resident’s great-granddaughter called the facility to complain after seeing the photo, and the staff member was immediately suspended and later fired. The facility’s staff was reeducated on the use of technology. “We take the safety and dignity of all residents very seriously,” said Jerome Demmings, executive director of the facility, in an email. Demmings said Friendship Village provides education both at the time of hire and on an ongoing basis on cellphone use; he called this employee’s actions an “isolated” event.


Date: February 2016

Facility: Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Kokomo

City: Kokomo

State: IN

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nursing home employee was fired in May after posting a memorial photo on Facebook of a resident who had died. The photo, posted in February, showed the resident in a wheelchair, smiling, with the caption, “Fly away until another day soon soon we will be on are (sic) way.” The photo was discovered by the facility’s administration in May, and while the employee had told a nursing home official that the family had given permission to take the photo, government inspectors were unable to verify this. In an improvement plan provided to the state, the facility indicated all employees would receive additional education on social media policy. The state cited the home for a breach of personal privacy, but the facility disagreed, telling the state that, “the resident identified was deceased at the time the photo was posted to social media so was not affected.” In a statement, the facility’s executive director, Ginny Byrket, said Kindred’s social media policy “strictly prohibits employees from taking photographs of patients without obtaining proper written permission.” She said her organization “takes its responsibility seriously and conducts regular training and reminders to ensure that the policy is clearly understood by individual employees.”


Date: March 2016

Facility: Miller’s Senior Living Community

City: Indianapolis

State: IN

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: Two housekeepers filmed themselves dancing and singing a rap song with a resident and uploaded it to Facebook without the resident’s permission. A staff member brought it to the attention of the facility’s executive director, who suspended the two housekeepers pending an investigation. The resident, who was moderately cognitively impaired but required little regular assistance, told facility administrators that he was aware he was being filmed and was not upset about the incident. The resident did not seem to understand what it meant for the video to be uploaded onto social media, but told administrators that he “was not upset or concerned about the incident,” describing it as “just a little fun.” The facility did not return calls for comment.


Date: March 2016

Facility: Hubbard Care Center

City: Hubbard

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government Inspection Report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant was fired after sharing a photo on Snapchat of an elderly and incapacitated resident with his pants down and feces on his legs, shirt and left hand. The resident had extreme cognitive impairments due to dementia. The staff member captioned the photo “shit galore” and sent it to several other employees, one of whom reported it to the home’s administration. The resident’s family asked to speak with the aide to express their disappointment and told her “they hoped she never worked in another nursing home again,” the inspection report said. Kendall Watkins, a lawyer for the home, called the incident an “isolated act” and said the facility responded quickly and appropriately. He said the facility had an adequate social media policy in place prior to the incident, which the staff member ignored. Hardin County Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Brenneman said his office had recommended the nursing home contact state regulators regarding the incident, but did not file criminal charges against the aide. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals fined the facility $1,000 for the incident but did not pursue criminal charges because the resident’s genitals were not exposed.


Date: May 2016

Facility: Mt. Healthy Christian Home

City: Cincinnati

State: OH

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nursing assistant posted a video on Facebook of a resident sitting in the shower room, with smiley face emojis obscuring her face. The video showed the nursing assistant holding up the resident’s white hair, asking “Is this your hair? Is this the best you have…?” before using an explicit word, which was censored in the government inspection report. While the resident was clothed, and only her hair and one ear were visible in the video, the director of nursing told inspectors it was clear the video was shot in the facility’s bathroom. The government inspection report said the resident was cognitively impaired. The video was reported to the director of nursing by another employee, and the nursing assistant removed the video from Facebook. Other employees knew of the video but did not report it to administration “in a timely manner,” the inspection report said. The nursing assistant was immediately fired, and the director of nursing re-educated staff on the facility’s policy banning staff from taking pictures or videos of residents, and on the requirement that all violations of the policy be reported the same day. The facility declined a request for comment.


Date: May 2016

Facility: Pacific Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

City: Fresno

State: CA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A housekeeper recorded an exposed resident with dementia who had her hands down her underwear and shared it on Snapchat with three coworkers and a former colleague. The former employee informed the home, but two nursing assistants who received the video did not. The former employee said, “I knew it was just wrong and didn’t think it was ok, so I called the facility to let them know.” The housekeeper said she was taking a picture of herself with the resident behind her. She said the resident was not exposed at all. The housekeeper said she was aware that employees were not allowed to access their phones in resident care areas and that photos of residents were not allowed to be taken. A worker who saw it said, “I didn’t know how to respond, this was just gross. I didn’t want anyone to think that I’m a pervert.” The resident’s daughter told inspectors, “It made me sick to know that this happened to my mother. How could people do this? My mother has dementia and would have felt mortified if she understood.” The home’s administrator did not return phone calls seeking comment.


Date: May 2016

Facility: Grand Ji Vante

City: Ackley

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant posted videos and pictures of two residents on Snapchat. One photo showed a resident sitting down with a sad emoji covering the resident’s face and a caption that read, “Stayed up all nighhhht. And can’t sit still.” A second picture showed the same resident’s face clearly with a laughing emoji with tears across the body. A video showed a different resident walking while wearing undergarments on the outside of sweat pants. An aide received a text from a friend who received the Snaps and questioned their appropriateness. The staffer who posted the material told home officials “she thought it was funny and that’s why she posted the pictures.” She asked who had turned her in and seemed “unremorseful of her actions,” the inspection report said.


Date: June 2016

Facility: Lone Tree Health Care Center

City: Lone Tree

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: An instructor of nursing assistants reported that students approached her about inappropriate Snapchats taken at the facility. Staff members were eating dinner and residents could be seen in the background. The administrator said she was told the pictures included a “bathroom, no naked residents and a resident laughing.” The bathroom photo showed what looked like a bowel movement on the floor. Inspectors said the home did not report the incident as required to the state and did not thoroughly investigate it. Inspectors declared that patients were in immediate jeopardy of harm. Chris Wolf, the home’s administrator, told ProPublica that it appealed the citation and a $68,000 fine. “Residents are not at risk. There is no degrading picture. There is no naked picture. There is no staff teasing a resident.” Wolf said the employees were disciplined and the home changed its policies to prohibit cellphones in the building. “As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. Nobody in an agency capacity has even seen the picture nor can they see the picture, so how can you write a deficiency let alone a fine when there isn’t a picture to substantiate the accusation?” Wolf said she was recently informed that CMS was withdrawing the immediate jeopardy designation and cutting the fine in half.


Date: August 2016

Facility: Green Hill Rehabilitation and Care

City: Greensburg

State: KY

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nurse aide posted a video on Snapchat of a resident with Alzheimer’s disease walking through the facility. Another aide saw the video and reported it to the director of nursing. The aide said she “thought it was cute and did not post the video to be mean or to disrespect” the resident. The nursing home suspended the aide and later terminated her employment. Inspectors determined that the director of nursing did not conduct a thorough investigation to ensure no other residents were involved. The home at the time was called Golden Living Center — Green Hill. In a statement, Golden Living Chief Privacy Officer and Assistant General Counsel Erin Pope said, “While social media has offered many the opportunity to share meaningful moments about patients and residents with their authorization, social media can create challenges in the healthcare setting. … Any alleged violations of privacy were taken very seriously in an effort to ensure that employees, residents, patients and guests shared the commitment to protecting confidential information.”


Date: August 2016

Facility: Brookdale Richmond Place SNF

City: Lexington

State: KY

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Three nursing assistants were caring for a resident in her room when one of them videotaped the resident’s naked body and posted it to Snapchat. Other staff members in the background were laughing at the resident, who was cussing at the staff. Across the lower portion of the video were the words, “What we deal with every fucking day.” A former employee saw the video and reported it to the facility. The assistant who recorded the incident acknowledged that the video included footage of the resident raising her gown, which exposed her entire body. In an interview with inspectors, the assistant “revealed she knew it was wrong and abusive towards the resident. She stated she wanted to capture the goofy side of the resident during care.” She also said she now felt bad, adding, “I don’t always make the best choices.” A second assistant who was in the room said she “felt stuck between saying something, and her friends.” The third assistant said the video shocked her and she should have reported that her colleague had her phone out during resident care. In an interview with inspectors, a regional director of care services “revealed he was not certain the incident was abuse because the resident was cognitively impaired, so it was difficult to determine how the resident felt.” He added that it was a violation of the resident’s dignity. Days later, the home’s nursing director said the regional director “was no longer affiliated with the facility and would not be returning.” The resident’s spouse said the resident would have been upset about what happened and said the home had not been fully upfront about it. The three assistants were immediately suspended and later terminated. Inspectors declared the nursing home’s residents in “immediate jeopardy” of harm. All employees were retrained about patient privacy, abuse and dignity. In a statement to ProPublica, Brookdale Senior Living Inc. said, “As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we immediately responded and terminated the associates involved. We cooperated with state regulators and retrained staff to make it clear that this type of behavior is never tolerated. The most important thing we have is the trust of our residents and their families and we cannot violate that trust.”


Date: August 2016

Facility: Bristol Court Assisted Living Facility

City: St. Petersburg

State: FL

Type of facility: Assisted living facility

How it became public: News report, police report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Police arrested a medical assistant for posting video on Snapchat of two residents having sex. A follower saw the video and informed the facility, which notified police and fired the worker. The worker, who confessed to detectives, was arrested and charged with one count of video voyeurism and one count of video voyeurism dissemination, according to WFLA. She pleaded not guilty. In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the home said, “This event was deeply disturbing to us as it is contrary to our values, training, rules and culture at Bristol Court.” The home said as soon as it verified the events, it terminated the assistant. It said she passed a background check before being hired. “While background checks are an important part of the vetting process of employees, we can never truly know if an individual is going to make an extremely poor and immature decision,” the facility’s administrator David Gery wrote. The home said the medical assistant violated clear policies prohibiting this type of behavior.


Date: September 2016

Facility: Aberdeen Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

City: Trenton

State: MI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant posted on Snapchat a “potentially embarrassing” video of a resident with severe mental impairment. The assistant deleted it within minutes but was terminated for violating the home’s policies. The entire staff was trained on policies and confidentiality and the administrator told inspectors there had been no further incidents. The home did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


Date: October 2016

Facility: Stevens County Hospital LTCU DBA Pioneer Manor

City: Hugoton

State: KS

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A licensed nurse repeatedly encouraged a cognitively impaired resident sitting in the home’s dining room to make a sexual gesture mimicking oral sex. At the end of the video, three distinct staff voices could be heard laughing. In the video, the nurse “asked the resident to show him/her what he/she used to do to his/her family member.” At that point, the resident lifted a hand and made “the oral sex gesture.” The nurse sent the video to a family member of the resident, who reported the matter to a liaison between families and the facility. During the investigation, the home learned of other pictures taken of the resident by different staff members using Snapchat. In one, staff members talked about sex and encouraged the resident to “use plenty of lube.” The resident’s family member reported there were other pictures staff sent that they found troubling, including one in which “the resident looked like a cross dresser.” The family member had previously told the home about it and thought it had been taken care of. After the oral sex gesture video, the facility suspended the licensed nurse but not the other staff members who were involved. After inspectors intervened, three other staff members were suspended. When questioned, the licensed nurse who took the videos “reported no one took offense because staff knew that was just how the resident is.” The staff member said he/she should not have sent the video and didn’t realize it “would be misunderstood.” Inspectors declared residents were in “immediate jeopardy” of harm. The home’s administrator did not return phone calls seeking comment.


Date: November 2016

Facility: Northern Mahaska Specialty Care

City: Oskaloosa

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nurse assistant recorded a video of a resident and shared it on Facebook, tagging the resident’s family. Another assistant was at home looking at Facebook and saw the video and texted the first one to inform her that she could get in “a lot of trouble and needed to remove the video right away.” The staffer who took the video said she had the family’s permission. She “stated the family member knew and was OK with it.” She said she was off duty at the time and did not realize the home’s social media policy applied to her when she took the photos. The home’s policy allows family members to take photos of a resident (so long as no other residents are in view) but staff members are not permitted to do so. Care Initiatives, the owner of Northern Mahaska Specialty Care, said in a statement, “The incident in question runs counter to our employee social media usage policy and was not in line with the training we provide staff regarding our behavior expectations. Our own staff rightly alerted their supervisors of the post, we acted quickly upon learning of the post, reported the situation to proper authorities, and the staff member in question is no longer employed by our organization. We continue to educate and train all staff on the importance of respecting resident privacy and dignity.”


Date: December 2016

Facility: Tendercare Greenview

City: Alpena

State: MI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant posted a photograph of an 81-year-old resident with Alzheimer’s disease. The assistant was suspended and later terminated. The assistant denied taking photographs of other residents. A report was filed with the state police. Amy Meyers, executive director for Tendercare Greenview, said in a statement, “At Tendercare Greenview, we take patient privacy very seriously; we do our utmost to provide a safe home for everyone who resides here. Thanks to a vigilant member of our small community, we were immediately made aware of the inappropriate Snapchat photo that was taken. We immediately took action in accordance with our policies and procedures, which included contacting the police and the State Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance, as well as the resident’s guardian to report the incident. We cooperated fully with the authorities and completed our own internal investigation, which resulted in the termination of the employee in accordance with our policies and procedures. We are sorry this incident occurred, and do not tolerate this type of behavior.”


Date: December 2016

Facility: Parkside Villa

City: Middleburg Heights

State: OH

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: A nurse aide posted a photo of a resident dressed in a pink top or dress with a pink head scarf or cap. She was sitting up in bed with white sheets and a pillow behind her. Her tracheostomy tubing and feeding tube could be seen coming up out of her top. The post accompanying the photo used the resident’s nickname. The aide was suspended. The aide was a close family friend of the resident and her family. The resident’s daughter said she had not been able to visit her mother and had asked the aide to take a photo. The daughter said she was not aware of the home’s policy and was not upset the photo was posted. Employees were trained about the home’s policies forbidding the posting of photos of residents by staff on social media. Eliav Sharvit, general counsel at Legacy Health Services, an affiliated management company to Parkside Villa, said the employee was a close family friend to the daughter of the resident. “The irony here is that the resident was really looking good. It was a shining moment and the relative said, ‘Can you take a minute and post it,’ because she was in a good state, she was well taken care of and looked content and felt good.”


Date: January 2017

Facility: Lebanon Veterans Home

City: Lebanon

State: OR

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: The Facebook page of the state-owned veterans home had a photograph of a resident, who was identified by name and his level of end-of-life hospice care. A program director confirmed to inspectors that he had not received the resident’s authorization before posting the information. In an interview with ProPublica, administrator Kelly Odegaard said, “We were honoring a veteran by telling his story and we had done a very special dinner for the veteran who was end of life and had published that on our Facebook page with his verbal permission to do so.” The home now requires that residents provide written authorization before anything is published. “It was all about honoring the veteran, not exposing him,” Odegaard said. “In this case it was a very minor technicality.”


Date: February 2017

Facility: Dove Healthcare-South

City: Eau Claire

State: WI

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report, news report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant took a photo of a resident’s inner thighs and genitals while the resident sat on the toilet and shared it via Snapchat with a former employee. The resident’s face was not in the picture but she was identified based on the sweater she was wearing. The caption read, in part, “Delete that picture. / Thought you would miss someone.” The former employee found the picture disturbing, took a screenshot of it and complained to regulators and the home. The home held mandatory training session for employees and reminded them of the social media policy and to not carry handheld devices during work hours. The assistant was suspended and later fired. He was charged with two felonies after admitting that he took a picture of a woman in her 90s, who had fallen asleep on a toilet, with her genitals exposed, according to WXOW. According to the home’s investigation, the assistant admitted to having his personal cellphone during his shift. He initially denied taking the picture but later admitted it. “He claimed that he intended the nude photo as a private joke” between him and the former employee. The resident’s son, in a meeting with inspectors, wiped his eyes with a tissue and paused, saying his mother would not react well if she knew this had happened. The son’s wife said, “She is the most God-loving woman who wouldn’t hurt a flea. The kindest woman, and for someone to do this to her …” The home did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but its parent company told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram last year, “We immediately notified and expressed our apologies to the resident and family members impacted.”


Date: February 2017

Facility: Clarksville Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center

City: Clarksville

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A community member notified the facility administrator that an employee sent a photo over Snapchat of a resident’s buttocks and a staff member holding a bowel movement in the palm of a gloved hand. The photo included a caption that said something to the effect of “This is what I do at my job.” At least three staff members who received the photo did not report it to the facility’s administration. One said the person who took the picture was a friend. A second said, “it did not cross her mind that it was wrong to take a photo and send it out on Snapchat.” Another staff member said she saw her coworker take out a camera but said she was not aware the employee had sent the photo to others. The staff member who took the picture said her actions were “immature and she just wasn’t thinking. She added that she did not mean any harm by her actions.” The facility policy forbids staff from taking or posting pictures of residents. The home’s administrator did not respond to phone calls.


Date: February 2017

Facility: Valley View Village

City: Des Moines

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Facebook

Description: The facility received a tip from an unknown source that an employee had posted live videos in which residents could be seen. The facility found that a dietary aide had posted four livestream videos on her personal Facebook page of her and a co-worker talking with friends; in some, two residents could be seen seated at a dining room table in the background. One post included the caption “Talk to us at work.” Other resident names were mentioned during the videos. The home instructed the aide to delete the videos. During interviews with inspectors, the two residents did not voice concerns about the incident. The aide told inspectors that he or she did not know that residents were within view of the camera. In a statement, the home said, “These behaviors by staff are against Valley View Village’s privacy and dignity training and direction for its staff from their hire and throughout their employment. While neither employee self-reported their involvement, the site’s administration promptly reported the issue to CMS after becoming aware of the situation. Following a thorough investigation, all employees were retrained on the existing social media and HIPAA privacy policies and practices.” The two employees involved no longer work at the home.


Date: March 2017

Facility: Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval

City: Austin

State: TX

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: News report, criminal charges, government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: Police arrested a nursing aide for allegedly posting photos showing a sleeping elderly woman with her hand covered in what looked like feces. Another photo shows someone touching the woman’s nose with a tissue or feather, apparently with the hope that the woman would touch her face with her dirty hand. A third photo shows the woman touching her face with her fingers with the brown matter on them. The caption on the photo said, “Crusty a** s**t on her hands bro this hoe nasty af (as f**k)” with an emoticon of a face with a medical mask. In an online exchange with a private citizen after posting the picture, the employee wrote, “Who gone make me loose (sic) my job surely not you! I’m not even going to sit here and getting (sic) into a debate about this at all.” The private citizen took screenshots of the photos and reported them to the home. The citizen told inspectors that she called the home multiple times before she was able to reach managers. The citizen then posted the images on social media because “she didn’t feel the facility was taking appropriate action and wanted to share her story of the incident that took place in the facility.” The aide was suspended and terminated, and he was charged with misdemeanor injury to the elderly by contact. “How could you do this? Honestly, how can anyone do this to another human being?” the woman’s son told KVUE. Staff are no longer allowed to have cellphones in the building. The resident is now suing the home for damages. The home’s administrator, T.J. Helmcamp, did not respond to requests for comment from ProPublica but told KXAN in March, “I’m a man of ethics. If something like that were to happen at a building I manage, I would take every exhaustive effort to ensure [residents’] safety. I would take any kind of personnel action and I would report it to all authorities to ensure that they can also look into that,” he continued. Read more about this incident.


Date: March 2017

Facility: Longview Home

City: Missouri Valley

State: IA

Type of facility: Nursing home

How it became public: Government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: A nursing assistant made a video of an incontinent resident’s bowel movement on the bathroom floor and shared it on Snapchat with two staff members. The resident’s leg was visible in the video. One of the staff members asked the assistant who was in the video and the assistant identified the resident by first name. That staffer said the video had the caption “A resident had a blowout.” A second employee who received the video shared it with at least two additional employees. A medication aide who witnessed staff in the hallway discussing the incident reported it to the director of nursing the next day. In an interview with government inspectors, the nursing assistant who took the video said the evening of the incident had been stressful and the home was short two staffers. He said he captioned the video “The Daily Life of a CNA” and used poor judgment in making it. He also said, “the incident was, in a way, funny.” Staff members were re-educated about the importance of reporting allegations of abuse. Administrator Julie Newton told ProPublica that the home takes matters like this seriously and implemented a plan to correct the problems identified by regulators. “We have good policies in place to prevent that from reoccurring,” she said.


Date: March 2017

Facility: Sweetgrass Court

City: Mount Pleasant

State: SC

Type of facility: Assisted living facility

How it became public: News story, government inspection report

Social media site: Snapchat

Description: In a video posted to Snapchat, an employee yelled “Stupid girl” at an 82-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease, The Post and Courier reported. In the video, an employee also said, “Betty, your mama’s stupid.” Two employees told officials at the facility that they believed their actions were funny, the paper said, and they were both fired. An inspection found that the facility didn’t submit a report of abuse in a timely way, as required.


Sahir Doshi contributed research to this report.

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