Nursing Home Visitor Arrested After Reporting Conditions at Nursing Home

A 70-year-old man is being praised as a good Samaritan for visiting nursing home residents near his home for 28 years.  The man had visited residents for years (probably over a thousand times) without having any problems with the management. In recent years, at the facility's activities director's request, he lead some religious services at the facility and played violin for the residents. 

However, recently the man found terrible abuse at the facility and started reporting it to the state. Following his complaints, he was told he could no longer visit the nursing home. On  January 26, 2011, the man visited the residents anyways and was arrested for trespassing.

The prosecuting attorney for the District Attorney’s office said they would drop the charge if the man agreed to “behave himself” while visiting the nursing home. The nursing home also required the man to fill out an employment application and get tested for tuberculosis. They also wanted him to get written permission from each residents family in order to visit them.

The man felt refused the conditions and demanded a trial. The trial occurred and the man represented himself. The charge was soon dropped, without any conditions, on July 29, 2011. On August 25, 2011, this nursing home was no longer allowed to operate “because of serious violations related to quality of care and actual harm to patients” according to a spokesperson from the Department of Public Health.

The facility remained open with new owners. On September 15 the man stopped in for a visit at the facility only to be told he’d be once again arrested if he visited. The police were again called. The new operator wanted the man to undergo a background check and fingerprinting before he could visit the residents. Unfortunately, this is a trend in care facilities which seems to discourage resident visitors. With the prevalence of neglect and abuse in nursing homes today, it is important for more to insist on their right to visit and observe nursing home residents care. For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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