Meriwether County nursing home under investigation for physical - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Meriwether County nursing home under investigation for physical abuse

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The Meriwether County Sheriff's Department is investigating a nursing home after a staff member allegedly physically abused a patient.

"The incident was reported to us by a concerned family member and a staff member of the care facility on September 3rd," says Sheriff Chuck Smith. "The allegations reported to us are physical in nature inflicted on a resident at the facility, and an investigation was immediately launched."

An 86-year old woman is in the hospital with bruises and a broken bone after an alleged incident at Unihealth Post-Acute Care in Greenville, Georgia. She is being cared for by West Georgia Health Care Systems in LaGrange. The Sheriff's Office will be using forensic evidence from that physician to determine how she received the injuries.

Experts say complaints of physical abuse at nursing homes occur, but most of the time the incidents are accidents.

"A lot of times it's not intentional," says local ombudsman Kathy Rahm. "It's more than likely because of an accident or lack of training, and that doesn't make it right, it just means that the facility needs to work harder in order to prevent the accident."

Rahm says if you have a loved one, it's important to be involved with the nursing home to ensure they're receiving the best care possible.

"Visit as often as you can, get to know the staff, get to know they key people, so that you're familiar with what's going on," says Rahm.

Some additional things Rahm says you can do to ensure your loved ones are treated properly in nursing homes include:

  • Attend Care Plan meetings
  • Stay in touch with the staff so you know who to go to with a complaint
  • If they don't solve your complaint, call your local ombudsman

News 3 asked the nursing home about the investigation, but said they had no comment. We also looked into the nursing home's history. Other than a few minor violations, they haven't had any problems with the state in the past. They've received a few minor write ups in past inspection reports, but those have been fixed. On the government's nursing home database, they have a 3 out of 5 star overall rating, 3 stars for health inspection and 2 stars for staffing.

You can view ratings for any nursing home at


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