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Nursing Home, Nurses' Aides Sued for Nursing Home Abuse

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Richmond, KYA surveillance camera captured images of nursing home abuse in what has been deemed the second-worst elder care facility in the nation, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Richmond Health and Rehabilitation Complex in Madison, also known as Madison Manor, was also ranked the worst facility in the state of Kentucky.

A total of ten Kentucky nursing homes made the national list of poor performers, with nine scoring below the national median. Madison Manor is owned by Extendicare, a for-profit chain that operates 21 facilities in the state. The Lexington Herald Leader reported Wednesday that three Extendicare facilities are on the GAO national list of worst performers.

Last year a hidden camera at the Richmond facility caught images of abuse inflicted on an 84-year-old resident by nursing aides. The resident, Armeda Thomas, has since died. However, in September of last year, Thomas' family hid a video camera in her room at Madison Manor in an effort to explain bruising on the resident's body.

Nursing assistants were seen physically abusing and taunting the Alzheimer's patient. The nursing assistants were also allegedly shown refusing to feed or bathe the resident.

Thomas died two months later. Her family proceeded to sue the nursing home, and three nurses' aides were indicted and charged with abuse, according to the Herald Leader. Jaclyn Dawn VanWinkle pleaded guilty earlier this year. Amanda G. Sallee stands trial in March and Valerie Lamb is set to enter a plea early in the new year.

Officials at two other nursing homes ranked sub-par by the GAO continue to stand behind their facilities. Britthaven of Somerset underwent two inspections in the past 12 months and was cited only for minor deficiencies, according to Brian K. Jaggers, the administrator of Britthaven. He added Britthaven is currently in compliance with all state and federal regulations.

Meanwhile, Villaspring spokesperson Kim Majick said officials there are "working very hard" to meet the needs of its residents. "Although our state survey results prior to 2008 were not above average, we are very proud of the facility that we have today."

Officials at Extendicare, which owns Madison Manor, have said the facility is now in substantial compliance with regulations.

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