SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – After suffering a stroke in January, a 79-year-old grandmother was placed in the care of the Smith Ranch Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in San Rafael.
The family says she was abused and neglected during her two week stay. Photos and videos provided by the KPIX 5 family show bruising on one of the patient’s arms.
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The family says it was in the hands of an employee who hit her grandmother with a call light button.
“It was extremely heartbreaking because I know my grandmother is paralyzed on the left side of her body and she cannot move on her own,” said granddaughter Virginie Huang. “So she can’t defend herself if someone hits her.”
Huang says when her mother reported it to the facility, staff suggested that the patient may have caused her own injuries.
Her grandmother spoke in Cantonese on a cell phone video and told how the nurse hit her. She suffered injuries to her only working arm, making it difficult for the family to believe that she had beaten herself.
Huang says there were other negligent incidents during her grandmother’s brief stay, including three falls from her bed.
“She crawled over to a closet and started beating it. She said ‘Help me, help me’ and no one came for over an hour,” she said.
Huang added that her grandmother was also given boiling water to drink.
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At the very least, the family wants an apology and the responsible staff to be held accountable.
“I just wish none of this had ever happened and people weren’t so angry,” said Huang.
A statement from the Smith Ranch Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center reads:
“The Smith Ranch Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is dedicated to providing high quality care for the health, wellbeing and safety of all of its residents. We do not tolerate any form of abuse. All Smith Ranch employees are statutory reporters and receive ongoing training in abuse prevention, identification, and appropriate response to allegations of abuse. All abuse allegations are thoroughly investigated and reported to the relevant authorities. Due to data protection laws and respect for our residents and employees, we are unable to comment on specific allegations. “
KPIX 5 also contacted the San Rafael Police Department. Your statement reads:
“The San Rafael Police Department takes reports of this kind very seriously. We have assigned a detective to this case to investigate all aspects of the case. We will also work with Adult Protective Services and the Ombudsman to utilize all the resources available to us. If we can determine that we have a likely cause for arrest in this case, it will happen. “
“The reason people should care is because it can happen to anyone, any grandparent, any parent, or even you if you are older,” Huang said. “And it’s a terrible, disgusting thing.”
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The family says they have since moved their grandmother to a care facility in San Francisco. So far, she’s doing better mentally and physically.