Simple Dignity Denied Once Again

An unnamed certified nursing assistant at Tennessee’s Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center took images of several unclothed residents at the nursing home. The photos and videos were found when a cell phone was left at a local restaurant, a report from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) indicates. A restaurant worker turned on the phone in an attempt to identify its owner, recognized one of the photos of a resident at Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center and gave the phone to a family member employed at the nursing home, the report states. The TDH conducted an investigation at the nursing home between April 2, when the phone was found, and May 11. In its report, the state determined Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center failed to protect the residents from having unauthorized photos and videos taken – compromising their dignity, privacy and safety from abuse – and suspended admissions to the nursing home May 26. The suspension was lifted June 3, after the state said the nursing home showed it had corrected the deficiencies cited in its operations. Twelve residents appeared in 47 pictures and 27 videos, taken between July 2007 and March 2009, found on the phone, the state report states.

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