Hugo GW, LLC Allegation of Abuse by Staff
In a report from the Minnesota Department of Health dated August 24, 2016, it is alleged that Hugo Gracewood, LLC clients are being abused when the alleged perpetrators treated clients in a disparaging and humiliating manner, taking photos and video of clients indicating illicit behavior.
Substantiated Complaint of Abuse of a Client at Hugo GW, LLC
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, two clients were abused when staff took disparaging and humiliating videos of clients and shared them via text and social media. Four alleged perpetrators were identified. AP #1 took and shared videos, AP #2 witnessed video staging, received and shared video, AP #3 was present when video was recorded and received video, and AP #4 sent video. Two videos were reviewed in the investigation and two more videos were discussed in interviews.
Client #1 received services due to diagnoses that included dementia, and required assistance for activities of daily living (ADLs). Client #1 was unable to report maltreatment related to memory impairment.
Client #2 received services due to diagnoses that included Alzheimer’s disease, and required assistance with all ADLs. Client #2 was unable to report maltreatment due to severe memory impairment.
Video #1 was obtained from a staff cell phone belonging to AP #3. Video #1 portrayed client #2 dressed in a white tee shirt, sitting in wheelchair at a table. A white powdered substance was spread under the client’s nose and the same white powdered substance was on the table placed in three straight lines. Client #2 was experiencing arm tremors. The song “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton was playing in the background.
Video #2 was obtained from a staff member who received it from AP #4 via social media. Video #2 was dark and difficult to see. However, client #1 was heard yelling in distress.
During and interview with a staff member, s/he stated the AP #1 showed him/her two videos (video #1 and video #3) of client #2, on AP’s personal cell phone. The description of the first video was consistent with video #1: client #2 was sitting in a wheelchair at a table, and had powered sugar on the table in lines and under his/her nose. The staff member stated it made it look like the client was using cocaine. The staff member stated that the video #3 portrayed client #2 holding and empty alcohol bottle while another unidentified staff member was pushing the client’s wheelchair, with “rock music” playing in the background. The staff member stated AP #1 had said s/he found the empty alcohol bottle, brought it into the home care provider, and gave it to client #2 to hold.
During an interview with another staff member, s/he stated s/he had seen two different videos (video #2 and video #4) of client #1. The staff member stated AP #4 had sent him/her a message via social media with video #2 stating that client #1 is mad and will not let anyone help him/her. The staff member stated the client #1 was sitting on the toilet, yelling at staff in video #2. The staff member stated video #4 was viewed on AP #1’s personal cell phone. S/he stated video #4 showed client #1 on the toilet and AP #3 in the bathroom with client #1 while AP #1 recorded. The staff member stated client #1 said “you guys are going to hell” and either AP #1 or AP #3 said “we’ll see you there.”
An interview with AP #1 was attempted. A subpoena was sent to AP #1. AP #1 failed to respond or attend the scheduled interview.
An interview with AP #2 was completed. AP #2 stated s/he worked with AP #1 on the evening shift when video #1 of client #2 was taken. AP #2 stated that after s/he finished his/her final rounds, s/he saw client #2 sitting at the table in the common area. S/he stated the powdered sugar was on the table and looked like cocaine. AP #2 stated that AP #1 sent him/her video #1 via text message, and then s/he sent it to AP #3. AP #2 stated s/he knew it was not acceptable to take videos of clients, but did not report to management because s/he did not want to get involved.
During an interview with AP #3, s/he stated s/he received video #1 of client #2 in April 2016 from AP #2 via text message. AP #3 stated AP #1 and AP #2 were working the night when video #1 was taken. AP #3 stated video #1 was of client #2 with powdered sugar on his/her nose and lines of powdered sugar to look like cocaine. AP #3 stated s/he has seen a video of client #2 with a bottle of vodka that AP #1 had brought into the home care provider and gave to client #2. AP #3 stated s/he knew taking a video of a client was wrong, but acknowledged s/he did not report the incident. AP #3 stated s/he has never seen a picture or video of client #1 sitting on the toilet and has never sent any pictures of a client sitting on the toilet.
An interview with AP #4 was completed. AP #4 stated s/he never sent a video of a client via social media and does not know why some one would say s/he had.
During an interview with the House Manager, s/he stated s/he was aware of inappropriate picture taking occurring on the evening shift while s/he was a lead caregiver. S/he stated another staff member reported AP #1 sent a picture of one of the clients through text message. The Housing Manager stated s/he confronted AP #1 who said s/he had taken pictures of the clients. The Housing Manager stated s/he reported it to the housing manager at the time, and the Housing Manager instructed him/her to the staff on the cellphone policy. S/he looked for an Internal Investigation or vulnerable adult report and neither was found to have been completed by the home care provider.
During an interview with the registered nurse, s/he stated s/he was unaware of staff taking pictures or videos of clients.
During an interview with client #1, s/he was confused and upset. Client #1 could not recall if any photographs or videos had been taken of him/her.
During an interview with client #1’s family member, the family member stated s/he has not heard client #1 complain about staff nor seen any staff take pictures or video of client #1. However, the family member stated s/he only visits during the day.
An interview with client #2 was attempted, however client #2 was asleep and was unable to be aroused for the interview.
During an interview with client #2’s family member, the family stated that client #2 is unable to recall events. The family member stated s/he was not aware of any videos or pictures being taken by staff.
To get accountability for physical or other abuse to elders all Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.
Hugo GW LLC cited after Client Hits and Pushed other Client
In a report concluded on May 5, 2015, the Minnesota Department of Health cites Hugo GW LLC, it is alleged that neglect of supervision occurred, when Client #1 hit and pushed down Client #2, causing injury to her/his arms and knuckles. Facility is aware of this, but does not have the protocols in place to prevent reoccurrence.
Substantiated Neglect of Supervision Against Hugo GW LLC
Based on the preponderance of the evidence, neglect of supervision occurred when staff failed to reassess Client #1’s aggressive behaviors in a timely manner and implement interventions to assist in keeping the clients of the facility save.
The facility was a locked memory care unit where 25 clients resided. The facility staffed three unlicensed staff persons to pass medications and assist with personal care on the day and evening shifts. Two unlicensed persons worked the overnight shift.
Client #1 had dementia, ambulated independently and wandered throughout the facility. The client had aggressive behaviors towards staff and other clients. Interventions for staff to follow when the client displayed aggressive behaviors, were to remove the client and/or others from the situation, approach in a calm manner and medication management.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about physical abuse or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.