‘I’ve never been through such a hellhole,’ patient talks about Memphis nursing home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Families relied on a nursing home to care for their mothers and fathers when they were at their most vulnerable state.

Instead, a FOX13 investigation uncovered reports of neglect and claims patients were left dirty and malnourished at Signature HealthCare of Primacy.

A current patient inside the rehabilitation home reached out to FOX13 to share her experience.

“When I first got here, I was such a nervous wreck. I’ve never been through such a hellhole,” Candy David said.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Memphis nursing home under investigation for allegations of elder abuse

It’s been a stay of fewer than two weeks for David. She was sent to Signature HealthCare of Primacy on Jan. 7 for rehab after having a knee replacement.

She said her concerns started immediately.

“One nurse tells me, ‘Oh I’m sorry I didn’t read your chart right. You’re supposed to have two of these pills instead of one.’” David said.

Since she got to the facility, David said she hasn’t been getting all her prescribed medications.

She also said, the first few nights after her surgery, she wasn’t supposed to put weight on her leg and needed help getting to the bathroom.

But, David said her calls for help went unanswered.

She said she was forced to sleep on a wet bed and has only been able to shower once.

“If you have to go to the bathroom and they take 40 minutes to an hour and a half, there’s no way,” she said. “I haven’t been in a wet bed since I was a child. I mean, you don’t treat patients like this.”

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David is the first patient we’ve heard from inside Signature HealthCARE.

And, her story is similar to more than a dozen others FOX13 has heard since we started investigating the home on Jan. 10.

Family members claim their loved ones, like David, were left alone and dirty. with missing medications.

Some said their loved ones were left malnourished.

Still, the company stresses that the health and wellbeing of its residents is its top priority.

Because of medical privacy laws, a spokesperson with the company said they cannot comment on specific cases.

She said background checks are conducted on all hires and training is taken very seriously.

A spokesperson for Signature said they have a 24/7 call line available for families to ask about their loved ones and they have made state information available to anyone who wants to report concerns.

FOX13 checked state records for every complaint made at the nursing home. Each time, the facility was found in compliance.

When reporting a previous story, Signature HealthCARE provided FOX13 with the following statement.

Signature HealthCARE’s top priority is our residents health and well-being. Accordingly, we take the hiring and training of our staff very seriously – from the moment they walk in the door, and continually throughout their career with us. We also:

· Conduct background checks on all staff hires, as well as check them against any elder abuse charges in the national database

· Provide resident care and abuse education on an ongoing basis

· Have a 24/7 call line available for families to inquire about their loved ones care – at any time, day or night

· Make the Ombudsman/State information available to anyone to report concerns to have an external agency investigate

Our Signature HealthCARE of Primacy facility has met and continues to meet all state and federal requirements for nursing homes. In fact, Signature HealthCARE of Primacy’s Reputation.com score is among the top in the industry and the facility has a 3 star CMS rating and a 4 star Google rating.

We strongly encourage all of our families to contact us, at any time, with concerns they have. As mentioned above, our 24/7 call line, called the CAREline, is available to all our families from the beginning. Unfortunately, FOX 13 is reporting on families who chose to use the media, instead of continuing the lines of communication with us, which we hold as a priority in the care and relationship with our residents and families. We hope they will call and talk to us – we’d welcome the opportunity to listen.