Norman nursing home under investigation

Tuesday, September 30th 2008, 7:07 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- A family is looking for answers after a loved one suffered some serious injuries inside a metro nursing home. Right now, a state investigation of the facility is underway.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is conducting the investigation, but they can't talk until the investigation is complete. The family of 60-year-old Carol Crow wants the nursing home held accountable. They found her injured July 11 at the Whispering Pines Nursing Center in Norman.

"The facility said she fell," Wes Bledsoe, said. "Everybody who has looked at these pictures, no one person believes these injuries were sustained in a fall."

Wes Bledsoe is with A Perfect Cause, an advocacy group for nursing home patients, and is working with the family to try to figure out what happened. He said Crow was brought to the center because she suffers from Alzheimer's. But he said Crow is beginning to recall what happened to her and he said she was assaulted by an employee at the nursing home.

"The Norman Police Department should thoroughly investigate; that has not been done yet," Bledsoe said.

Norman police said they have looked at the case, but right now there is no evidence of a crime.

"We've spoken with everybody involved, and there is just not enough information there to put together charges," Jennifer Newell with the Norman Police Department said.

A Perfect Cause said they've received tips, some even identifying a possible suspect.

"We can't just go on somebody coming into the police department saying, ‘Hey, I know this person. They're the one who did it'," Newell said. "We have to have something to back that up and we just do not have that information."

The Department of Human Services also looked into the case and found no signs of abuse. Still, Bledsoe and his group are offering a $2,500 reward for information regarding the alleged abuse.

Crow has recovered from her injuries and has been moved to another nursing home.

A statement released from Whispering Pines Nursing Center reads in part:

"Whispering Pines Nursing Center's first concern is always the well-being and safety of its investigation by Adult Protective Services has revealed no misconduct by Whispering Pines or its employees. Whispering Pines denies any mistreatment of its residents."