State: "Disgusting" neglect cases not typical in MI nursing homes

Oct 31, 2011

An advocacy group says many nursing homes patients in the state have experienced severe neglect and abuse.

The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service says one of the worst cases involves a resident who had to have maggots suctioned out of her throat, after she was taken to an emergency room because she was having trouble breathing.

Another resident had maggots infesting her body near her catheter.

But state officials said these are isolated cases, and most nursing homes do a good job caring for residents.

Mike Pemble is with the Department of  Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. 

"Certainly these are two disgusting cases, and these kind of thing should not happen -- and I would not make excuses why they happened," said Pemble.  "But I don't think it's fair to hold it up and say this is happening in all nursing homes."

Pemble said he does not think the state’s oversight of nursing homes needs major changes.

The advocacy group says the state needs to increase penalties against nursing homes where abuses occur.

The group said in one of the infestation cases, the nursing home was fined $97,000 - but it should have faced the threat of losing its license.