CANTON, OH (WOIO) - The heartbreaking photo of an elderly woman slumped over her pillow has been shared more than 25,000 times on Facebook.
Julia Wiggins, the woman’s pastor, posted the photos to Facebook on Feb. 19.
The woman pictured is 80-year-old Esther Brown, a resident of Altercare Nobles Pond in Canton.
Her son, James Brown, said he will never forget how he found his mother.
“In the pillow. Her head was in the pillow face down and there was a cover over her head and over her shoulders," he said. “I walked over there, looked around and said, ‘What’s that?’ And I said, ‘That’s my mama.”’
Brown has filed a complaint with the facility about the care his mother is receiving.
No one from Altercare would go on camera, but sent this statement:
However, a spokesman from the Ohio Department of Health says the investigation isn’t final.
In the meantime, Brown has been spending every night with his mother and Wiggins visits daily.
“You need to go visit your loved ones because if we walked in on that, we were very frightened that if we walked in on that, something bad could have happened if we hadn’t gotten there," said Wiggins.
The department advocates for people receiving nursing home care, home care and assisted living.
Laubert said when they saw the social media post, it was “very disturbing” and “worthy of an investigation.”
Representatives visited with the family and Altercare Nobles Pond Thursday and Friday.
The Ombudsman offers these resources for those who have concerns about their loved ones:
- Ohio’s Long-Term Care Consumer Guide that includes Ohio Department of Health regulatory reports and our satisfaction surveys; providers also have the opportunity to add information about their care and services but many do not take advantage of that opportunity.
- Ohio Department of Health site to search for providers and obtain survey reports in a printable format.
- Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services site to search for nursing homes and obtain enforcement information and quality measure data among other provider details.