WOMAN launches letter campaign for better nursing homes - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

WOMAN launches letter campaign for better nursing homes

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A woman whose mother died in a Jenks nursing home is taking her quest for better nursing home care to the mail boxes of public officials.

Since her mother died Aug. 13 at the Grace Living Center, Ann Barnes has written countless letters to officials, including U.S. Sens. Don Nickles and Jim Inhofe, Gov. Frank Keating and officials at the state Health Department.

Barnes' anger is evident in her letters, which are sprinkled with boldfaced and all cap sentences demanding justice for her mother's death.

``How would you like to find your loved one sitting in a chair in the dining room, others looking at her, teeth falling out of her mouth because they belong to someone else ... hair not combed, unable to talk because of medication given to her,'' she writes.

''... NEVER did she experience that humiliation before entering Grace Living Center.''

The death of 93-year-old Nella Margaret Burton is attributed to sepsis _ the poisoning of the blood, according to her death certificate. A bedsore on Burton's heel became infected and the infection killed her.

Grace Living Center was fined $131,150 because of Burton's death, records show. The center is appealing those fines. Grace Living Center points to a review by the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality of Burton's care.

That review found evidence that Burton's medical problems were not related to her care and that Burton's care at the home met standards.

But a Health Department investigation found Burton was placed on heavy doses of anti-psychotic medication after she began yelling at night. The report says Burton soon developed bedsores, stopped eating and became dehydrated.

``I could accept her death had that death certificate said heart failure or something else,'' Barnes said. ``This is not acceptable. She's still gone but she didn't have to go that way.''

The experience led Barnes to join A Perfect Cause, a new nursing home reform advocacy group, and begin her letter writing campaign.

Barnes has sued Grace Living Center in Tulsa District Court, claiming negligence in her mother's death.
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