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Abuse Allegations

Feb 8, 2004 | www.kake.com

The family of an elderly man says a nursing home worker gave him bruises and caused a blood clot in his brain. Ben Deines was staying at the Alterra Clare Bridge Nursing Home in northwest Wichita at the time of alleged abuse. Now Wichita police and state investigators are looking into the allegations.

Just a month ago Ben could stand up and walk around. Now he is confined to a chair or bed. Ben’s granddaughter Jennifer Duerksen says physical abuse by workers at Alterra left him immobile.

Ben has Alzheimer’s disease and can become aggressive. Last month, Alterra’s director called Jennifer and told her Ben had been involved in a scuffle with a worker and had to be restrained. A few days later, she received a message from Alterra. They told her they had found a large bruise on her grandfather’s inner thigh. Because the bruise was so big, they had to report it to the state.

Upon further examination, doctors found Ben had a subdural hematoma, a blood clot in the brain. They were forced to operate. Doctors say the clot was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, most likely from the scuffle at Alterra. Ben’s lawyers say this is a clear case of abuse.

Alterra Residence Director Tom Broderick says the nursing home conducted an internal investigation and found no signs of abuse. A release by Alterra claims the Kansas Department of Health Investigation at this time has found no substantiation of abuse.

Police and state authorities are still investigating the case.


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