CHICAGO (CBS) — “That was something that I heard her say on a number of occasions, that ‘I slept on the floor last night,'” says Stan McKinney.
The McKinney family says that was just one of many serious problems at their mother Dorothy’s nursing home, Mayfield Care Center in South Austin. They believe she died due to neglect.
And they aren’t alone in raising life and death concerns.
“It was just the smell of death,” Stan said.
The McKinneys say Dorothy had dementia when they placed her in Mayfield in 2015 to live alongside their disabled brother.
Red flags went up almost immediately.
“Human waste on the floors,” said Stan.
“I’ve gone when she was just on a mattress. There was no linen,” said Dorothy’s daughter.
“I’ve been there and literally witnessed employees stealing clothing of the occupants,” Stan said.
“There were two occasions where she was totally nude, and on one of those occasions I had to walk the floor to find a CNA, say, ‘Just give me a sheet until you can get one of the hospital gowns,'” Dorothy’s daughter said.
The McKinneys say they complained and wrote letter to Mayfield managers including one about the “deplorable conditions.” Concerns grew, especially when their mom talked about sleeping on the floor after a fall.
“Which meant nobody picked her up,” Stan said.
Dorothy, 92, died in 2017 from a staph infection after suffering from a severe bed sore.
A former Mayfield employee, who asked not to be identified, said she is “absolutely not” surprised to hear that a resident died as the result of a bedsore.
“I’ve seen where residents are going without being turned, are going without having baths, without having showers,” the former employee said.
It’s a result of a severe staffing shortage, she says.
“Sometimes the nurse has 40 residents or can have up to 70 residents, which, the residents cannot get proper care,” she said.
The ex-staffer and the McKinneys reached out to CBS 2 after seeing a CBS 2 story about Quintina Bullock. The 41-year-old woman was recovering from a stroke at Mayfield when her family found her dead in bed in January. Her cause of death was unknown. Mayfield staff moved Bullock’s body directly to a funeral home without providing any answers to CBS 2 then or now.
Attorney Christopher Cortese also wants answers involving former Mayfield Mary Walker’s neglect of care case.
“That’s the real question. How was the facility staffed?” he said. “What was the staff actually doing?”
Walker died in 2017 after also developing a severe bedsore. A year after filing the lawsuit Cortese still can’t get Walker’s care charts.
“The fact there isn’t a full, complete chart for a woman who was there for a long period of time is very concerning because how do we know she was getting the care she was supposed to?” he said.
According to court filings, Mayfield has been sued nearly 50 times for everything from neglect to personal injury to medical malpractice, with most cases ending in settlements.
The former employee believes failure to keep updated charts helps hide care issues.
“The don’t document most of the time,” she said.
She submitted complaints to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, which bounced her to the Illinois Department of Public Health. An IDPH spokesperson says Mayfield was cited for insufficient nursing staff in December and has been investigated for three complaints since but cited for none.
“Mayfield needs to be either completely closed or restructured,” said Dorothy’s daughter.
The McKinneys have since hired a lawyer to investigate their mother’s case.
Besides physically trying to talk to someone at Mayfield and being locked out, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov also left several messages with management for comment. No one has returned her calls.