Timeline of Final Abuse
23 Jan ’06 – Four family members write to the guardian after five years of his misdeeds, asking him to give careful thought to Genevieve’s wish to return to her hometown, where her nephew and younger son live – they are her closest relatives and most involved in her care. They are not prepared for what happens next.
9 Feb ‘06 – The younger son, arriving at the nursing home, is stopped short in the doorway to his mother’s room by the scene before him: She has been saddled with a new roommate, who is venting her misery in a barrage of word salad, a maddening tattoo of nonsense sounds, repeated over, and over, and over. Genevieve’s head is buried in her hands.
At the sound of her son’s voice she raises her head, as though lifting an unbearable weight. Her expression says she has lost everything. She glances at the thin curtain between her and the roommate. Her eyes widen with fear. She can muster few words during their visit.
She is almost always confined to bed, only a few feet from the new roommate. On her bed frame, alarms have been installed to warn staff if she tries to leave the room. New devices on her mattress shrill sometimes if she even turns her head. A note in her chart states she has no need for such precautions. For ten months the guardian has ignored the son’s written requests to have the alarms removed.
12 – 20 Feb – Every time the son phones his mother he hears in the background the roommate’s vengeful chanting – it is how she fills her waking hours. Six times he and his brother ask the guardian and the facility director to stop the abuse. Six times they are ignored.
24 Feb – Having given the facility two days’ notice in advance of his visit, (an illegal condition the nursing home and guardian are imposing,) the son arrives to find Nurse Toni Smartt standing by his mother’s bed. He knocks lightly on the open door; the nurse taunts, “Genevieve, is this your mother, or your daughter?”
She lies rigid with tension on the bed, straight as a board. She replies timidly, “This is my son.” ….
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