WCAX Investigates: State closes case on nursing home where patient suffered mysterious injuries

Family members say they still want answers on what happened to their loved one.
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The state has found no wrongdoing at the Elderwood Senior Care Center after a patient there suffered mysterious injuries.

We first told you about the investigation last month when a woman said her mom suffered unexplained injuries at the Burlington nursing home. Even though the case is now closed, she still doesn’t know what happened to her mother.

In late April, Mary Pilon of St. Albans said she Facetimed with her 90-year-old mom, Mae Manning, who was living at Elderwood in Burlington. She said she was shocked to see her mother with a black eye, broken wrist and bruised head, and she said she got no answers from Elderwood about how it happened.

“It just makes me so mad now that I’m thinking about it because it really frustrates me because they should have an answer for me. And they don’t,” Pilon said.

Her mom has dementia and doesn’t remember what happened. But Pilon thinks she was abused.

She says her mom could not get out of bed on her own. And if by chance she did, who helped her get back into bed?

“There must have been somebody to pick her up off the floor and put her back on the bed because she couldn’t have gotten back on the bed herself,” Pilon said.

Burlington Police tell WCAX News the case is closed and there are no criminal charges.

Elderwood maintains it acted appropriately and notified the family and the state about the case. In a statement, they say they have been exonerated: “Regulatory agencies including the Department of Health and Adult Protective Services conducted investigations that concluded there was no wrongdoing on the part of Elderwood’s staff and that the injuries sustained by the former resident were consistent with an accidental fall.”

But we still don’t know what happened.

Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Deputy Commissioner Megan Tierney-Ward says when their office receives a report, they investigate. But they won’t talk about any cases.

“The department takes allegations of abuse very seriously, not only the department but we also as a state take it very seriously,” Tierney-Ward said.

Pilon wants answers.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: How frustrating is that-- we don’t know what happened?

Mary Pilon: I know, that’s what I mean. We don’t know what happened and here she is with all of these injuries that she sustained.

Pilon says her mom is now in a different care facility.

“She is doing a lot better, a lot better,” Pilon said. “She is still healing in the eye but she is doing so much better.”

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WCAX Investigates: State probes nursing home after patient suffers mysterious injuries

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