I contacted Carole Herman after my mom died in an assisted living facility in Michigan. She probably spent an hour on the phone with me and couldn't have been more genuinely interested, sympathetic, and helpful. She stayed in touch with me while I obtained what little information I could from local government agencies. When we lost our wrongful death lawsuit a few weeks ago, I emailed her about the outcome. I wasn't surprised when she quickly responded to my email. She was the only person who responded to emails I had sent with regard to our latest update--losing our case. She was definitely the most helpful in the initial phase of our investigation, too.
My mom died after eloping from her facility (American House Westland-Venoy, "AH"), falling in a drainage ditch, and breaking her hip. A hip fracture was covered up, and it wasn't until after she had died and I had obtained a copy of the x-ray film that we saw she had suffered a hip fracture in her fall. A portable x-ray machine had been brought in, and the family was told there was no evidence of fracture. We also learned that visiting physicians at the facility had been seeing her for almost the entire two years she was at AH and had been prescribing multiple anticholinergic medications that had caused cognitive decline. At the time, when we wondered why there had been such a change in Mom's cognition, we were told that her "dementia" (initially confusion related to previous medications) had worsened, to the point where they felt it necessary to approach my sister and market hospice placement for mom as a way to "get her mind more active." We were told this was a "different kind of hospice" and not end-of-life care. These statements were also later made under oath in the way of a deposition, where the attorney I had hired for our wrongful death claim had the opportunity to question her. When Mom eloped and fell and had pain, the hospice company treated her for her "terminal illness," putting her on two opioid medications for the pain related to her terminal illness. She was highly sedated and unable to eat or drink for almost four days, and that was the cause of her death, as determined by the medical expert who testified at our trial. That was the first time we learned of her true cause of death, and it was quite distressing. The cause of death stated on her death certificate was "failure to thrive" and "advanced dementia." There was no mention of her fall in the "Injury" section. LARA (Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) found no violations of the Public Health Code, related to the physicians who had been treating Mom without the family's knowledge. They also said that applied to the hospice nurse, hospice company, and the facility and that it was not necessary to investigate them. My local ombudsman thought the comment including the "facility" was odd because LARA has no jurisdiction over unlicensed assisted living facilities. One of the pictures I have attached--the one where Mom is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake--was taken just four months before she died. This is a woman who was said to have "advanced dementia" by the hospice company. The picture that includes just me and my mom was taken at the World War II Memorial. I had put iron-on pictures of my dad on our T-shirts, along with his name and "World War II Veteran" because he had wanted to go to the memorial but died a few months before it opened. One picture is my mom and dad and all their children. And the last one was taken on one of their anniversaries. I had made a "Just Married" sign for the back of my husband's old car, and we drove them around in it.
I give Foundation Aiding the Elderly a 5 Star all the way. Carole Herman and all her staff are outstanding. The Dahmer Family has been clients almost a year. My mother was mandated to pay 50% of the Punitive Damages awarded to her by the Jury to Help Improve the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes which is Totally Injustice and Inhumane. The nursing home was found guilty in Nov -2012 for Wrongful Death on all counts. The nursing home was also found guilty of falsifying records. My father former pro wrestler Chief White Owl aka George Dahmer was only suppose to go into nursing home for 120 days and return home and never did for evalutaion on meds he was on for senile dementia. He was severly neglected that lead to his death. FATE has been working on this case with alot of dedication, concern, and involvement. Help seeking Total Justice for The Dahmer Family and all Wrongful Death Victim's Family from 2 Florida Statutes that need to be repealed. The nursing home lost all 3 Appeals on the Punitive Damages. The Fight is still on and FATE is Standing Right with us. Can't Thank FATE enough for all there ongoing help and support. America Tonight also did a outstanding job. We are not going to remain silent until Justice is Served.. The more voices and action takers the faster changes will be made. May my dad R.I.P. Till we meet again. We are now and the future for changes to be made. We are all on this earth temporary, make the best of it. Thank You FATE! We are in it to WIN IT, not lose it.
Review of Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE)
From: PJ BOYD
April 27, 2013
To Whom it may concern:
The story of my mother's tragic death would be very lengthy and would be better suited and expressed in a non-fiction novel. In short, my mother burned to death in a 24 hour care nursing home. The director of this nursing home immediately went to work to cover-up this horrible death while the police and firemen were still attempting to rescue the burning body of my Mom.
A very important part of this story, however, was the role that FATE, and Carole, played in it. Carole filed a complaint with the State of Calif regulatory Board when State Board investigator, in her report, just added to the cover up.
FATE, and Carole, were very supportive when I needed to talk to her about all the difficulties I was having in my investigation of this horrible death, and in my repeated attempts to secure an attorney. After 3+ of my role as chief investigator and legal advocate acting pro se, Carole finally found an attorney who would take my Mom's case, just when I had run out legal options to continue to battle against a corrupt law firm representing the nursing home.
With this attorney's legal expertise and experience, and all the investigative and legal work that I had done, including depositions, we were able to get the largest nursing home corporation in North America to make the changes that it needed to make, in all it's three thousand care facilities, so no one else would ever burn to death while sitting in a wheelchair and smoking a cigarette. This was the major conditions of the settlement.
Therefore and therewith, my Mom's horrible and tragic death had been given profound and far reach meaning to all dependent people in 24 hour nursing-care facilities throughout North America.
Sincerely thankful to FATE and it's Representatives,
Carole is very knowledgeable and so helpful. When I told her my situation with my dad being in a skilled nursing home, she didn't hesitate to be there for me in a meeting with them even though she is very busy. I know that if I have concerns that the nursing home is not addressing, she will be there to support me and my family. And I am so thankful for her and her staff.
I have known "FATE" and most of its staff since 1996, the year my father died in an Illinois nursing home.
Angry, sad and full of guilt, I spearheaded an effort to improve Illinois nursing homes via a non-profit advocacy group we named "Nursing Home Monitors". The group became successful and has received numerous awards.
"FATE" played a very significant role in our accomplishments. They guided us and even provided the much needed financial support. At each visit to "FATE" I am amazed
at the sheer number of nursing home residents they help, their incredible organizational
skills and the number of volunteers they draw. Their work, when made public, may very well begin the much needed, true nursing home reform. Violette King, President, Nursing Home Monitors
6111 Vollmer Lane, Godfrey, IL 62035 888-801-2486 n
PS: It is the only advocacy group for nursing home residents and the elderly in the United States that is able to hold nursing homes and their owners accountable.
With Carole Herman's help and knowledge I was able to get my Aunt out of a bad health facility and into a good physical therapy facility, which I am glad to report, my Aunt is now back in her own home and getting stronger. Carole helped save her life, as she was deteriorating and I could not get her proper help or care, Carole advised and went to healthcare meeting with me and we found a way to get her out of that facility. Carole saw what was happening and acted fast, even though she was soo over-loaded with new cases. Thank goodness for her and her organization. There is a great need for this kind of help and caring. Thank You Again, my Aunt will be 90 year old next month.
Review from Guidestar
My only regret about Carole Herman is that her blessed work is oriented towards the west coast. Could we please clone her? I wish she'd been back east when my Mom was having a bad time in a New England faciity. Knowing Carole's tireless and admirable efforts in behalf of the elderly, she could have helped brighten the days of a great lady who deserved better. I'm proud to be a supporer of FATE.
I first encountered Carole Herman and the Foundation aiding the elderly in 2004. My wife Frankie Horton was in a nursing home in Redding California and was suffering abuse by the staff. I had tried to no avail to get help from the State of California and was wondering around the internet trying to get the help she needed.
The day I first contacted Carole Herman was a godsend. She pointed me in a direction as well as contacting the facility on our behalf. The abuse stopped immediately and Frankie's care began to be what we expected. She had been mentally, physically and sexually abused and all stopped and California State began action against the facility. Frankie and several other families observed the instant change and we could rest at night knowing Carole was always there and would do anything to help.
After our encounter, I informed a friend in Colorado and she again saw the immediate help we did and her mother also was immediately helped and the State of Colorado ensured it stayed the appropriate care seniors deserve.
F.A.T.E. and Carole have helped my wife on 5 different occasions over the next 7 years in 4 different states as we sought help for my wife's problems. I cannot praise her or the Organization enough. Without Carole at least a dozen people I have sent to her would not have received the help they needed.
If five stars is the best rating, then Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) is at least seven stars. I have the utmost respect for Carole Herman and the competent and caring assistance FATE provides to seniors and their families. FATE is helping to keep nedical and nonmedical assisted care facilities in line with the laws and regulations. When a senior or their family has a problem, FATE is there to assist them. Keep up the great work Carole!
About Elder Care
I was referred to FAIR by Planning for Seniors LLC. I had an issue with the Nursing Home my Father In-Law was living in. He lived there since August 2012. I received a called from the Nursing Home Administration that MediCal had not paid there share of cost since his admittance and they wanted me to remove him.
I talked to Carole Herman and she advised me that the issue was between MediCal and the Nursing Home not my families. She advised me to hold my ground not agree to move my Father. By doing so it would force the Nursing Home to comply with MediCal something they should have done from the beginning.
Carole followed up our conversation with a phone call. Although she wasn't treated respectively, I believe her call turned the issue around. Within two months the issue was resolved and MediCal paid their share retroactive to August 2012.
Carole's expertise and willingness to help at no cost to us was moving. Her dedication and resolve turn ed a stressful situation completely around and I cannot thank her or her organization enough.