Jones & Jones Assisted Living being investigated for video showing possible abuse

Published: Dec. 20, 2017 at 3:09 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 at 9:11 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators is investigating a video depicting possible abuse by a nurse to a resident at Jones & Jones assisted living facility.

NBC12 has been investigating Jones & Jones since mid-November after residents alerted us to stories of staff mistreating residents, bed bugs, lack of toiletries and hygiene materials, among other things.

The facility, which is located at 7804 and 7806 Forest Hill Avenue, has been in operation for over a decade. Melina Smith, 28, moved into the facility in 2015. Smith says she has bipolar disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. The residents living at Jones & Jones typically are people with disabilities, elderly and people with mental health issues.

Smith said soon after moving in, she started experiencing problems with the facility and staff.

"My foot actually went through the floor upstairs," Smith said. She said the wood cracked and caved in.

Eventually, Smith was moved into a room with a roommate. She said her roommate was an elderly, non-verbal woman who recently became wheelchair-bound after breaking her hip twice.

Smith said there were bedbugs for months on her roommate's side.

Eventually, Smith said, she started noticing some of the staff mistreating her roommate.

"It's unbelievable the way people get treated," Smith said. "I wouldn't wish this on anybody."

One day, after she says she'd had enough, Smith decided to secretly record what was happening. On this particular day, Smith says, the nurse, who we are not identifying since no charges have been filed, was aggressively forcing Smith's roommate to stand while she changed her, while her roommate cried out in pain.

"Stand up! Stand up," the nurse yells in the video followed by the resident's cries.

The nurse then pushes the woman down on the bed and the woman cries out again.

"I did it because it felt wrong to not do it," Smith said about why she recorded the video.

She also says she wanted to bring light to what happens inside the facility.

Smith says the conditions were often dire at Jones & Jones and seemed to get worse during her time there.

"If you're living in a place like that and you're being treated like that, what quality is there to life?" Smith asked.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) noted repeat violations at Jones & Jones over the years. Now the Department of Social Services has launched an investigation.

The inspection dates and reports can be found here.

The most recent inspection happened on Nov. 13, when DSS found 20 violations.

A few of the violations, a bit shocking such as this one that says:

Based on resident interview and facility documents, the facility failed to notify the licensing office, by the next working day reported any major incident that negatively affects or threatens the life, health, safety or welfare of any resident. Evidence: On 11/06/2017 while observing the physical plant, the Licensing Inspector observed that resident #10 had facial bruising and had sustained a head injury. The Virginia Department of Social Services did not receive any notification regarding resident #10's head injury.

Another one of the violations found was this:

Based on resident and staff interviews and facility documentation, the facility failed to ensure compliance with its own policies and procedures. Evidence: On 11/13/2017 while observing a medication administration pass, it was observed that resident #9 had a large purple and bluish facial bruise with extreme eye swelling. When interviewing the Administrator, the Administrator did not have knowledge of what happened. The Administrator then inquired to facility staff and confirmed with staff, the resident had a fall on 11/12/2017. According to the facility head injury protocol, a call for emergency services will be completed immediately. When the inspector arrived on 11/13/2017, a call for emergency services had not yet been made.

Melina Smith says that's why she recorded the video of her roommate and why she decided to speak to NBC12.

"I hope your investigation really opens someone's eyes because some of those people are literally voiceless," Smith said.

As reported on Monday, Dec. 18, NBC12 discovered the property where Jones & Jones resides is up for sale. The owner, who is different than the administrator of Jones & Jones, listed it for $4.4 million.

Our investigation also uncovered the administrator, Mable Jones, had her license suspended over the summer and is currently on probation.

We have reached out to Jones and her attorney for comment and have not heard back.

Allison Norlian sits down with the Department of Social Services to discuss the Jones & Jones investigation on NBC12 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 21.

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