News10NBC Investigates: Family says nursing home abused 87-year-old resident

ROCHESTER, N.Y. It’s a nursing home that News10NBC has investigated for years.

The Shore Winds made headlines just last week when a former housekeeper was convicted of raping a resident with dementia. Now family members of another resident accuse workers of abusing an 87-year-old grandmother.

They say abuse and neglect at the nursing home landed their grandmother in the hospital. When protesters were there on Wednesday, tarps were covering the name of the facility before the big unveiling. And now The Shore Winds has a new name, Waterview Heights. Protesters say the name may have changed, but its quality of care has not.

“What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” 

Those were the chants two dozen protesters repeated outside the nursing home. They say Juanita Abrahams is now hospitalized at RGH with a broken arm and is covered in bruises on her arms, shins, knees, thighs, and ribs. Her family says nursing home administrators told them she fell out of bed.

 “I know if someone falls there would be bruising, but these bruises don’t add up to a fall,” said Ebony Grimes, Abrahams’ granddaughter.

Grimes said her grandmother told her an entirely different story. She says a male employee was lifting her in a mechanical lift and dropped her. State guidance, in accordance with New York’s Safe Patient Handling Law recommends a minimum of two workers be used to lift a patient. The family claims the worker was cruel.

 “She stated she was punched in the head, dragged on the floor,” said Grimes. “She stated he opened her legs, and she thought that he was going to rape her.”

 Her fears were exacerbated by the knowledge that a male housekeeper was convicted last week for brutally raping a resident at that very nursing home.

“There wasn’t enough staff to get her up off of the floor, so I’m believing that’s why she was left on the floor so long,” said Grimes.

 She says she lay on the floor in pain until a guest at the nursing home called her daughter who then called emergency workers.

 “The Fire Department finds her on the floor and they take her to RGH,” said Grimes.

Grimes says that she tried repeatedly to contact the director of the nursing home who was always in a meeting. So I tried to speak with her. When I walked into the nursing home I was asked to take a COVID test while I waited.

But moments later, we were asked to leave. A woman arrived and told me the nursing home had no comment while refusing to give me her name. She then stood at the front door of the nursing home and told protesters to leave.

When I asked again for her position with the nursing home she smiled and said, “Do you want to look at your camera while you’re asking that question?”

Her reply was meant to imply that our presence was simply performance. 

But for Juanita Abrahams’ family, it was far from that. They said they were protesting for the protection of a mother and grandmother, a woman now hospitalized with injuries her family says no one will explain. 

 She says I’m 87; I’ve never been beaten like this in my life,” Grimes recalls her grandmother telling her. “And so for her to say something like that, it’s like dang! What did he do to my grandmother?”

 A firm out of Long Island called the Grand Healthcare System bought the nursing home for just over $9 million this summer. And the company has a checkered history. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered the firm to pay its workers more than $2 million in back wages because it failed to pay overtime.