After 15 years of bouncing from nursing home to nursing home, and living with the indignities, the mother of a quadriplegic and brain injured daughter had had enough. On Sunday, September 13, Diana Harden wrote a note to a television news station exposing the problems she encountered trying to care for her daughter, then went to the nursing and shot her daughter to death, before turning the gun on herself.
In her letter to ABC news in the San Francisco Bay area, Harden spoke of the years of abuse and neglect her daughter endured in her nursing home. Yvette Harden, suffered a major brain injury and quadriplegia in a car accident 15 years earlier, and spent the last six years at the Oakland Springs Care Center. Oakland Springs is a nursing facility that had 54 complaints lodged against it in 2008 (which is an astonishing amount), and hundreds of deficiencies.
The letter attempts to explain, “the deaths of my daughter and myself.” In it, Harden says that that nurses called her daughter a “big fat pig,” and that they would “wash her like a car” in the shower. To punish the daughter, Harden claims, the water would be turned cold until she screamed. As a result, Harden wrote that her daughter has been “begging” her to end her life for over two years. The stress was too much.
Pat McGinnis, of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, was outraged. “If nothing else, let’s heed this mother’s cry and say ‘let’s do something not just about the people that are in nursing homes, but let’s do something about keeping people out of nursing homes in the first place,'” McGinnis said.
The elder abuse lawyers at the Walton Law Firm represent individuals and families who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free consultation.