Sherry Cooke’s brother, Dennis, died during stint in a nursing home in Louisville. Years ago, Dennis fell from a ladder and sustained serious brain injuries. He was only in his 40s, and spent the next several years bouncing from one nursing home to another.
Cooke, who lives in Pewee Valley, said she kept her brother company and checked on him practically every day. Despite her vigilance, she said he starved to death within seven months of entering a nursing home.
“Time after time I went in and the tube feeding was not running,” said Cooke, who is now a nursing home reform advocate.
Making sure her brother was getting proper care from the nursing home staff was a constant battle, Cooke said. She said she sometimes saw Dennis’ feeding tubes tied in knots and his body covered in bed sores.
She kept records of his time there and eventually took some final pictures of him right before he died. Her brother had entered the nursing home at a healthy weight and died an emaciated man. Dennis—who was 5-foot-7 –died weighing 106 pounds.