Image of pressure ulcer goes viral; provider urges consumers not to judge based on social media

An Indiana nursing home is facing backlash after a scathing, graphic post made by a resident's daughter went viral on Facebook this week.

The post claims that staff at Signature HealthCARE in Fort Wayne, IN, were negligent in failing to notice and treat a pressure ulcer on the resident's heel. The resident's daughter, Tiffany Rogers Nicola, states in the post that she has arrived several times to find her father “with wet and soiled pants,” dehydrated and unbathed. A photo of the pressure ulcer accompanies the post.

As of press time, Nicola's post had been shared nearly 19,000 times, and received more than 8,000 comments.

“[My] point of putting this on [Facebook] is to get the word out about this place,” Nicola wrote.

The effects of such social media efforts highlight a challenge that providers and other businesses can have when encountering disgruntled individuals who connect with thousands of people who otherwise would have nothing to do with a situation.

In a post on its own Facebook page, Signature HealthCARE Fort Wayne acknowledged that “negative comments” about the facility had been posted, and that the “facility has been cast in a negative light.”

“Please know that we take all concerns to heart, no matter how expressed, even those posted on social media and know that we have already initiated an investigation,” the facility said. “So if you read a posting about us, we ask you to please refrain from casting immediate judgement and give us time to respond. We will be transparent in our communications and if we are at fault, we will stand up and own it.”

The provider's post also praised the facility's staff, and stated that “one unfortunate social media story does not undo the countless hours of loving care that we have provided for our residents.”

In her lengthy post, Nicola urged people considering jobs as certified nursing assistants to “please don't take this job” if they're only interested in the paycheck.