Millington Police look into possible case of elder abuse at facility

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Bernadette Gross shared this photo of her mother, Dorthy Appleton, who she said suffered injuries at Millington Healthcare. Police are investigating.

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MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Millington police are investigating another possible case of elder abuse at a health care facility, after WREG reported on another allegation there in February.

Bernadette Gross wants her mother remembered with a smile, but she can't forget the horrific images etched in her mind of her 87-year-old mother with a severely bruised neck and a cracked jaw.

Dorthy Appleton, who had been a patient Millington Healthcare Center, was taken to the hospital in December 2018.

Staff from the center said she had been hit by a Hoyer lift, which moves a patient from a bed to a wheelchair.

"It's very sad. I just don't believe that's what happened," Gross said. "She was a sweetheart, very caring, very giving. She was a wonderful mom."

A social worker and Millington Police took a report, she said. Millington Police confirmed they are investigating but did not elaborate on any details.

Appleton suffered a stroke several years ago so she was immobile and had an extremely difficult time speaking.

Gross said her mother had been at the Millington facility for eight or nine years and never had any problems until November, when there was another report of her being hit with a Hoyer lift. Gross said she believed it was an accident then.

We took her complaints to Millington Healthcare to get their side of the story.

The front door was locked but we spoke with an employee through the glass door. They had no comment.

After Appleton was hospitalized in December, she was eventually moved to another facility then hospitalized again. She passed away from several health issues last month.

Now Gross is gathering paperwork for police as they look into her case.

"I don't want to see anyone else have to go through this," she said.

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