Hear why the daughter of a former James Square patient pulled her mom out

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - Kathy Kulba cherishes the days she cared for her mother in the final days of her life.

83-year-old Orlene Bettis moved into her daughter and son-in-law's Baldwinsville home, as Plan B, after the hospital first sent Bettis to James Square.

Kulba says, "They said James Square is the only place that has a bed available for your mother, so you have to take it. They made me feel I have no choice."

Just out of emergency surgery to remove a cancer-ridden kidney, Bettis was transported to the rehab side of James Square. The rumors Kathy heard became true as she went up the elevator.

She says, "It wasn't clean. I could see the floors weren't clean. I'm meticulous and I saw corners and mop board. I wasn't happy she was there, but I said 'Mom, we need to push you in rehab so we can get you out of this place."

That was Monday. By Sunday, their concerns about cleanliness and care became alarming when Bettis had an appointment with her surgeon, who said her incision had become infected.

Kulba recalls, "Do I have to take her back to James Square? He said 'No, take her home. You can do a better job.' So, I brought her home."

First, they went back to James Square to pack up Orlene's room. She waited in the car, while Kathy went inside. But that quick visit quickly turned confrontational as the staff accused her of elder abuse for taking her mom away.

Kulba later learned they filed a formal report against her. She says, "It makes me angry. It makes me angry to think I'm looking out for the best for my mother, and they're saying I'm abusing her.  Just said to them, 'This is abuse. What you've done to my mother is abuse.'"

Unrelated to the Attorney General's investigation into James Square, a report obtained by NewsChannel 9 shows seven violations filed this spring about patient care, including a patient with dementia leaving the property without anyone knowing to go out for lunch and beers and break-in never reported to the Department of Health.

See the full report below: 

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