Nursing Home Patient’s Body To Be Exhumed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The family of a nursing home patient, who died back in November, will have his body exhumed to determine his cause of death.

Aldo Giannini, 85, of Turtle Creek, was one of three patients who died on the same day at Juniper Village in Forest Hills.

The death certificate says he died of a heart attack. His daughter, Kim Bogesdorfer, doesn’t believe that.

“From the moment we were called that my father – the morning of Nov. 10 had passed, we were lied to, we got different stories from the staff,” she said.

Bogesdorfer said she was told by staff her father died peacefully in his sleep. She says that was a lie and that the day he died, several residents and staff members became ill.

“What the facility had told us – the nursing supervisor and the executive director of the home – that people were becoming ill, I think my father started getting ill at 12:30 that morning – the morning of Nov. 10, and his last call to the nurse’s aide was at 5 p.m.,” she said. “We weren’t called until 6:42, and the paramedics weren’t called till 6:47 a.m.”

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner confirms two other residents died that day – an 85-year-old and a 101-year-old.

Bogesdorfer is getting her father’s body exhumed this week and former Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht is reportedly set to perform an autopsy.

“My concern is what happened, why did it happen and could my father’s death been prevented,” she said.
Bogesdorfer says if the autopsy confirms her suspicions, she plans to sue. The nursing home had no comment.

  • Shari Stillitano

    Leave him rest for God’s sake. He’s 85-years-old! Do ya think it really matters at this point?

    • Isembard

      Quite right. Once you get to a certain age, it should be perfectly legal to neglect or outright murder you, right?

      Sorry, Shari, but you have no right to determine whose life has value and whose does not. His family has legitimate questions about the care this man received – healthcare for which the facility was compensated. This is not, apparently, a case of someone not being artificially kept alive but someone whose illness was simply not treated because, like you, the facility might have not provided treatment at all. It is vitally important to insure that care providers do not share your attitude but provide the care – even if it’s just compassionate end-of-life care – which they are legally and morally obligated to provide.

      • FixPGH

        Although he was in a nursing home, he could have been there due to limited mobility and still been pretty healthy and lived another 10 years had he not gotten sick/never taken care of.

        Shari is a jerk. Oh, and don’t use your real name on the web. I can Google you and see that you signed a petition saying “No” to the Mosque at Ground Zero…nice.

    • juice

      Yes it does matter. What if he was not being taken care of properly? What if other patients are not getting the proper care? This could determine if there was foul play involved. My aunt was abused while staying at a nursing home after falling, and my family was there everyday. What about these elderly patients that have no one?? Your an idiot.

      • sarah

        I think you mean “YOU’RE an idiot”, not your. Those who live in glass houses…

    • MorganGray

      It sure the heck does! I work in disability services and you would not believe the level of neglect in many nursing facilities. Nor would you believe the amount of money nursing facilities make off of their residents.
      If he was not being properly cared for, don’t you think his family deserves to know?
      If he was being neglected, don’t you think the facility should be punished?
      If there was abuse, shouldn’t someone go to jail?

      Nursing facilities are not the loving caring places they make themselves out to be, they are warehouses for human beings who are told they cannot care for themselves. They are money making businesses whose bottom line is profit, not care.
      In many cases the line staff are overworked and poorly paid. But in some, they just don’t give a rat’s posterior about the people under their care.
      So, do you want to re-think your callous attitude?

    • East Suburbs

      Sorry, Shari, but it DOES matter – it matters because of all the other patients who are still there or will be there. Good staff are critical to proper nursing home care – but no matter how good they are, they aren’t perfect. My mother was in a nursing home for almost 12 years. One thing I learned during that time was how quickly an elderly person, especially one who is bedridden, can get sick and how easy it is for staff to now be aware of things like pneumonia or kidney infections until it’s too late. These people can become critically ill in a matter of hours. Nursing homes are poorly staffed or understaffed because we, as a society, don’t value those positions and don’t fund eldercare the way we should. Nursing home oversight is a bureaucratic nightmare because we elect politicians who don’t fund the programs that can properly watchdog eldercare. So perhaps pointing fingers and blaming the nursing homes helps to assuage our own guilt???

    • Nancy Dalena Elsesser

      85 does not mean the end of this world he could of lived 20- 25 more years YES it matters!!!! And it can matter to all the other families who have love ones in that facility!! Shame on you Shari!! You must hate your family!

    • girl

      well shari–BRAVO–you have managed to agitate a bunch of people today. Let me guess–you had nothing else to do? Perhaps you are bored with your life and yourself–well– do everyone a favor and disappear–or maybe try becoming humane–see you have options.

    • Bing-Chandler

      Shari, I find it extremely difficult to believe that you believe in God as I do not think God would approve of the neglect of the elderly man. First of all, it does not matter if this gentleman was 185, an elderly person does not deserve that kind of treatment. If he was in fact sick, the nursing home is responsible for overseeing his care as they are being paid for their services, probably by Medicare and if that is the case I would refer to it as Medicare Fraud, Waste and Abuse. Second of all, the family has every right to have his body exhumed if they suspect neglect of their loved one. I would imagine that they have some sort of evidence that points to neglect. If the allegation is true, the nursing home needs to be put out of business and the employees need to face criminal charges for murder. The only thing that I can figure is you must be one of the employees responsible for the neglect or you have no regard for the life of an elderly person. You probably neglect or have neglected an elderly person. Otherwise, why would you say something like “Do ya think it really matters at this point.

  • bin

    What I think is a shame is the article says the family “later learned that he was sick.” To me this implies the family wasn’t visiting him. Too bad they didn’t care enough when he was alive to find out if he was sick or not.

  • Rj

    I bet Shari voted for Obama.

    Cyril Wecht is the man!!!

  • kim

    i work in a assisted living with the elders i couldnt imagine hurting them…i think that the family has the right to know what the cause was, but as far as the family not being around most familys live out of state or stay away from the relative bc it is hard seeing them uncomfortable or sick…According to most facilities, they are suppose to contact the family of the patient and advise them that they are sick.. maybe the family wasnt called… really? who do we blame… i could go on and on…

  • Marion

    You Can’t say that a family was not there for this man. My Father died because of a nursing home mistake and my Mother and I were there every day.

  • Justice for All!

    Once again find who ever is guilty and bring back public hanging in market square!

  • Nancy Dalena Elsesser

    very sad I do hair in nursing homes I love it. I love making the people smile talk to them hear their stories even if you heard them a thousand times its great!! I do see alot of neglect from the home an families it makes me very sad!!!

  • Jm

    He was 85 he was half dead already

    • LPJ

      That was a very rude and unnecessary comment. Did you actually KNOW Mr. Giannini? I’m guessing you didn’t or you wouldn’t have been so callous as to write something like that. He still has a family who cares about him. Imagine how they would feel if they read your inconsiderate post. We can only hope that you – and Shari – live to be 85, at which point you will be “half dead” so it won’t matter if you are killed in a nursing home like he was.

  • Ron Hegner


    I think the big error in this story is that this poor soul was at an assisted living center not a nursing home.

  • Pac

    First of all, if doing you’re research correctly, you will find that the “home” in question is not a “nursing home” as everyone is being led to believe. It is a personal care home that assists with activities of daily living, Which means the resident can, to a point, care for themselves. The are provided oversight and supervision, not 24 hour, direct one on one care. The gentleman in question was checked on in the alloted time period allowed, and seen once every two hours. Staff at a personal care home are not psychic and have no way of knowing that someone could have an underlying health issue that could cause their death, at any given time. Nor are they doctors or medical examiners to determine what was making someone sick, IF anything. They are there as a means of support for assistance of daily living activities.

    It is amazing in this day and age how quick someone is to lay blame somewhere before facts are found out., and worse yet, how quick they are to jump to use the word “sue”. Seems like someone is more concerned about getting money rather than finding out the true facts of the incident and this gentleman’s demise.

    Although my heart goes out to anyone losing a loved one….Was the family satisfied with the care he was receiving prior to this unfortunate incident? They probably were. Were there any complaints registered from this gentleman’s family prior? Probably not.

    Yes, he was 85 years old, but no one knows what his medical history was, or what may have happened to contribute to his death, medically in his life. Heart attacks are sudden, and can end someone’s life at any age, I know of a man who had one at 42 and it ended his life.

    So… before slinging any more mud, find out facts before being so opinionated.

    I’ve worked in a personal care home for 20 years, and have seen residents pass here, where they called “home” for the last years of their lives. Family members visit, some daily, some on occasion, and some never at all. The staff become an extended family to the resident. I’ve held the hands and comforted resdients as they passed, when the family has been notified that a medical condition has taken a turn for the worse and they should come in right away, only to tell the staff… well I have to work, call me and update me later, as their father, mother, or loved one is slipping away… being cared for by our staff.

    Because of highly publicized cases in worse case-scenarios, this is giving all care facilities, Nursing/skilled, Intermediate, Personal Care / Assisted Living a bad rap.

    Personal Care IS NOT a nursing home. It’s somebody available to help, when needed, NOT 24-hour direct supervision. They can’t prevent falls, they happen, they happen anywhere, even in hospitals, They can’t prevent medical conditions such as heart attacks from happening either.

    I, for one will wait until a definite “cause of death” is disagreeing with the death certificate. If it was labeled a heart attack by his physician, then there was probably a medical history and reasoning behind that diagnosis or contributing factor.

    • kds95

      I take umbrage with your comments. If a person was too impaired to be in an assisted living environment, don’t you think the assisted living center should evaluate them and inform the family he or she needs more skilled nursing. They are the professionals. Apparently they admitted Mr. Giannini and cashed his checks every month. It sounds like no emergency protocols were followed when a chaotic situation(Flu outbreak) occurred. It is reckless to evaluate Mr. Giannini’s care level status without knowing his situation. I understand the care for our elderly, nationally, is not what it should be. So instead of saying this is how it is, get use to it. Maybe we as a nation should move to do something about it. It maybe a small step for the family to stand up and say there is accountability for the care of elderly yet it is still a step.

      • Pac

        Where was it stated that he was too impared to be in A Personal care home? Residents in PCH’s can function, even with dementia, as long as they are not a threat to themselves (by wandering out of the building) or a threat to others, and they have no skilled nursing need.
        Because of the mess that the United States calls “healthcare”, Insurances only pay for a skilled nursing need, nothing toward a personal care home. So if someone doesn’t have a “skilled” qualification, they will not be admitted to a personal care home. A physician has to sign a form and approve any PCH resident to transfer to a skilled faciliyt. A flu outbreak is not “impaired” and according to the health department, it is not considered an “outbreak” unless a certain percentage of a building’s residents are showing symptoms. Then the steps that are followed are isolating the building from outside visitors other than health care workers, Plenty of fluid and rest, and lots of cleaning of surfaces within the building. Many hospitals will not admit many people for Flu-like symptoms. Send them back on fluids and rest.

  • Heather

    Regardless of what kind of home this is, does someone not call for help when medical support is needed? In this case it was easier to look the other way and blame everything on a mans age. I give this family credit for protecting all of us when we are 85 – everyone deserves proper , humane care. Families pay for 24 hour support or care and peace of mind. From what I have seen and know , this family was very involved with Aldo’s care and he was at this facility for a limited time. He was as vibrant as any 85 year old with a sharp mind. Let the facts unfold and we will determine the truth. Please keep us updated on this story.

  • Pac

    Yes, they do call for help, when help is necessary. Cases requiring emergency medical attention. Flu symptoms written on a hospital transfer sheet is not necessarily an emergency situation as described above. The physician of the resident is called and informed of the situation, in most cases. The physician could recommend being sent to the hospital at that time, or a physician could ask for any changes to be reported.
    Does everyone here run to the ER when they have flu-symptoms? I highly doubt it. It gets expensive also, for seniors, an ambulance trip, that may not be covered because a trip may not be medically necessary? $500. Hospital visit, add more, return trip from hospital…never covered by insurance… keep adding.
    Yes, it is 24 hour awake support, not in his room, every minute of every day.
    No one is looking the other way. It is common practice for every physician that signs off on a death certificate to elaborate on a cause of death, because unless an autopsy is done, it’s never definite.

    • kds96

      Pac, you might be part of the problem without knowing it.

  • Wecht Performs Autopsy On Nuring Home Patient « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] LINKS: Juniper Village Dr. Cyril Wecht Nursing Home Patient’s Body To Be Exhumed More Local News Print Share […]

  • Brandon Bartch

    Thanks for providing such information. nifwjre

  • Pac

    The problem is people assuming and accusing before having facts kds96.

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