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August 23rd, 2010

The granddaughter of an elderly woman abused in a Richmond,

nursing home has started a non-profit group to educate caregivers, promote nursing home accountability, and connect families with agencies that can help them.
Deborah Hamilton started the Armeda Foundation in memory of her late grandmother, Armeda Thomas, who was a victim of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. While Thomas was staying at Madison Manor nursing home in 2008, her relatives noticed unusual bruising on her body and set up a hidden camera in her room. The video revealed nursing assistants handling Thomas roughly and failing to properly feed and clean her. All four nurse’s aides involved in the case have plead guilty to abuse and neglect.

After the abuse came to light, Hamilton and other relatives cared for Thomas at home until her death in 2008 from Alzheimer’s disease.

Hamilton says she started the foundation so that her grandmother’s suffering was not in vain.

“We want to be able to put information in people’s hands about [Alzheimer’s] disease,” said Hamilton. “We want to…put in their hands the tools they can use to empower themselves, to protect their loved ones, or to seek justice.” The foundation’s website,, tells Thomas’ story and offers resources to advocate and educate for better care of dementia patients.

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