Articles Posted in nursing home neglect

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As our population is steadily aging, the quality of long-term nursing home care must be a top priority for the health care industry and our elected leaders. Unfortunately, one area that seems to be lagging – and which will only exacerbate if not addressed – is the shortage of nursing home aides.old man

These are the individuals who interact most closely with residents on a daily basis, helping them with basic daily tasks and functions, such as eating, toileting, bathing and teeth brushing. Yet, the lack of individuals in this field has meant that many nursing home residents aren’t receiving the quality of care to which they are entitled.

A recent report by Kaiser Health News reports shortages of home health aides and nursing assistants is threatening care for people with serious disabilities and vulnerable, elderly adults. In some cases, facilities have denied admission to people because they did not have the proper essential staff in order to provide a minimum level of care for them. It’s been the experience of our Orlando nursing home neglect attorneys, however, that some facilities will continue to accept patients, despite not having the essential number of staffers. What’s more, in some cases, the failure to fill these positions has less to do sometimes with availability of workers and more to do with the fact that for-profit facilities are looking for avenues to cut corners.  Continue reading →

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Although our population as a whole is growing older, an increasing number of nursing homes are taking on younger patients. This can lead to conflict and potentially danger for those most vulnerable. hands of time

Recently on NPR Morning Edition, KRCC in Colorado explored this phenomenon, attributing the situation largely to the fact that there are very few long-term care facilities for younger people in need of constant care. These would include individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries who need around-the-clock care and assistance.

One case detailed by the station involves a man in his 40s. In 2015, he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he reportedly “head-butted a car” and “scrambled the old brain bucket” (those are his own words). Today, he struggles with speech. Daily tasks are a challenge. He spent several months in a nursing home, where the majority of residents were over the age of 65. However, he was one of a growing number of under-65 residents at the facility. This is not an isolated phenomenon, and we see it in Florida too.  Continue reading →

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Nursing home residents disproportionately suffer from sepsis, a condition that results in multiple organ failure and death. It caused by the body’s overreaction to bacterial infection.hospital

Now, a doctor reports he has identified a possible treatment for the deadly condition, which kills 300,000 people in the U.S. annually – a significant number of those nursing home residents who received poor care.

According to NPR, it started early last year in Virginia. An emergency room doctor treated a woman in her late 40s who was suffering from sepsis. It was a severe case. Her kidneys weren’t functioning, and neither were lungs. The doctor honestly did not expect her to survive the night. It was one of those cases where any last ditch effort was welcome. He had heard of an obscure studies in which doctors at a local university had treated patients with some success by giving Vitamin C intravenously. Continue reading →

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A case nursing home elopement ended tragically in Massachusetts recently, when a man who suffered a severe brain injury wandered away from a nursing home one Tuesday night. He was found dead the next day. door

Local news outlets reported the 54-year-old was last seen at the nursing home around 7 p.m. the evening before. Having suffered a severe brain injury  from a ruptured aneurysm which resulted in severe memory loss, as well as numerous other medical conditions, the man wasn’t necessarily considered high risk, the way some Alzheimer’s or dementia patients are. He wasn’t required to wear a monitoring bracelet. Staffers called police when they realized the man was missing, but told authorities they didn’t know if the building had surveillance cameras and weren’t sure how to access records to determine exactly when the exit doors had been opened. The evening before he disappeared, his brother had just helped him move from the ground floor into a newer room, reserved for patients with longer stays.

Although he was often confused, believing he still lived in his childhood hometown, doctors were hopeful that he would be able to regain a significant amount of his brain function. He had been in a coma for two months after the aneurysm ruptured back in October. However, much of the time recently, he’d been agitated and confused. It is believed he went missing some time between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Staff believed he may have simply walked out the front door of the main floor, possibly by following someone else out. The facility filed their missing persons report around 8:20 p.m.  Continue reading →

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In an increasing number of places, mandatory nursing home arbitration agreements are being challenged. These agreements are binding contracts, but many people don’t realize that when they sign them as part of the admissions process to a nursing home, they are signing away their right to have any future disputes resolved in court. Instead, those disputes are funneled to an arbitrator, who is not required to follow the law. Proceedings aren’t public and arbitrators more often than not favor the nursing home. Even when damages are awarded to the plaintiff, the sum tends to be for far less than what plaintiff likely would have gotten if the case had gone to trial. brokenglasses

There are many reasons to fight back against enforcement of an arbitration agreement with a nursing home. That’s what some in Minnesota are doing, according to the Star Tribune. In one case, plaintiff believed she had a strong legal case against the nursing home where her father had lived before his sudden death at age 89. There was evidence the assisted living facility failed to respond in a timely manner when her father vomited numerous times and screamed for help while pointing to his badly swollen stomach. After several hours, eh died of complications related to a common hernia, something that was easily treatable had he received prompt medical attention.

When plaintiff sued the nursing home for this, they hit back with a motion to compel arbitration, pointing to an arbitration agreement signed when her father was first admitted to the facility. The nursing home claims the densely-worded contract requires the family to have the dispute resolved in arbitration, even though it involves a claim for wrongful death.  Continue reading →

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Within a span of just a few months, two residents at the same facility passed away as a direct result of nursing home neglect. That’s according to a new report by state health officials in Minnesota, whose findings were reported by the Star-Tribuneelder

The two separate incidents involve neglect and failed oversight, with one person suffering fatal injuries after a staffer used the wrong lift device and failed to get the proper assistance in moving the patient. In another case, an 85-year-old woman was denied life-saving measures during a heart attack because her directive on file was overlooked.

In many cases, nursing home neglect is the result of a combination of factors, namely:

  • Lack of staff experience/ training.
  • Failure to make there are enough staffers present to take care of patients’ basic needs.
  • Failure to provide the appropriate equipment/ tools to properly care for residents.
  • Lack of proper supervision.

Continue reading →

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A new report from Kaiser Health News uncovers a troubling practice that may startle many hospital patients who must be referred to nursing homes: The ones affiliated with hospitals are often some of the most poorly-rated. hospital

Nursing homes are the next step down for patients who might no longer be in critical condition, but still require additional daily care. Choosing a facility is an important decision, though, especially considering government data showing almost 40 percent of long-term nursing facilities have been cited by health inspectors over the last three years for either causing harm to a patient or operating in a way that injuries are probable. Despite this, hospital managers are reportedly failing to share objective or personal knowledge about the quality of the nursing homes to which they are referring their patients. In some cases, the report indicates, managers are actually pushing patients to the facilities associated with the hospitals, even when they know there are alternatives that are comparable or better.

Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect isn’t disclosed to prospective patients and family members by the hospital managers, even when they know about it. A spokesman for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform recently noted that even some of the most poorly-rated nursing homes are still packed because hospitals keep sending their patients there.  Continue reading →

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A $2 million settlement agreed upon by government regulators and a nursing home in Pennsylvania will resolve allegations of violating consumer protection statutes by not providing adequate services to nursing home patients, as promised in marketing materials and advertisements. old

The state’s attorney general announced the settlement, which involved a company called Reliant Senior Care Holdings Inc., which was accused of skimping on necessary staffing levels needed to ensure the basic needs of residents would be met at the firm’s nearly two dozen skilled nursing facilities throughout Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the company failed to deliver on its promise of making sure residents’ individualized needs were met and that personalized service was provided.

So low were the staffing levels at some of these nursing homes, according to the attorney general, that basic, life-sustaining functions – eating, drinking, daily hygiene and incontinence care – were not met on a daily basis.  Continue reading →

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Federal authorities are suing a nursing home system alleging the company committed fraud by filing false claims to both Medicare and the state-based TennCare (in Tennessee) on behalf of senior residents. Even as these facilities were being compensated for a litany of specialized services, they were not extending even the most basic level of care to residents, authorities say. oldwomanwheelchair

The Tennessean reports residents suffered a host of injuries, ailments and injustices, including:

  • Pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores)
  • Falls
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Improper feeding

The lawsuit alleges these incidents were systemic and occurred in at least six different facilities throughout Tennessee, in Murfreesboro, Nashville, Shelbyville, Madison, Manchester and Memphis.  Continue reading →

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A New York man has filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit against the facility where his mother died late last year after choking on a grilled cheese sandwich.grilledcheese

According to Syracuse.com, the woman was just 63-years-old, yet suffered from dementia. For this reason, she had to wear dentures to bite and chew solid foods. Despite this, in December, the staffer fed her a sandwich during a meal at which she did not have her dentures in. Patient unsurprisingly choked on the sandwich, aspirated and stopped breathing. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died a week later from complications caused by the choking and aspiration of her food.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by her son, the administrator of her estate, alleges the nursing home staff was negligent, careless and reckless in feeding his mother solid food without her dentures. As a result, his mother suffered conscious pain and suffering, as well as incurred medical expenses. He is seeking compensation for these violations of her rights, as well as punitive damages and attorneys fees.  Continue reading →

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