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Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse

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A recent in-depth analysis published by The Boston Globe shows that 6 in 10 nursing homes advertising care specifically for dementia patients may be sidestepping state rules intended to avoid false advertising.elderly1

A review by the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire echoes an earlier study conducted by Globe reporters this year, showing these centers may not be as equipped to handle the intensity of care advanced dementia patients need. But that hasn’t stopped them from accepting new patients suffering from advanced stages of dementia-related disease.

Although the research was focused on Massachusetts, this problem is not isolated to that state. But these snapshots of how nursing homes provide care for these estimated 40,000 elderly residents shows us where the shortcomings are throughout the rest of the country. Continue reading →

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A 78-year-old former lawmaker in Iowa has been acquitted of criminal charges after it was alleged he had sexual contact with his wife, an Alzheimer’s patient residing at a nursing home. At issue was the prosecution’s contention that the woman lacked the capacity to consent to sexual contact. grandmothersad

Defendant had reportedly been informed by staffers to “limit sexual contact” with his wife of seven years, but it was a minute-long instruction that was part of an hour-long discussion, and he would later say he believed that to mean he was advised against having sexual intercourse with his wife for medical reasons. It was his contention that his wife initiated the sexual contact after that, and he assumed that this meant she was consenting. However, no one actually witnessed the act or could verify the exact nature of it.

These kinds of discussions are uncomfortable for family members and loved ones whose elder relatives and spouses remain in the care of a nursing home facility. The fact is, people don’t lose their desire for love and human affection when they are diagnosed with dementia. They shouldn’t be denied those things if it involves consenting adults. But the degree to which people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions can consent is a major question that many families and even nursing homes are grappling with.

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A special kind of impact-absorbing floor material was found to slash fall-related injuries by approximately 60 percent in Swedish nursing homes, according to a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention.stairway1

The lead author of the study noted the seriousness of falls for elderly in nursing homes, asserting they comprise nearly 70 percent of all falls among older people, who on average suffer three to four falls annually. Consequences can range from minor bruising and pain to hip fractures and head injuries.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one of every three adults over the age of 65 will suffer a fall. Of those, about 25 percent will suffer a moderate-to-severe injury that will not only impair their mobility, but possibly put them at risk of serious infection or even death. The direct medical costs for these incidents pushes $35 billion a year.

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State inspectors of nursing homes have an important job: Ensuring that facilities are doing all they should be to protect and provide adequate care for our elderly, vulnerable loved ones. computer1

Some might argue inspections don’t occur frequently enough and may not be as thorough as they should be.

But we would not expect regulators, bound to uphold the laws and guidelines set forth by the people, to be influenced in their work by nursing home industry lobbyists. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what one news team in Pennsylvania discovered when it requested a series of emails.

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It’s been well-documented that the state of nursing homes in the U.S. warrants improvement. However, a recent, multi-pronged analysis suggests the degree of care received by minorities is markedly below what their white counterparts receive.oldwoman1

The research, published by the Center for Public Integrity, noted some stark differences between nursing homes catering to majority white residents, versus mostly minority residents. For example:

  • Majority-white facilities had, on average, 60 percent higher rates of registered nurse care levels as compared to Latino-majority nursing homes and nearly 35 percent higher than facilities catering to majority black residents.
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Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be a difficult and painful decision. For many, finding a facility with a good reputation and acceptable government inspection reports is critical. information

Regulators tried to make the process easier, starting in December 2008 with its Nursing Home Compare website, which graded nursing homes across the country according to a set of criteria. Centers were rated on a scale of one-to-five stars, with one star being the lowest and five stars being the highest.

However, recent evaluations of the grading criteria showed it was actually far too easy for a center to obtain a top-quality rating, despite evidence of improper care practices. Namely, there is an increasing degree of scrutiny involving the rates at which nursing homes rely on dangerous antipsychotic drugs to subdue patients with dementia – a purpose for which those drugs aren’t approved.

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A 76-year-old woman who spent months languishing in a South Florida nursing home before being removed in 2003 died just weeks later. A jury later determined her to be the victim of continual neglect, having suffered numerous bed sores, malnutrition and a serious fall that resulted in a head injury. holdinghands

Her survivors were awarded $110 million against two nursing home companies, ordered to pay $55 million each. Those firms are Trans Healthcare Inc. and Trans Health Management Inc.

However, her family has found it nearly impossible to collect on that verdict. In the last four years, the family has pressed forward through a complex maze of shell corporation transactions involving the firm that appear to have been designed specifically to mitigate such liabilities. Trans Healthcare’s liabilities were all funneled into a company called Fundamental Long Term Care Inc. The problem is, that firm is a shell. It has no assets.

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Inadequate staffing for seriously ill patients is alleged to have led to the deaths of at least three patients who received care at several nursing home facilities – one in Winter Haven and two in Lakeland – owned by the same firm, according to lawsuits filed recently. oldwomanwheelchair

The Lakeland Ledger reports the cases involve three patients who received care between August 2013 and March 2014. Their deaths, reported days or weeks after discharge, were reportedly connected to their stay at the facilities.

Each complaint alleges the parent company committed neglect by pushing its subsidiary nursing homes to admit more patients who were seriously ill. These individuals would require more care and thus the companies would be more handsomely reimbursed by the federal government. However, the facilities did not increase staffing levels in order to provide the heightened level of care these patients needed, and this led to patients receiving poor care, ultimately resulting in illness and death.

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Low-rated nursing homes are being rewarded with billions in federal funding to secure better interest rates on mortgages, despite having been cited for egregious instances of abuse and neglect of patients. usadollarbills1

An investigation, launched by the Center for Public Integrity, indicated that since 2009, hundreds of nursing homes across the country raked in an estimated $2 billion in low-cost mortgages, guaranteed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development – even after being stamped with the lowest possible rating for quality of services.

In total, the center discovered some 240 nursing homes given just one star in the federal rating system received the loans backed by HUD. Some of these homes received chronically low ratings – in one case, for seven consecutive reporting cycles. In fact, not only did these centers receive HUD-backed mortgages and refinance offers, they also received federal guarantees for construction and improvement loans. From 2009 to 2012, the number of these “bad apples” getting the best interest rates on federally-backed loans increased year-over-year.

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