Articles Tagged with Nursing home neglect

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A nursing home choking death has resulted in an $875,000 settlement recently, following allegations the nursing home failed to comply with his doctor’s diet orders, feeding the resident solid food as opposed to the mechanical soft-only food he was supposed to have. nursing home negligence

As noted by researchers with The University of Michigan’s School of Medicine, mechanical soft diets are recommended for people who have trouble with chewing. It generally means food is soft or cooked until tender and then blended in a blender or food processor or else is pureed. The goal is to provide a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein and calories for people who have problems with chewing. Individuals on mechanical soft diets are often instructed to eat six smaller meals a day, rather than three larger ones.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over a recent three-year period, some 2,200 people over 65 died in choking incidents in the U.S. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and pneumonitis were more vulnerable, and choking deaths appear to be on the rise in nursing homes and health care settings.  Continue reading →

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The death of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has prompted her son to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. He alleges his mother was forgotten in her bath, where she was found the next morning. nursing home negligence

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the woman’s routine had involved taking a nightly soak in a whirlpool bath she dubbed her “boat,” where she would wash herself before being helped to bed by a nursing aid. The woman reportedly started her bath one evening in March 2016, but her help never returned. Hours later, shortly before 5 a.m., a nursing assistant suddenly recalled she had taken the woman to the shower room but had not returned to get her. The woman’s body was discovered there in a tub of cold water, the jets of the whirlpool still on full blast.

Her son alleges the nursing home was negligent in causing his mother to suffer and die, specifically by under-staffing its nursing home, which is home to 240 people.  Continue reading →

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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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A nursing home operator’s greed in allegedly purchasing nursing homes with the sole intention to flip the property into condominiums led some residents to suffer a premature death. That’s according to a new lawsuit filed by the previous operator of the nursing home, which alleges it sold the nursing home to defendant after defendant reportedly promised to invest in the future of the nursing home and that nothing would change for residents. hotel

However, less than two months after the sale was finalized, according to plaintiff, the new administrator for the facility started to move patients out for a number of reasons, which reportedly changed depending on who asked. In some instances, administrators said Medicaid patients were being moved to make room for higher-paying patients. Other times, they indicated they had to make room for a new therapy center at the facility.

But by October of 2015, the same year the facility was purchased, the nursing home’s previous owners learned through media reports the company filed a permit to demolish the nursing home, and in its place build a brand new luxury condominium building in a matter of a few weeks. Plaintiff facility argues that by moving residents, some who had lived in the center for many years, they caused undue harm to the health of the patients – some of whom died prematurely. The facility is suing to nullify the sale of the facility, which plaintiff alleged was completed under false pretenses, and to collect damages for the harm that resulted from this misrepresentation.  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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For more than a decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has adhered to the legal theory that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts any state law on arbitration. olderwoman

There was a challenge, for example, in 2011 when the SCOTUS struck down the state law in California that held class-arbitration waivers were unconscionable. Then in 2015, the SCOTUS held that parties weren’t allowed to contract around the FAA’s preemption of class-arbitration waivers.

However, those earlier cases involved cell phone companies and cable providers. The case now before the SCOTUS is much different in that it involves arbitration agreements that bind nursing home residents. In Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark, Justice Samuel Alito commented during oral arguments that this is not like a dispute on a charge for cable services. It involves proper care of vulnerable and elderly residents.  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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There are currently nearly 1.5 million residents in nursing homes across the country. Now, with the passage of new federal rules – the most expansive update in a quarter century – those residents will have more involvement in their own care. couple

The new regulations were first proposed in 2015 by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who advocated for a shift toward care that is “person-centered.” That includes efforts to:

  • Hasten the development of care plans;
  • Allow greater variety and flexibility in snacks and meals;
  • Improved review of residents’ drug intake;
  • Heightened security;
  • Streamlined procedures for grievances;
  • Careful review of discharges that are involuntary.

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