Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Facilities skirt prosecution in many elder-abuse cases

 As an ombudsman for the Area Agency on Aging sees the best and the worst in Northeast Ohio’s nursing homes.
“Sometimes you see violations that are so serious that — not just as an ombudsman but as a member of the public — you look at that [and ask], ‘Why didn’t someone pay or have to face consequences for this particular activity?’ ”
Across Northeast Ohio, police and inspection reports hint at some of the most egregious actions committed in nursing homes: three sexual-assault cases in a dementia unit at a Canton facility; a 90-year-old woman beaten with a clothes hanger at a Stow facility; two elderly residents physically abused by a nurse’s aide in a Boardman facility; and pending investigations and charges throughout Ohio’s network of 956 nursing homes.

Officer Kevin Green of the Stow Police Department said he believes that officials only find out about and prosecute a small percent of the cases of abuse in facilities.
“It’s the hidden dragon,” said Green, who is the interim senior-services officer for his department. “It’s a very frustrating crime because there is an element of trust that is violated in these cases. These people and families have placed their trust in a facility, and that bond is broken when there is abuse.”Youngstown News, Facilities skirt prosecution in many elder-abuse cases:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nursing home resident accused of beating roommate

Chester Rusek believed his roommate in a Town of Tonawanda nursing home was stealing from him.
So on a recent Monday morning, Rusek retaliated and repeatedly beat the 86-year-old roommate, Salvatore Trusello, with a 2½-pound magnet as Trusello lay in his bed in Kenwell-DePaul Senior Living Community on Delaware Avenue, police said.
Then, Rusek, 87, who gets around with the use of a walker, shuffled down the hallway and told the attendant to get help.
“He’s going to need medical attention,” Rusek told the attendant, according to police reports. “I just beat his [expletive].”
“I didn’t want to kill him,” Rusek later told police. “I just wanted to get even.”
Rusek was arrested for the Nov. 26 attack and charged with assault on the nursing home resident and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, said Town of Tonawanda Detective Lt. Joseph Carosi.Nursing home resident accused of beating roommate - City & Region - The Buffalo News:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hearing set for woman accused of abusing nursing home patient

 A Wonewoc woman charged in June with abuse of a patient at a New Lisbon nursing home demanded a preliminary hearing in Juneau County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Judge John Roemer scheduled the hearing Jan. 22 for 50-year-old Ginger S. Newlun.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge determines whether a nursing home crime was committed and whether evidence exists to show the accused may have committed the crime.
District Attorney Scott Southworth said he planned to call a single witness in the case.
Newlun faces felony counts of abuse of a nursing home patient and aggravated battery for alleged incidents at Crest View Nursing Home in New Lisbon.Hearing set for woman accused of abusing nursing home patient:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bronx Nursing Home Worker Accused of Sex Abuse

A Bronx nursing home worker has been indicted after the worker was allegedly caught sexually assaulting an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease, authorities said.
A non-clinical staff member at Hudson Pointe at Riverdale was naked in a laundry closet with the woman, who is in her 80s, when a co-worker opened the closet, nursing home officials said.
The co-worker reported it to authorities. The worker accused of sexual abuse, who had been working at Hudson Pointe for 12 years, has been indicted and is due back in court Jan. 18. It's not clear if there are other victims.Bronx Nursing Home Worker Accused of Sex Abuse | NBC New York:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woman Found Guilty In Nursing Home Assault

A Baltimore woman has been found guilty of abusing an elderly resident of a nursing home, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
Prosecutors say 39-year-old Tarslia Jackson was found guiltyof one count of assault in the second degree for abusing an elderly woman at a Northwest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Pall Mall Road.
Investigators say that in August of 2012, while Jackson was working at the nursing home, she pushed and slapped the 71-year-old woman after the two had a verbal disagreement. Another employee also witnessed the incident.Woman Found Guilty In Nursing Home Assault | Baltimore News | WBAL Radio 1090 AM:

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Maryland nursing home accused of neglect

A Maryland nursing home is accused of deadly neglect. St. Thomas More in Hyattsville has an extensive history of health and safety violations. Tonight state health officials are blaming poor medical care for a patient's death. One state health official told Fox5 patients at St. Thomas More are at higher risk than at other nursing homes because of the ongoing deficiencies.

A former patient at St. Thomas More claims he almost died. James Franklin remains weak and bed ridden, six months after his stay at the 230-bed facility for what should have been the road to recovery. "I mean I didn't have no idea that I would still be here in the hospital. And for me to be in the hospital has been a tragic chance for me," Franklin told FOX5 from his hospital bed.FOX 5 Investigates: Maryland nursing home accused of neglect - DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG:

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

State Supreme Court Allows Patients To Sue Nursing Home Owner

The state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a group of nursing home patients can sue Covenant Care for allegedly violating California nurse-staffing standards, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Covenant Care owns 16 nursing homes in Alameda County.
State standards require long-term skilled-nursing facilities to provide each patient with 3.2 hours of nursing care per day.
The nursing home patients filed a lawsuit against Covenant alleging that it violated state standards at least 35% of the time over a four-year period, beginning in December 2006.State Supreme Court Allows Patients To Sue Nursing Home Owner - California Healthline:

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Nursing home resident allegedly raped by caregiver

A carer has been charged with sexually assaulting a disabled resident at a nursing home near Wollongong.
Police say the man abused the 82-year-old woman while working in the high care ward at Unanderra last month.
The alleged victim is disabled and suffers from a number of medical conditions.
The 41-year-old turned himself in to police yesterday and was refused bail.
He is due to face court today on two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated indecent assault.Nursing home resident allegedly raped by carer - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Thursday, November 29, 2012

California attorney general's office to ramp up elder-abuse investigations

Until he died last month at age 82, Don Esco of Cameron Park had his own way of measuring the passage of time: by the years, months and days since the nursing home death of his wife, Johnnie, after a short stay at a Placerville nursing home.
It was never enough, he always said, to settle a civil lawsuit with the El Dorado Care Center in Placerville, which he blamed for his 77-year-old wife's death in March 2008. No, he said, it was never about the money.
Johnnie's death, he maintained, was a nursing home criminal matter – and the state of California agreed. 
On Thursday – four years, seven months and 24 days after Johnnie Esco died – one of two nurses charged with criminal elder abuse in connection with her death pleaded no contest to the charge.California attorney general's office to ramp up elder-abuse investigations - Capitol and California - The Sacramento Bee:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Falsified patient records are untold story of California nursing home care

A supervisor at a Carmichael nursing home admitted under oath that she was ordered to alter the medical records of a 92-year-old patient, who died after developing massive, rotting bedsores at the facility.

In Santa Monica, a nursing home was fined $2,500 by the state for falsifying a resident's medical chart, which claimed that the patient was given physical therapy five days a week. The catch? At least 28 of those sessions were documented by nurse assistants who were not at work on those days.

In Los Angeles, lawyers for a woman severely re-injured at a nursing home discovered a string of false entries – several written by nonexistent nurses.

Phantom nurses. Suspicious entries in medical charts. Phony paperwork, hurriedly produced after an injury or death.

It is the untold story of nursing home care: falsification of patient records.

While regulators have dogged facilities for years over fraudulent Medicare documentation, the issue of bogus records is more than a money matter. In California and elsewhere, nursing homes have been caught altering entries and outright lying on residents' medical charts – sometimes with disastrous human consequences, according to a Bee investigation.

Medications and treatments are documented as being given when they are not. Inaccurate entries have masked serious conditions in some patients, who ultimately died after not receiving proper care, the Bee found.
Falsified patient records are untold story of California nursing home care - Investigations - The Sacramento Bee:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nursing home neglect: Jury awards $1.8 million in death of retired wrestler

Jurors ordered Lake Worth Manor to pay nearly $1.8 million in damages to Mr. Dahmer's estate. The nursing home at 1201 12th Ave. South is now called Oasis Health and Rehabilitation Center. Dahmer allegedly suffered from advanced bed sores that resulted in sepsis or septic shock which led to his death. He was a former pro wrestler.Nursing home neglect: Jury awards $1.8 million in death of retired wrestler - South Florida

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Woman Dies Falling Out Of Nursing Home Window

Authorities say an 88-year-old nursing home resident who had been in a Gastonia nursing home for a few days and wanted to get out has died after falling from a second-story window.
Police said employees at Morningside of Gastonia were looking for Nellie Holland around 10:15 p.m. Sunday night when they found her outside the building. Paramedics say she died at the scene.
Investigators say Holland had been at the home for only a few days and told people she wanted to get out.
A spokesman for Morningside says the facility is cooperating with the investigation and providing support to the family. He says medical privacy laws prevent him from talking about Holland. Woman Dies; Falls Out Of Nursing Home Window |

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

family reacts after seeing abuse, neglect at South Bend nursing homes

"He's got a lot of problems, and you send these people to be cared for in a nursing home that says they're going to care for your family member, and they're going to watch out for them, and make sure they have their medicine... and now it's like you can't trust anybody."
Kristina Beaver is emotional after seeing our report on the violations at Michiana nursing homes, she and her husband are looking for a place for her 69-year-old father-in-law.
"I'm scared," Beaver said.
Scared of the abuse and neglect that was discovered by the Indiana Department of Health and Human Services.
Until Thursday, the family was considering the Milton Home.
It was cited for sexual abuse and witholding medicine from a woman for 11 days in June.
Granger family reacts after seeing abuse, neglect at South Bend nursing homes | ABC57 | South Bend IN News, Weather and Sports | St. Joseph, IN

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nursing Home Sued Over Tube Infection

A Santa Fe nursing home is being sued over an incident in which a resident there suffered an infection after a feeding tube allegedly was improperly placed, filling her abdominal cavity with the liquid formula....
ABQJournal Online » Nursing Home Sued Over Tube Infection

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jacksonville nursing home on federal watch list

Summer Brook Health Care center is a 120 bed facility, privately owned and is now on Medicare's Watch List.
Brian Lee is with Families for Better Care, an advocate for the nursing home industry.
"This is only one of three nursing homes in the state of florida,682 nursing homes, that is on this federal watch list," said Lee.
Lee said his agency's role is to push for improvements in the nursing homes industry.
"Families should be vigilant in their advocacy on behalf of their loved ones," said Lee," to ensure that they're getting safe and appropriate care."
In its August update, Florida's Agency for Health Care Adminstration using a five star rating system, gave the facility the following marks:
-Overall inspection one star
-Quality of care one star
Jacksonville nursing home on federal watch list |

Monday, October 22, 2012

Second Envoy administrator charged

Police in Staunton said Monday that a nursing home administrator at Envoy has been charged in connection with the nursing home’s failure to divulge a sex abuse allegation at its Houston Street facility.
Robert T. Lawrence, 47, of Gloucester County, is charged with failure to report a civil charge.
Last week, police charged Diane R. Kline, 41, an Envoy nursing administrator, with an identical charge.
A phone call placed Monday to Envoy to determine the pair’s employment status was not returned.
In early August, a Staunton police investigation initially centered around a suspended employee at the nursing home who was accused of molesting incapacitated residents.
Following the arrest of Anthony M. Johnson, 47, a nurse’s aide, investigators quickly turned their focus on Envoy’s administration after it was accused of trying to coverup one of the molestation allegations, according to court records.
Police said that although Envoy reported two allegations against Johnson, one of them unfounded, a third allegation concerning a female resident was not passed along to authorities.
The woman, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the 1990s and is also paralyzed on her left side, said Johnson tried to force her to perform oral sex on him.
Second Envoy administrator charged | The News Leader |

Family: Video is proof of nursing home abuse

Mynez Carter has Alzheimer's disease and requires continuous care. But 83-year-old woman's family recently became suspicious of the way she was being treated at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Home in Arlington.
They said Carter had unexplained bruises, was acting fearful and dodged away from anyone trying to embrace her. They believe the hidden camera they installed in her room explains why.
"My heart started racing and I was horrified. And I was more mad than anything just to know this was going on with my mother," said Freddie Johnson, her daughter.
She said the video showed rough treatment. In one instance a worker putting a pillow under Carter's head can be seen pulling her hair and pushing her head. In another instance a worker pinches her leg.
Carter's children said they met with Jerry Warren, the administrator of the nursing home, and showed him the video. In summary, they said he disagreed about certain actions seen on the video.
"He's trying to justify that but there's no justification for that. It's a certain way you treat these residents. It wasn't good," said Ruth Carter, her daughter.

Read more: Video is proof of nursing home abuse - Dallas News |

Friday, October 19, 2012

Inspections in California Find Nursing Homes Guilty of Resident Neglect

The California Department of Justice conducted a series of surprise inspections of nursing homes across the state. The investigations spanned over a two year period, beginning in January of 2010 and ending in March of 2012. Inspectors reported findings of "unacceptable nursing care" ranging from accusations of home staff providing residents with the wrong medication to other instances of staff completely neglecting the nursing home residents.

Neglect of nursing home residents not only causes heartache for those who expect the nursing home staff to provide care for their loved ones, it can also lead to injuries for the residents. These injuries include pressure ulcers, infections and broken bones -- injuries that can lead to serious complications in the elderly.

The results of these surprise inspections are currently under review by California's Department of Public Health. The agency will determine if further action is required, which could include sanctions against offending nursing homes or potential closure.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Although the results of these inspection reports are concerning, it is important to remember that many nursing home facilities offer quality care to their residents. However, being aware of the warning signs associated with abuse or neglect in a nursing home can help to protect loved ones from serious harm.

It is important to watch for changes in a loved one's behavior, such as:
-Sudden inability to sleep or change in sleeping patterns
-Development of depression or confusion
-Unexplainable weight loss

In addition to behavioral changes, physical signs of abuse or neglect may also be present. Common physical signs like unexplainable bruises, burns, scars or lacerations on the body or the development of bed sores or other preventable conditions should be noted and discussed with the resident. - Inspections in California Find Nursing Homes Guilty of Resident Neglect

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Group pushes for surveillance cameras in nursing homes

A senior advocacy group is pushing for state legislation requiring mandatory surveillance cameras in common areas of nursing homes.
Department of Human Services Aging Services Policy Program Supervisor Jennifer Case says it’s the priority issue for the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature.
The group recently held a two-day session at the State Capitol, discussing the top five issues it wants lawmakers to address. Case said the issue of the mandatory cameras emerged as the priority.
“They hear a lot about abuse in nursing homes, and how difficult it can be sometimes to prove it,” Case told KTOK.
Group pushes for surveillance cameras in nursing homes | – Oklahoma City News & Weather from KAUT Television Freedom 43

Saturday, October 13, 2012

advocates for elderly target 'chemical restraint' abuse at care facilities

Calling it a form of chemical restraint, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and advocates for the elderly Tuesday blasted the practice of prescribing antipsychotic drugs for dementia patients in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
"It is a form of elder abuse. It's chemical restraint -- no less pernicious and insidious than physical restraint of patients -- and it should be stopped," Blumenthal said.
During a press conference at the Capitol, Blumenthal announced that he has introduced a bill to crack down on the overprescription of these off-label drugs. At the same time, health care advocates and advocates for the elderly announced that they have formed a statewide coalition that aims to reduce this type of off-label antipsychotic drug use in Connecticut by 50 percent.
Both Blumenthal and the coalition are trying to combat the practice of giving agitated or confused dementia patients antipsychotic drugs, such as Risperidone, Quetiapine and Olanzapine, to calm them down.
Blumenthal, advocates for elderly target 'chemical restraint' abuse at care facilities | The Connecticut Mirror

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Woman accused of slapping nursing home patient gets probation

A Cape Girardeau woman accused of slapping a 98-year-old nursing home patient will spend the next two years on probation.
According to officials at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, Sherri Sprenger pleaded guilty to a charge of elder abuse Wednesday morning.
The judge gave Sprenger two years in jail, but put her on probation instead. But he told Sprenger she'd go to jail if she violates that probation.
Sprenger worked at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau. She's since been fired.
Police say she admitted to losing her temper because the patient yelled at her.
Sprenger says she responded by slapping the elderly victim across the face with the back side of her hand. She says she didn't mean it, and she feels remorse.
Police responded after family members noticed bruising on the woman's face.
As part of her sentence, the judge ordered Sprenger to write the family an apology letter.
Woman accused of slapping nursing home patient gets probation - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Racism, patients’ lack of awareness contributing to health disparities for residents of color in Boston, specialists say

Health disparities persist in the city of Boston between people of color and white residents, and efforts to combat racism and increase minority patients’ awareness of their rights as health care consumers are needed to bridge the divide, specialists said on Monday.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the State of Black Boston, a coalition of groups that ­includes the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, public health specialists discussed findings that were detailed in a report that showed black Bostonians suffered from a number of serious health conditions at higher rates than white residents.

Dr. Karen Winkfield, a radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said people of color in the city sometimes do not seek medical care because they expect to be treated poorly by health providers.

“We have to realize that it’s real and we can’t just sweep it under the carpet,” Winkfield said at the forum, which was held at the Dimock Center in Roxbury, of the racial bias she said is faced by minorities in hospitals. She also said a lack of adequate transportation and child care are obstacles to care for minority patients.

According to the report, which the Urban League published in collaboration with other groups, black infants died at rates ranging from 8.7 to 14.6 children per 1,000 births between 1996 and 2008, compared to rates between 2.8 and 9.5 for white infants during that period.

Barbara Ferrer, executive ­director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said that stress related to the effects of racism is a major factor in the higher rates for black infants. She said public agencies and other groups must work to combat the effects of racial prejudice on public health.

Racism, patients’ lack of awareness contributing to health disparities for residents of color in Boston, specialists say - Metro Desk - Local news updates from The Boston Globe

Monday, October 08, 2012

Missouri nursing home worker no longer employed after abuse allegation


A worker at a Cape Girardeau assisted-living facility is no longer employed there following an allegation of assault from a 92-year-old female resident. Police said Monday they continue to investigate the charges and have alerted state authorities as is mandated by law.The Cape Girardeau Police Department received a report Wednesday about the possibility of elder abuse at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau when visiting family members said they noticed their relative had bruising on her cheek, said department spokesman Darin Hickey. The nursing home resident told police she had been assaulted by a Lutheran Home staff member, Hickey said. Local News: Cape nursing home worker no longer employed after abuse allegation (08/28/12)

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Care home nurse fired

A NURSE who told a dying dementia patient it was “time for the big sleep” has been struck off.
Shiona Nelson made the heartless comment in front of the woman's family. The patient’s grand-daughter fled from the room in tears.
Nelson also let a student nurse practice taking blood samples from the pensioner, referred to as “Patient B”, and carried out an “unjustified” intimate examination of another patient.
She was in charge of training young nurses at a care home in her home town of Kirkcaldy, Fife.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council said her behaviour was “wholly unacceptable” and she was unfit to practice. Nelson did not turn up to hear the verdict.
Nelson, a registered nurse since 1983, made her callous deathbed comment in 2009 at the Adam House home in Kirkcaldy.
Care home nurse struck off after telling dying dementia patient it was 'time for the big sleep' - Daily Record

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Vt nursing home sued in 2010 death

A Vermont nursing home has been sued over the death of a patient in 2010.
The son of 84-year-old Dorothy Papero has sued the Crescent Manor Nursing Home in Bennington.
The nursing home lawsuit alleges that Papero entered Rodolpho Davalos’ room and was told to “get out” before the 58-year-old man knocked her down. She suffered severe injuries and died two days later.

Police said Papero, who suffered from dementia, was known to wander about the home.
The complaint alleges the nursing home was negligent and asks for unspecified damages.
A lawyer representing the nursing home denying the claims.
Vt nursing home sued in 2010 death  : Times Argus Online

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poor Nursing Home Care

Read a great letter from a dedicated but frustrated nurse commenting on the level of care in nursing homes today: "I’m a registered nurse and have 15 years of experience working in long-term care facilities in the area. The facilities are a disgrace to humankind.
The negligent care given to the geriatric population is sinful. The last facility I worked in for two years had more than 20 nurses come in with love in their hearts and quit with their hearts broken. The nurses usually have more than 25 patients to care for — passing medications, performing treatments, helping families and documenting the care being given, all with only the help of two certified nursing assistants, who provide the incontinent care and feeding and who help patients with bathing and passing fluids.
A lot of these health care personnel don’t move real fast and have to work two jobs because of their low wages. They also have families to care for at home.
Patients are supposed to receive treatments, some of them three times a day. They are lucky, however, if they receive one treatment. These facilities are charging Medicare and Medicaid for supplies and some patients are not getting their medications properly due to the large patient assignments the nurses and CNAs face."

The Daily Advance

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Disparate Nursing Home Care

The Chicago Police Department said it appeared to be a suicide. The Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner said it was an accident. But when 84-year-old Bennie Saxon fell four stories to his death May 4 at a predominantly black South Side nursing home, a lawyer retained by his family said it could be nursing home neglect.
An investigation by The Chicago Reporter found that the facility has the worst rating a nursing home can get–"three times the number of lawsuits of half of Chicago nursing homes–"and that residents get less than half the time each day with staff than residents at a predominantly white facility in Evanston operated by the same owner.
  Saxon, who had dementia, had been living at Alden Wentworth Rehabilitation and Health Care Center at 201 W. 69th Street in Greater Grand Crossing for about four weeks before his fatal fall, family members said. His family has retained an attorney to investigate whether Saxon received adequate care. "The law requires that [homes] take danger and fall precautions into account for people who are at risk for falling," the attorney said.

Murphy is awaiting autopsy reports and said a lawsuit could be filed within weeks. If so, it will be the 14th in Cook County court filed against the nursing home between 2004 and 2009, according to Cook County records obtained by the Reporter. That's more than three times the lawsuits than half of the city's 91 nursing homes; the median is four lawsuits.

At least one of those cases has been settled. In 2006, Alden Wentworth paid $600,000 related to the November 2000 death of Bernetta Hall, a disabled 46-year-old woman.
Disparate Nursing Home Care | The Chicago Reporter

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Verdict in Abuse Trial

A Des Moines County jury awarded $600,000 in wrongful death damages Thursday to the estate of a Yarmouth man who died while living at the Danville Care Center nursing facility in 2009.
The decision of the five-woman, three-man jury was far below the $15 million attorneys representing the estate of Gene Bozarth requested during closing arguments Wednesday in Des Moines County District Court.
Nursing home neglect Attorneys representing the Bozarths and Health Care of Iowa, owners of the Danville Care Center, could not be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon. Jurors left the courthouse about 4 p.m. after seven hours of deliberations without commenting on the verdict.
Court officials said the request for $15 million in damages is the largest single request in more than 25 years in a civil trial in Des Moines County District Court. 
Jurors continue deliberations

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nursing Home Resident Murdered

The estate of an 82-year-old woman killed at a Rock Hill assisted living home last year is suing the home and two employees.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports the elder abuse lawsuit says the crime could have been prevented.
Pauline Cook was found dead in her shower in November at OakBridge Terrace. Her death came the day after she reported to staff and police that someone had been forging her checks.
Braquette Walton was arrested in connection with Cook's death. Police said the nurse's aide later confessed to killing Cook and trying to cover up the crime. Walton faces several charges including murder and burglary. 

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Massachusetts nursing home worker charged with assault

An employee of a Massachusetts nursing home in Berkshire County is facing charges of trying to rape a resident.
The suspect pleaded not guilty Monday in Southern Berkshire District Court to charges of assault with intent to rape, assault and battery on a disabled person over 60 years of age and injury to a disabled or elderly person. He was ordered held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Police say the 46-year-old certified nursing assistant at the Laurel Lake Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Lee, was arrested Sunday in response to a complaint from another employee that a disabled elderly woman had been sexually assaulted in her room.
Lee nursing home worker charged with assault -

Friday, August 03, 2012

Nursing Home Employees charged

Prosecutors have filed drug-related charges against six employees at a nursing home in Sulphur.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says the employees are accused of calling in fraudulent prescriptions to pharmacies to obtain painkillers, including hydrocodone.
Bureau spokesman Mark Woodward says there's no evidence any residents were deprived of their medications — only that the prescriptions called in were fraudulent.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Elderly woman assaulted in nursing home break-in

A team of detectives is investigating the alleged indecent assault of a resident at a New South Wales nursing home.
Police say a man indecently assaulted a woman in her late 60s after he forced himself into her unit at an aged-care facility at Jewells, near Newcastle.
They say the woman struggled and screamed and managed to scratch the man's face before neighbours came to her aid.
Police Inspector Sam Crisafulli says the woman is in shock.
"It is disturbing and these sorts of things always are upsetting to police officers and the public. It's a horrible thing to happen at that stage of your life," he said.
Police say the man is around 5 foot 6 inches, unshaven, and smelt strongly of cigarette smoke.
Elderly woman assaulted in nursing home break-in - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Top brain specialist calls for ban on antipsychotic in elders

A senior neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center says many hospitals inappropriately use the antipsychotic Haldol "like water" in agitated elderly patients, putting them at risk for serious complications.
Dr. Louis Caplan, a neurology professor at Harvard Medical School, said a recent government report that found pervasive use of antipsychotic medications in elderly nursing home patents underscores the "overuse" problem with this class of drugs.
Caplan said Haldol is typically given to agitated patients to calm them quickly, but he said older patients, especially, can become over-sedated and stiff, putting them at risk for pulmonary and urinary infections, because they have trouble moving and couging.
"I would love to see Haldol banned from use in hospitals," Caplan said. "It has no role to play in hospitalized, agitated patients."
A report released this month by the Inspector General's Office of the federal Department of Health and Human Services found that 51 percent of Medicare claims for a newer class of antipsychotics, known as atypical, were prescribed inappropriately to nursing home patients.
The Inspector General reviewed medical records from 2007 and and found that 83 percent of Medicare claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs for elderly nursing home residents were associated with conditions not intended for that use. The report also found that 88 percent were associated with a condition that could produce serious side-effects, conditions for which federal regulators had specifically warned against such usage.
The use of such drugs is especially worrisome in nursing homes because a substantial number of residents suffer from dementia, a condition that puts them at greater risk of death when given antipsychotic medications.
The drugs were developed to treat people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, not dementia, which is the progressive loss of memory or other intellectual function than can result from aging or Alzheimer's disease.
Fderal regulators have issued nationwide alerts about troubling and sometimes fatal side effects when antipsychotics are taken by people with dementia, including increased confusion, sedation, and weight gain
Haldol is an earlier class of antipsychotic drugs, but Caplan said it's just as problematical.

Top brain specialist calls for ban on antipsychotic in elders

Sunday, July 22, 2012

High Fall Rates Among Short-Stay Nursing Home Patients

One in five short-stay nursing home patients sustains a fall after their admission, and certified nursing assistant (CNA) staffing is associated with decreased fall risk, according to a study led by USC researcher Natalie Leland. The study recently was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Though falls are unintentional, they hardly are insignificant: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports fall rates as a quality indicator, and falls of nursing home residents have been associated with greater morbidity, mortality and health care costs.
Leland, who holds joint appointments at the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the USC Davis School of Gerontology, and colleagues from Brown University analyzed the 2006 Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments of all first-time Medicare and Medicaid patients admitted to a nursing home

USC-Led Study Analyzes Fall Rates Among Short-Stay Nursing Home Patients | USC News

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Neglect is cited in nursing home death

A Red Wing nursing home neglected a resident in September when the man was placed in the wrong wheelchair, took a tumble and died from the fall, according to an Office of Health Facilities Complaints report made public Wednesday.
The resident of Red Wing Health Care Center had dementia and had a history of trying to get out of his wheelchair, which was fitted with a self-release seat belt and an alarm that sounded when the man stood up. A worker put the man in his roommate’s wheelchair one morning. Workers heard him fall and found him lying under the wheelchair. He sustained a neck fracture and a head wound and died at the hospital. The nursing home now places initials on wheelchairs and has told staff to read care plans
Neglect is cited in nursing home death |

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More Abuse In Kentucky Nursing Homes

In fiscal 2011, state adult protection workers determined that abuse and neglect probably had occurred in about 28 percent of cases they investigated involving residents of Kentucky's nursing homes.That is up from fiscal 2010, when workers substantiated probable abuse in 18 percent of investigations involving long-term care residents, according to a report from the state."These are very disturbing statistics, and they reinforce the fact that we've got to get serious about elder abuse in nursing homes in Kentucky," Bernie Vonderheide, founder of Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform said.The data comes from an annual report compiled in part by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, titled Elder Abuse in Kentucky. The report says social workers conducted 2,090 investigations of adult abuse and neglect in nursing homes, assisted-living homes and other long-term care centers last year. Abuse and neglect probably occurred in 583 investigations, according to the report. Multiple investigations can involve a single resident.

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Florence nurse charged with neglecting patient

A 54-year-old registered nurse has been arrested in connection with the death of a patient at a local nursing home.
Elizabeth Rush, of 816 Marion St., was arrested Tuesday and charged with neglect of a vulnerable adult, according to Florence County Detention Center booking reports.
Rush's arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation into the death of a 76-year-old nursing home patient, Florence Police Maj. Carlos Raines said.
The patient's roommate and another staff member at the nursing home told police they informed Rush that the victim was having chest pains and needed assistance but she did nothing to help. The patient later went into cardiac arrest and died, according to the arrest warrant.
Rush was released from the detention center on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond Tuesday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing, Raines said.

Feeding tubes may worsen pressure ulcer risk

A new study led by Brown University researchers reports that percutaneous endoscopic gastric (PEG) feeding tubes, long assumed to help bedridden dementia patients stave off or overcome pressure ulcers, may instead make the horrible sores more likely to develop or not improve.
The analysis of thousands of nursing home patients with advanced dementia appears in the May 14 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
“This study provides new information about the risks of feeding tube insertion in people with advanced cognitive impairment,” said lead author Dr. Joan Teno, a gerontologist and professor of health services, policy, and practice in the Public Health Program at Brown. “We see a substantial risk of people developing a stage II and higher pressure ulcer. We believe these risks should be discussed with family members before a decision is made to insert a feeding tube in a hospitalized nursing home resident with advanced cognitive impairment.”
In the new study, Teno and her team asked two basic questions: “How does having a gastric feeding tube affect the chances of preventing a stage II or greater pressure ulcer?” and “Does having a gastric feeding tube help heal an existing pressure ulcer?”
Previous studies, which were much smaller in scope, had produced inconclusive findings. By using a combination of federally gathered data from nursing homes and Medicare claims, the researchers essentially mimicked a randomized controlled trial through the use of “propensity match cohort” study. Over a particular timeframe, they compared thousands of patients with and without ulcers who received a feeding tube to three times as many statistically similar patients with and without ulcers who did not get a tube.

The risk of feeding tubes

What they found was that among patients who did not start with an ulcer, 35.6 percent of those with a feeding tube ended up with at least a stage II ulcer, while only 19.8 percent of patients without a feeding tube did. After statistical adjustment, they found that the chance of getting an ulcer was 2.27 times higher for people with feeding tubes than for those without. The risk of developing a more serious stage IV ulcer was 3.21 times higher for those with feeding tubes compared to hospitalized nursing home residents without a feeding tube.
Meanwhile, among patients who already had an ulcer, the researchers found that 27.1 percent of patients with a feeding tube saw short-term improvement, but 34.6 percent of those without a feeding tube experienced healing in a comparable timeframe. The adjusted odds of an ulcer getting better for people with a tube were 0.7 times as high for people without a tube, meaning their chances for improvement with a tube were less than for people without a tube.
The conventional wisdom among physicians — three-quarters of them according to one study — is that if anything, the nutrition delivered by feeding tubes should help patients resist ulcers. Perhaps with the idea of such a benefit in mind, physicians frequently don’t discuss the risks of feeding tubes with patients’ families, Teno has found.
The study did not measure how feeding tubes could cause ulcers, but Teno and her co-authors posit that because many patients become agitated by having a tube, they are often physically restrained and sedated with drugs. At the same time, feeding tubes can also increase the incidence of diarrhea. These circumstances, she said, may account for the development and worsening of pressure ulcers.
The new findings should lead doctors and families to ask more questions about whether feeding tubes are appropriate treatments, compared to careful hand feeding, for patients who have become so cognitively impaired that they can no longer eat independently, Teno said.
“To me this article is a game changer,” Teno said. “It provides solid evidence that there is a risk and that we need to discuss it. I’m hoping that people now can use this study to make better decisions in light of a patient’s goals and values.”
In addition to Teno, other authors of the paper were Pedro Gozalo, Sylvia Kuo, and Vincent Mor of Brown; Susan Mitchell of the Hebrew Senior Life Institute for Aging Research in Boston; and Ana Fulton of Butler Hospital.
The National Institute on Aging funded the study.
Feeding tubes may worsen pressure ulcer risk | Brown University News and Events

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Suit alleges neglect of residents at San Pablo nursing home

Five people have sued Creekside Health Care Center in San Pablo and its parent corporation, Mariner Health Care, alleging that patients in the nursing home are subjected to abusive conditions because of inadequate staffing levels.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by San Francisco law firm Stebner & Associates, alleges that Creekside residents are regularly left unattended for long periods, often in soiled garments, are overmedicated and develop preventable bed sores because of poor care.
The suit also alleges that inadequate staffing and security allowed a man visiting the facility to sexually assault four residents between January and May 2010.
Julio Mestre was arrested May 9, 2010, and later convicted of four counts of sexual battery on an institutionalized victim, according to the suit.
"During the assaults, residents screamed for help, sometimes for more than 30 minutes, but no one came," the lawsuit states.
"The reason for the lawsuit is to try to bring about change at this facility in a systemic way," attorney Kathryn Stebner said. "Our case includes small statutory damages, but the main focus is to force the owners of the facility to follow state and federal regulations."
Suit alleges neglect of residents at San Pablo nursing home - San Jose Mercury News

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Family alleges relative was victim of abuse at St. Louis nursing home

The family of a resident at a St. Louis County nursing home says their 68-year-old relative had to be taken to the hospital after suffering horrific injuries from alleged nursing home neglect. The news comes within days after a criminal elderly abuse investigation was launched against St. John’s Place.
While the Missouri Department of Health is not officially talking about the allegations, police have confirmed they were told of the incidents.
Gail Drmacich, the family member of a now former resident, saw a News 4 story and said she wanted to paint a troubling picture of what’s really going on inside the St. John’s Place facility.
“This is more neglect, I would say more neglect,” said Drmacich, who cleaned out her mother-in-law’s room out Tuesday. “She’s got bruises on her, could be from a fall I can’t tell you.”Another family alleges relative was victim of abuse at St. Louis County nursing home | St. Louis:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

National Quality Forum: Serious Reportable Events; Formerly "Never Events"

NQF: Serious Reportable Events: Preventing adverse events in healthcare is central to NQF's patient safety efforts. To ensure that all patients are protected from injury while receiving care, NQF has developed and endorsed a set of Serious Reportable Events (SREs). This set is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events, designed to help the healthcare field assess, measure, and report performance in providing safe care

Elderly woman claims she was sexually abused at nursing home

An elderly nursing home patient is staying in a New Albany nursing home after family transferred her for her own safety. The elderly woman claims she was sexually assaulted at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in Corydon, Ind. .

"Where this goes is unclear. I will say our victim is reported to have early onset dementia which makes things a little more challenging from the law enforcement side," Otto Schalk, Harrison County Prosecutor, said.
Serious allegations of elder sexual abuse were made by an 84-year-old woman. Schalk says despite her illness it's not something detectives take lightly. Corydon's Police Chief, James Kendall, and Indiana State troopers have Kindred Transitional Care in Corydon under a microscope.
The elderly woman said she was sexually abused in the nursing care facility at 150 Beechmont Drive, Monday of last week.

Elderly woman claims she was sexually abused at Corydon nursing home | Louisville:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nursing Supervisor Found Guilty Of Attempted Neglect

An Ohio nursing supervisor accused of failing to provide help for an injured resident of the Monroe County Care Center was found guilty on one count of attempted patient neglect Tuesday.
Kathy Schwaben pleaded no contest to the charge. A judge sentenced her to a suspended 10-day jail sentence and imposed fines and court costs. She will remain on required probation for one year.
Agents with the attorney general's health care fraud section began investigating Schwaben in August 2011.
Investigators said an 81-year-old patient was thrown from her wheelchair and sustained several fractures while riding in an MCCC van when its driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer.
The victim did not receive immediate medical treatment because Schwaben failed to perform a physical assessment of the woman after the crash, investigators said.
The investigation also showed that the woman was not properly secured in the seat of her wheelchair with a lap or shoulder restraint. Instead, an employee of the nursing facility used a bungee cord as a restraint by placing it across the front of her wheelchair’s arm rests.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On May 31, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an initiative to reduce the rampant misuse and overuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home facilities. The Center for Medicare Advocacy has been working to educate policy makers, advocates, and the public about the misuse of antipsychotic drugs for many years, and is part of an ad hoc coalition of advocates working with CMS and Congress to address the problem that both harms nursing home residents and costs the Medicare program billions of dollars.
CMS's press release announcing the "Partnership to Improve Dementia Care" describes several steps that CMS is taking:
  • Enhanced training: CMS has developed "Hand in Hand," a training series for nursing homes that emphasizes person-centered care, prevention of nursing home abuse, and high-quality care for residents. CMS is also providing training focused on behavioral health to state and federal surveyors;
  • Increased transparency: CMS is making data on each nursing home's antipsychotic drug use available on Nursing Home Compare starting in July of this year, and will update the data;
  • Alternatives to antipsychotic medication: CMS is emphasizing non-pharmacological alternatives for nursing home residents, including potential approaches such as consistent staff assignments, increased exercise or time outdoors, monitoring and managing acute and chronic pain, and planning individualized activities.
At the May 31, 2012 press briefing announcing the initiative, Shari M. Ling, M.D., CMS's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, identified additional CMS strategies – raising public awareness, strengthening regulatory oversight, and research. Dr. Ling said that residents' advocates working on the issue of antipsychotic drugs for many years had brought the issue to the forefront of public attention. She said, "We would not be here today without them."
Antipsychotic Drug Deficiencies Are Cited, But Enforcement Is Timid
Speaking earlier this month at a symposium on dementia care without drugs, sponsored by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), Jonathan Evans, M.D., a geriatrician and president-elect of the American Medical Directors Association, described the CMS plan as reasonable but primarily “‘an effort to try to educate people rather than to regulate.’” CANHR attorney Tony Chicotel agreed with the need for increased enforcement. The Center for Medicare Advocacy agrees with their concerns.
Since the Nursing Home Reform Law (enacted in 1987) was implemented in October 1990, federal law and its implementing regulations and guidance have contained strong restrictions on the use of antipsychotic drugs.  Two survey and enforcement issues, however, undercut the law's effectiveness.
1. "Level of Harm" Coding Assigns a Value to Deficiencies that is Too Low Either to Provide a Meaningful Sanction for Poor Care or to Lead to Better Facility Practices.
Although some drug deficiencies are cited each year, their significance is understated and undercoded. The federal enforcement system assigns a scope and severity level to each deficiency that is cited, using a federal scope and severity grid. The grid was published in 1994 as part of the final enforcement regulations.  There are four levels of severity. Two levels indicate no harm (substantial compliance and no harm) and two indicate harm (harm and immediate jeopardy). Generally, when states cite deficiencies at a no-harm level, no financial penalty is imposed.
State survey agencies typically cite antipsychotic drug deficiencies at the no-harm level. In fiscal year 2012, 1,213 unnecessary drug deficiencies, 42 C.F.R. §483.25(l), (F329), were cited nationwide. (F329 is the tag where antipsychotic drugs are cited.) However,
  • 1185 (98%) nationwide were cited at a no-harm level;
  • Only 13 deficiencies nationwide (0.01%) were cited at a harm level; and
  • Only 12 deficiencies nationwide (0.01%) were cited at the highest level of harm, immediate jeopardy.
As a consequence of the no-harm, no-penalty practice, FY2012 data show that most facilities cited with unnecessary drug deficiencies are unlikely to have had any financial penalty imposed.
2. The Financial Remedies that Have Been Imposed Are Trivial, In Light of the Seriousness of the Harm that Residents Suffered.
Recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Working Together to Curb Misuse of Powerful Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes || CMA

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Project to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing homes loses federal funding

"Massachusetts nursing homes, which recently pledged to lower their rate of antipsychotic use by 15 percent this year, found out Friday that they will not be receiving a coveted federal grant that would have helped fund the initiative to drive down inappropriate use of the powerful sedatives."
Project to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing homes loses bid for federal grant - Boston Medical News - White Coat Notes -

Friday, June 15, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2012 | The White House

Every American deserves the chance to live out the full measure of their days in health and security. Yet, every year, millions of older Americans are denied that most basic opportunity due to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we call attention to this global public health issue, and we rededicate ourselves to providing our elders the care and protection they deserve.
Victims of elder abuse are parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends. Elder abuse cuts across race, gender, culture, and circumstance, and whether physical, emotional, or financial, it takes an unacceptable toll on individuals and families across our Nation. Seniors who experience abuse or neglect face a heightened risk of health complications and premature death, while financial exploitation can rob men and women of the security they have built over a lifetime. Tragically, many older Americans suffer in silence, burdened by fear, shame, or impairments that prevent them from speaking out about abuse.

We owe it to our seniors to expose elder abuse wherever we find it and take action to bring it to an end. Two years ago, I was proud to sign the Elder Justice Act, which was included in the Affordable Care Act, and marked a major step forward in the fight against elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. With the Department of Health and Human Services, we are partnering with State and local authorities to ensure seniors can live their lives with dignity and independence. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are working to empower older Americans with tools and information to navigate safely through financial challenges. And with the Department of Justice, we are protecting older Americans by prosecuting those who would target and exploit them.

Every day, State and local agencies, protective services professionals, law enforcement officers, private and non profit organizations, and leaders throughout our communities help protect older Americans from abuse and provide care to those who have already been affected. Together, all of us can play a role in addressing this public health crisis that puts millions at risk. Today, let us keep faith with a generation of Americans by speaking out against elder abuse, advancing justice for victims, and building a Nation that preserves and protects the well being of all who call it home.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 15, 2012, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day by learning the signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and by raising awareness about this public health issue.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
Presidential Proclamation -- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2012 | The White House

Celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, individuals and organizations from across the world are urged to raise awareness of the various types of abuse to which older individuals are subjected. This year, take a stand in the fight against elder abuse and take a stand for dignity and respect of our elders.
To support the ongoing work that you’re doing to protect the rights of older people, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has made available a virtual ‘toolkit’ that includes creative ways your state and local communities can get involved in raising awareness of this issue, as well as support materials such as factsheets that can be handed out during your World Day activity. These materials are available at:
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care :: Celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Texas nurse aide bites Alzheimer's patient's

Then, in a moment of pointed retaliation, the witness “unequivocally testified” that the nurse aide bent over and bit the resident on the forehead, court documents say.
A medical assessment of the resident determined that she had a bite mark with two open skin wounds on her forehead.
The nurse aide said she didn’t bite the woman and that she fainted from the pain of being bitten. She argued that it was possible her teeth hit the resident as she raised her head and tried to stand up.

Read more here:
Arm to the teeth: Texas nurse aide bit on arm chomps Alzheimer's patient's head - Watchdog Bytes

Friday, June 01, 2012

Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for denial of care of patients

Health officials cited three Massachusetts hospitals in the past six months for wrongly sending away patients from their emergency rooms, in one case resulting in the death of a patient while en route to another facility.
In that episode, caregivers at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River failed to provide needed medical treatment before transferring the patient, who was unstable and in respiratory distress, state investigators concluded.
In a case at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, an on-call surgeon refused to come in late at night to perform an emergency operation on a patient with flesh-eating bacteria, investigators found. The patient was transferred to another hospital, and the surgeon no longer operates on patients at St. Vincent, hospital officials said.
Hospitals that break federal rules ensuring public access to emergency services can face especially tough sanctions. Flagrant or repeat violators risk losing their right to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, which can cost a hospital millions of dollars.
Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for inappropriate care of patients in emergency rooms

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursing Home Nightmare

"Kill me or let me die," were Alan's dying words, one month after the trauma of his forced eviction from a nursing home that didn't want him anymore. Those words still haunt my sister and I, knowing in our hearts the nursing home trauma killed him prematurely.
Alan (not his real name) was going to die anyway, terminally ill with Alzheimer's and Lewey Body dementias.
But dying in terror wasn't part of the plan. We never expected as prophetic, his WWII-generated fears as an orphan being "taken away by police."
We believe the living nightmare of his being"Baker-Acted" was the result of having to go on Medicaid.
Medicaid reimbursement to health care facilities is less than Medicare or private insurance. Nevertheless, we'd been assured a Medicaid-paid room would be available, as a current resident of the nursing home, once his Long Term Care insurance ran out.
We were wrong to believe them.
My sister and I shared a grim bond that Christmas day. Her husband Alan just died the day before. My husband died exactly ten years before, the day after.
We spent the day in stunned awareness of the painful irony.
This article isn't about us, however.
It's about advocacy.
My sister spent almost every day in the nursing home with Alan for two years. Caregivers relied upon her for help. I was there when she couldn't be. We did that and more. Still, this happened.
After the shock of Alan's death, anger set in.
The cruel acts perpetrated on him would not go unanswered. Many, fearing retribution if challenging caregivers, don't speak up and nothing changes.
Nursing Home Nightmare: Alan's Story Part II - Life in the Slow Lane

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attorney Hamill files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home

Hamill Law Office recently filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit in the Berkshire County, Massachusetts superior court on behalf of the Estate of John B. Satiro against Sweet Brook nursing home. Satiro was fatally injured by a fall at the Williamstown facility. Plaintiff Satiro was a resident of Sweet Brook transitional care and living center located at 1561 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Sweet Brook Transitional Care and Living Center is owned by Des Senior Care Holdings, LLC, of Fort Lee, NJ.
According to the complaint (Berkshire county docket # 2012-1248) filed by attorney Hamill, Satiro was injured when staff members dropped him from a hoyer lift while attempting to transport him.
Elder Advocate Attorney files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bridgewater nursing home sued by family of ill woman killed

The family of a Bound Brook woman killed trying to cross Route 22 in 2010 is suing the nursing care facility where she was living at the time.Anastasia Zavitsanos was a 74-year-old resident of Brandywine Assisted Living at Middlebrook Crossing when she “eloped” through a side door of the facility about 1:15 a.m. May 12, 2010, according to the lawsuit filed late last month in Superior Court in Somerville.
The lawsuit claims Zavitsanos, who was admitted to the facility in 2004, was known by the staff to suffer from schizophrenia, psychosis, short-term and long-term memory loss and to be “an elopement risk” who “wanders with exit-seeking behaviors.”
The lawsuit accuses the facility and its officers of negligence, deviation of standard care and gross neglect, improper management, resident rights violations and consumer fraud and seeks unspecified damages for Zavitsanos’ death.
Bridgewater nursing home sued by family of ill woman killed crossing Route 22 | |

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No procedure for flu detection at Nursing Home

A report into the nursing home where seven residents died following a flu outbreak has found there was no procedure for an early detection of influenza.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published a report into the Nazareth House nursing home, Fahan after nine elderly residents died between March 22 and April 8. Seven of the deaths have been classified as possibly caused by an influenza related illness.
Two inspections by HIQA found deficits in the standard of nursing home cleanliness and hygiene and the maintenance arrangements for equipment. A number of shower chairs and commodes were not in a satisfactorily clean condition and were rusty. The report was also critical of communication procedures at the home, which can accommodate 48 residents. It found that senior management was not communicated with in a timely manner and there was a lack of clarity and accountability about how information on the outbreak had been reported.
No procedure for early flu detection at Nazareth House - HIQA - Local - Donegal Democrat

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Holding VT. nursing home owners accountable

Glori Law and Susan Petrie's father was living in a nursing home just 10 days when they learned he was being attacked by another resident who was mentally unstable.
"My dad had bruises on his face when he was in the funeral home," Law said. They later discovered it wasn't a first time offense. "This person was quite violent and had been doing this. There were a lot of people that had been attacked," Petrie said. A medical examiner ruled the attacks were the cause of their father's death.
But on Tuesday there was change in the nursing home law. "Today is closure," Petrie said. "I felt very guilty because I was the one who made the decision for him to go into the nursing home."
Holding nursing home owners accountable - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nursing Home Owner Cheats Government, Neglects Residents

Not enough food for nursing home residents. Little air conditioning or heat. Roofs leaking to the point that barrels and plastic sheets were used to catch rain water. Trash that piled up in dumpsters. Flies and rodents everywhere, along with rampant mold and mildew.
These were just some of the abusive conditions that elderly residents of three Georgia nursing homes lived under for several years.
The primary culprit: the owner of these nursing homes who, despite having received more than $32.9 million in payments from Medicare and Medicaid for residents’ care, elected to pocket much of the money instead.
FBI — Nursing Home Abuse: Owner Cheats Government, Neglects Residents

Monday, May 14, 2012

Camera Catches Abuse in Nursing Home

A woman used a high-resolution video surveillance camera to record a nurse beating her mother in a nursing care home. She placed the camera in her mother's room after she noticed she had bruises on her arms and hands only six weeks after moving into the home.
The camera disguised as a table clock, caught Jonathan Aquino, 30, hitting the old woman six times on the face, arms and abdomen. Another footage showed the old woman, who had severe arthritis, being man-handled by caregivers. The Daily Mail reports Aquino was jailed for 18 months for assault, and four other staff at the care home were sacked after Jane Worroll showed the nursing home manager footage of nursing staff abusing her 81-year-old mother, Mary Worroll, at the care home.
Read more:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nursing home residents with dementia improperly given antipsychotics

From April 29th Boston Globe: an article about excessive medication of our nursing home elders who should not be on anti-pyschotic med:
"Ledgewood Nursing home is one of many nursing homes that have commonly used antipsychotic drugs to control agitation and combative behavior in residents who should not be receiving the powerful sedatives. Nineteen percent of such Ledgewood residents - those without a diagnosis for which the drugs are recommended - received the medications, anyway, exposing them to the risk of dangerous side effects.
“There is a lot of guilt about putting your mom in a nursing home, and I felt I made a competent choice,’’ Weingartner said. “I wish that what I know now, I would have known then.’’
The situation she encountered at Ledgewood is alarmingly common in Massachusetts and across the nation, a Globe investigation has found. Federal data show that roughly 185,000 nursing home residents in the United States received antipsychotics in 2010 contrary to federal nursing home regulators’ recommendations - often elderly people like Murphy who have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
The drugs, which are intended to treat severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, can leave people in a stupor. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued black-box warnings - the agency’s most serious medication alert - about potentially fatal side effects when antipsychotics are taken by patients with dementia.
Nursing home regulators have for years collected data about individual homes’ use of antipsychotics but have not publicly released facility-specific information, citing patient privacy concerns. The government finally provided the data to the Globe, 19 months after the newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
The data show that in more than one in five nursing homes in the United States, antipsychotics are administered to a significant percentage of residents despite the fact that they do not have a psychosis or related condition that nursing home regulators say warrants their use. The proportion of homes using antipsychotic drugs in this fashion is even higher in Massachusetts

Nursing home residents with dementia often given antipsychotics despite health warnings - The Boston Globe

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nursing home violence

Two years into the state's fight to close a troubled South Side nursing home, the facility remains open and even has successfully booted out two state-appointed monitors who were installed to ensure patient safety.
Police reports and state health department inspections allege a pattern of patient-on-patient violence at the Rainbow Beach Care Center, a 200-bed facility that houses and treats indigent adults with mental illness.
In the most serious episode in July, two male residents were accused of pinning down a 45-year-old female patient and raping her. When police arrived at Rainbow Beach to investigate that allegation, they learned that the two men had allegedly attempted to sexually assault a second seriously disabled female resident just weeks before.
The state, which had moved to revoke the facility's license in April 2010, placed monitors at Rainbow Beach in the wake of those attacks. But earlier this year, an attorney for the facility persuaded a Cook County judge to issue a temporary restraining order barring them from the premises.
State authorities say the push-back from Rainbow Beach underscores how vigorously some nursing home operators are using the courts to contest enforcement efforts, even as the industry presses for legislation that patient advocates say could water down nascent state reforms.
Nursing home violence: Troubled Chicago facility expelled two state monitors -

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Consumer Group Bashes SNF Industry for Inferior Care Despite “Astonishing” Profits

Nursing homes remained “highly profitable” despite Medicare reimbursement cuts, but they’re still providing inferior elder care, says citizen advocacy organization Families for Better Care—a claim that the American Health Care Association (AHCA) was quick to counter.
Despite “astonishing” recent nursing home earnings reports for publicly traded nursing homes, resident care remains “mediocre at best” with too many residents troubled by untreated pressure sores, falls, abuse, or other negligent medical practices, contends Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care.
“The industry’s analysts framed the Medicare adjustment as an eventual doomsday for the nation’s nursing home market. But the industry’s own reports show quite the opposite, revealing surging revenues, strong profits, and expansion through acquisitions,” said Lee in a statement. “The industry is wallowing in strong profits while failing to consistently provide quality care.”
Even after the average 11.1% Medicare cuts to skilled nursing facility payments that went into effect last October, the industry remained a “thriving enterprise” with many companies reporting better than expected operating results, according to Lee. The resident advocacy organization cited one company’s annual revenues spiking nearly 200%, while another called 2011 an “exceptional year.”
“The reason care declines in nursing homes is that executives unnecessarily target labor costs to offset any reimbursement adjustments,” Lee said. “While this obviously maintains a robust bottom line for investors and cushy CEO salaries, the decline in frontline staff puts residents in jeopardy for harm while simultaneously creating dangerous working conditions for employees.”
A study released last November shows a steady decline in nursing hours for Medicare-licensed facilities and what Families for Better Care calls an unacceptably high level of deficiencies.
Consumer Group Bashes SNF Industry for Inferior Care Despite “Astonishing” Profits : Senior Housing News

Sunday, May 06, 2012

“If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it.” Part 1 | Pat

Incomplete documentation can dramatically affect a malpractice case. In the ideal world all pertinent observations and interventions are recorded. But is “If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it” true? For a variety of reasons, medical records may be incomplete. Emergency situations, such as cardiac arrests, often result in gaps in documentation as patient needs take priority. Ideally the nurse tries to record detailed notes after the emergency is over, but this does not always happen because the nurse must direct attention to the other patients who took a back seat to the crisis. Sketchy documentation complicates the defense of a case and provides the plaintiff’s attorney with an opportunity to advance theories of liability.
Plaintiff’s attorneys may use the phrase, “If you didn’t chart it, you didn’t do it to convince the jury that essential care was not given. Defense attorneys sometimes attempt to preempt the anticipated attack on the nurse’s credibility or documentation. This is brought up on direct examination of the nurse during trial by having the nurse testify about the impossibility of recording every detail or observation of the patient. Another defense technique is to have the nurse testify about the nurse’s usual practice which may or may not be recorded in the medical record.
Missing documentation coupled with a poor outcome complicates the defense of cases no matter what strategy is employed, and it provides the plaintiff with an opportunity to successfully argue that care was not rendered. In the case below, the nurses could not prove they contacted the physician, if they did.
The plaintiff, age sixty-three, suffered a back injury and could not to return to work as a nurse. She decided to have an anterior approach lumbar fusion of the spine. This was to include surgery to the spine from the front of the body and then a day or two later, surgery from the back. For the anterior approach the plaintiff’s abdomen was opened and her internal organs were moved in order to get to the spine. After surgery the plaintiff had fluctuating blood pressure and no pulse in the left leg. The nurses noted the lack of pulse in the leg but did nothing about it.
The next morning, when Dr. Brown arrived to perform the second part of the surgery, he discovered her problems and had her rushed for a CT scan which showed internal bleeding in her abdomen and a blockage of the artery which supplies blood to the left leg. The plaintiff was transferred to another hospital by helicopter, but the surgeons there were unsuccessful in salvaging the leg and an above-knee amputation was performed. The plaintiff had been unaware of the problem with the leg overnight due to being heavily medicated. The plaintiff’s abdomen took four years to heal because the surgical incision wouldn’t fully close due to the swelling of her organs and the internal bleeding. The plaintiff also had infections and required repeated surgeries to repair the damage to her abdomen. The matter settled for $5.25 million. (1)
Good documentation is consistent, concise, chronological, continuing, and reasonably complete. (2)
“If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it.” Part 1 | Pat

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Long-term care facilities seniors at higher risk for assaults

It's always a tough decision to put a loved one in a nursing home. For Sandra Croteau it was made even more difficult by the fact that her mother had recently died and her 58-year old developmentally disabled brother, Keith, had taken a turn for the worst.
"Him and my mom were very close and he just went downhill (after she died). He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't wash, his life skills were gone" she said.
After much thought, Sandra placed her brother in a long-term care facility in Sudbury, Ont. She found a room at Extendicare York, a home normally reserved for the frail and elderly, but she didn't have any other options.
"We didn't know what else to do" she said.
On January 24, 2007 Keith was brutally assaulted and killed by his roommate, Bryan Belliveau. Croteau discovered too late that her brother's roommate was a 55-year old man diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia, psychopathic personality disorder, who had a history of not complying with his medication. Years after the murder, Sandra Croteau also learned that Belliveau was on a suicide watch.
"He's on suicide watch and they were arguing and nobody comes? Who was watching him?" she said.
Sandra believes the long-term care system needs an overhaul so that this type of tragedy doesn't happen again: "The system failed my brother and also failed Bryan. He should not have been there either. " she said.
W5 asked Extendicare what changes have been made to make their homes safer since Croteau's murder. Rebecca Scott, Director, Communications and Government Relations at Extendicare Inc. responded by email.  "We are all deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at Extendicare York in 2007," said Scott.
W5 asked Extendicare if they had increased staffing in their homes to prevent future tragedies. They wouldn't comment directly on staffing numbers but said they have taken steps to increase safety in the home.  "Since 2007, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to assist in preventing something like this from happening again," wrote Scott.
Common problem
Resident-to-resident abuse in long-term care is far more common than you might think. Through access to information, W5 obtained the number of resident-to-resident assaults in Ontario nursing homes. There were 1,788 incidents in 2010.
The statistics include everything from shoving and pushing to, choking, punching and even sexual assaults. With the help of a statistician, W5 analyzed the data and discovered that the rate of assault in long-term care is four times higher than in the population at large.

Pat Masters has first-hand knowledge of those statistics. Her father was assaulted by a fellow resident at The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre in Ottawa.
The person who attacked Pat's father wasn't a typical frail and elderly nursing home resident. Pat describes him as a man in his 70s who was diagnosed with aggressive dementia.
"He was a very physically fit individual. He had no weakness in how he walked. (He was) a very vigorous man," she said.
Experts argue that residents with aggressive behaviours should not be placed in care facilities alongside the frail elderly. However, with the closure of psychiatric hospitals and group homes, there really is nowhere else for these patients to go.
The CEO of the Perly and Rideau Veteran's Health Centre, Greg Fougere, acknowledges that resident-to-resident altercations can occur but, in an interview with W5, insisted that they are not a common event at his facility. However he does admit that nursing homes in general need more staff to deal with these new and challenging patients.   "We don't have enough staff to provide as much care as we would like to. And really our seniors deserve it," said Fougere.
In order to ensure her father's safety at the Veteran's Health Centre Pat is now paying an extra $63,000 a year for a personal support worker to take care of him. She's one of the lucky few that can afford it.
"I'm happy and able to do it. What about those people who aren't able to do it? What do they do?"
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