Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nursing home abuse case caught on tape at the Quadrangle in Haverford, Pa.

Mary and Paul French of Havertown spoke for the first time Tuesday about a case of alleged nursing home abuse caught on videotape.
The victim was Mary's mother, 78-year-old Lois McCallister.
"We are furious," said Paul French, "at watching someone you love being beaten and being abused."
"She is not the type to fight back," said Mary French. "If you look at the tape she was just trying to get away."
Last month, three staffers from the Quadrangle in Haverford were arrested. Citing negligence and misconduct, state officials in Harrisburg revoked the facility's license on Friday. The upscale facility remains open during an appeal.
Mark Ordan, the CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., which operates the Quadrangle, said what occurred was an isolated incident.
"We had three rogue employees," he told Action News. "We were shocked. We were angry that people would do something like that. We have we have been 1000 percent cooperative with the authorities."
Cooperative? Not so, says the Frenches' attorney. He says Sunrise was required to report early abuse complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW).
"They were supposed to report to the government," said attorney Robert Mongeluzzi. "But they didn't."
Sunrise Senior Living has been in hot water before. On Tuesday, a spokesperson with the DPW said the company has had a long history of regulatory violation in Pennsylvania.
Last year, Sunrise promised the state it would take steps to improve its culture of care, to put residents first. It claims it does.
"We have 30 thousand people taking care of 40 thousand seniors," said Ordan. "And we put them first."
Lois McCallister is now living with Mary and Paul French. The family says Sunrise ignored their initial complaints of abuse, dismissing them as a manifestation of McCallister's Alzheimer's Disease. They hope a lawsuit they plan to file will change how Sunrise treats future complaints.
"They have to follow those rules and do something about it," said Mary French.
"Maybe the next family that comes forward, they will do something about it, rather than blame it on dementia," said Paul French.

Lawsuit planned in nursing home abuse case caught on tape at the Quadrangle in Haverford, Pa.

Elders suffer from poor nursing-home staffing in Kentucky

"Dental neglect at nursing home; poor staffing a problem across state"
oral care in most nursing homes in Kentucky is atrocious, and this kind of abuse and neglect is still another example of how the nursing home industry refuses to hire enough caregivers to take care of their residents.
Why is this? What's going on here where the most vulnerable of our population, our poor elderly citizens, are being mistreated day in and day out?
The answer is one word: greed.
Many of these nursing homes are owned by big corporations, many run by fat cats on Wall Street or far away from the nursing facility, where the only important report to hit their desks is the profit-and-loss statement.
Advocates for nursing home reform have been telling government leaders this for years. In Kentucky, however, no one seems to listen, or lawmakers who could help are persuaded by generous donations to their re-election campaigns not to act.
It's also a shame that the sometimes total disrespect of the elderly in these facilities by the bosses and big corporate owners reflects on the many nursing home workers who go all out to try to help
Long hours and hard work are big problems for anyone brave enough to sign on to be a nursing home caregiver.
So something's got to be done. But how?
We know we need minimum staffing standards for nursing homes in Kentucky. They would help eliminate the abuse and neglect. They would, for example, ensure that there would be sufficient front-line staff to provide oral health care to all the residents of a facility.
What would these state staffing standards look like? They would force the nursing homes to hire the number of people necessary to provide for a ratio of one direct caregiver to every five residents on the day shift, one to 10 in the evening, and one to 15 at night.
Much research has gone into such ratios on whether they will work, and the conclusions are that they provide better nursing-home care.
Read more: suffer consequences of poor nursing-home staffing Op-Ed