Sunday, April 28, 2013

$900,000 for death at Kirkland adult-family home

For 22 days, caregivers at a Kirkland adult-family home guarded a secret.
An elderly woman at Houghton Lakeview nursing home suffered from pressure sores that had burrowed to the bone. No one called her family. No one alerted a doctor.
The state of Washington harbored a secret, too.
Investigators had cited Houghton Lakeview 33 times for inadequate care and substandard conditions. Two caregivers were convicted felons, barred from such work. Two others had forged nursing credentials. The public was never warned — nor were the residents in the home.
By the time the woman was rushed to the emergency room, it was too late. Jean Rudolph, 87, a retired nursing educator who had Alzheimer's disease, died in 2008 from untreated pressure sores.
The state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the owner's insurance company agreed to a $900,000 settlement this week with the Rudolph family.
This rare settlement reveals a state regulatory system torn between dual roles: booster of the industry as a way to control costs, as well as enforcer of its failings. With rising numbers of low-income seniors in need of long-term care, Washington and dozens of states are banking on these residential facilities as alternatives to more costly nursing homes.$900,000 for death at Kirkland adult-family home | Local News | The Seattle Times

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