Nursing home staff member faces accusations of sexual abuse

In another case of staff member nursing home sexual abuse, a 44 year-old nurse’s aide has been charged with first-degree rape. The Vermont nursing home issued a statement stating that another staff member discovered the nursing home abuse assault.

For the full article.

Nursing home abuse victim left a note at her deathbed

In a follow-up from a previous post, the 50 year-old resident who died because employees allowed her oxygen tank to run out left a note implicating the employees in the nursing home abuse. The nursing home is being charged with the resident’s death.

For the full article.

Mother of nursing home resident sues over nursing home sexual abuse

The woman of a brain-damaged daughter who was raped by a nurse’s aide at a Texas nursing home has brought a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the owners of four Texas nursing homes where the man worked. The lawsuit alleges that they failed to check his background or report his abusive treatment and sexual misconduct.

For the full article.

Provena Cor Mariae Center – Rockford, Illinois – 12/28/06

The home neglected to ensure that a resident received medications prescribed by his doctor. The medication received another patient’s prescription medications. The facility also failed to properly monitor the resident who eventually died.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Pekin Manor – Pekin, Illinois – 12/28/06

The home was fined $56,000 for failure to investigate similarities in incidents involving side rails and low air loss mattresses. Residents suffered injuries after falling at the home. One resident died after becoming trapped between the side rail and the mattress.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Fire safety: more product recalls

1. Boilers: Crown Boiler Co. has voluntarily recalled about 400 Bermuda BSI and Cayman CWI Series Gas Boilers. The boilers can generate excessive levels of carbon monoxide in the flue gases, posing a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information.
2. Remote-control helicopter toys: ThinkGeek Inc. has voluntarily recalled about 1600 remote-control dragonfly king HX-242 helicopters. The battery can overheat and catch fire, posing a burn hazard. For more information.
3. Vehicle navigation and entertainment system batteries.: The Clarion Corporation of America has voluntarily recalled about 2500 Batteries in Clarion N.I.C.E. P200 Navigation and Entertainment Systems. The lithium-ion batteries in these units can melt or overheat posing burn and fire hazards. For more information.
4. Christmas light sets: Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. has voluntarily recalled about 2.3 million sets of Hobby Lobby Christmas Light Sets. The lights have undersized wires which can separate from the plugs and/or the light sockets, posing an electric shock and fire hazard to consumers. For more information.

Pharmaceutical company promoted unapproved use of drugs

In a follow up to a recent post about Eli Lilly’s techniques of “playing down” the health risks associated with its Zyprexa drug, it appears that Eli Lilly also promoted unapproved use of the drug to physicians.

The pharmaceutical company’s files showed that Eli Lilly encouraged physicians to use Zyprexa for patients who did not have either of the conditions that it primarily treats (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). In the marketing campaign, called Viva Zyprexa, Lilly told its sales representatives to suggest that doctors prescribe the drug to older patients with symptoms of dementia. This sort of elder abuse is particularly worrisome because adverse drug reactions are between the 4th and 6th leading causes of death for individuals 65 and older in the United States.

For the full article.

Tougher warning labels needed on pain relievers

Last week, the FDA proposed tougher warning labels for acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, cautioning the millions of users of potentially dangerous side effects. The over-the-counter drugs remain safe and effective when used as directed; however, misuse and overdoses can cause serious liver damage, even death.

The risks of serious side effects for these over-the-counter medications are higher in patients older than 59 years old and especially high for elderly patients. As mentioned in a previous article, adverse drug reactions alone are between the 4th and 6th leading causes of death for individuals 65 and older in the United States.

For the full article.

Nursing home employees being blamed in death of 50 year-old resident

The Michigan state’s attorney recently alleged that a woman died at a nursing home because employees allowed her oxygen tank to run out, then tried to cover it up. Five former employees of the nursing home are being charged with nursing home abuse in the death of the 50 year-old woman.

For the full article.

Elderly patients often go untreated for cancer-related pain

A recent Italian study reported that elder patients may be under-treated for pain. Although it is commonly believed that older patients are more susceptible to adverse effects to painkillers than younger patients, it may not be the case. The researchers showed that while older patients experienced worse distress while the dose was being adjusted, the distress improved after a stable dose was reached. The study concluded with the belief that the fear of a higher risk of adverse effects in elderly patients is unwarranted and may lead to the under-treatment of pain.

For the full article.

Long-term care planning website released by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The website released by the Department of Health and Human Services is designed to help consumers plan for long-term care. The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Website provides information about long-term care, services, and financing options. Since most older Americans have misconceptions about U.S. long-term care financing, this website is a welcome resource.

To access the website.

AARP report shows that most older Americans do not understand U.S. long-term care financing system

According to a recent AARP study, most older Americans misconceive that government programs pay for nursing-home care. The study also showed that most have no idea how much long-term care facilities cost. It is important that people realize how costly long-term care is so that they can set plans in place in advance to prevent being overwhelmed in the future.

For the full report.

Nursing home employees charged with nursing home abuse and neglect

An Ohio nursing home 59 year-old resident began having chest pains early Monday morning. Other residents attempted to find her help, but nobody could find the nurse or two aides that were supposed to be on duty. Luckily, the residents called 911.

The nurses left the unit unattended for several hours, acting in a wreckless manor. In this case of nursing home abuse and neglect, police have charged three workers with patient neglect.

For the full article.

Meadowbrook Manor – Bolingbrook, Illinois – 12/22/06

The home negligently failed to properly supervise a resident who was smoking while receiving oxygen. This neglect resulted in the resident being hospitalized for second and third degree burns. The home was fined $20,000 as a result of the burn injury.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

18th Annual NAPSA Conference: Call for Submissions

The 18th Annual NAPSA Conference will be held from September 5-7, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia. They are currently accepting proposals for submissions on presentation topics. The possible presentation topics cover a variety of law, including nursing home abuse and neglect. The deadline for submission is February 16, 2007.

For more information.

Three Illinois nursing homes named in nursing home abuse lawsuit

Three Rockford-area nursing homes are accused of Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect. The allegations include violations that the employees of the nursing homes knowingly gave less care to each patient than the minimum that Illinois requires.

For the full article.

Somerset Place – Chicago, Illinois – 12/21/06

The home neglected to provide adequate supervision and prevent elopement. A resident who requires constant supervision was left unattended and was found injured on the street by police. The resident was taken to the hospital with a fractured wrist and forearm.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Nursing home’s negligence blamed for November fire that killed three elderly residents

California state inspectors recently stated that the deaths of three elderly residents at a nursing home last month resulted from the nursing home negligence of its owners and employees. The California Department of Social Services has revoked the license of the owners to operate the home that caught fire in November.

Employees at the home allowed a resident with dementia to have access to a match and lighter the night of a fire, the state alleges. Employees also allowed the same resident to smoke in her room. Both of these allegations of nursing home neglect violate state regulations. Additionally, employees did not ensure that auditory devices for monitoring the facility were working. The state wants to ensure that all residents are accorded safe and comfortable accommodations, free from nursing home abuse and neglect.

For the full article.

Railroad crossings: dangerous and not enough regulatory enforcement

A recent American Association for Justice (AAJ) article exposed the dangerous accident rates associated with railroad crossings. Here are some startling statistics: A person is 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision with another motor vehicle. There were approximately 3,000 rail crossing accidents in 2003; of those 3,000, only 4 were fully investigated in 2003 by federal authorities.

AAJ urges you to contact the Federal Railroad Administration, which is responsible for enforcing safety regulation, as well as conducting research and development to improve railroad safety. The Agency accepts comments from the public to support its research and development.

For the full article.

Embassy Care Center – Wilmington, Illinois – 12/20/06

In a case of nursing home abuse and neglect, the home failed to supervise residents who were identified or met the criteria of high risk for falls. This failure resulted in several residents suffering falls that required hospital treatments.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Claremont Rehab & Living Center – Buffalo Grove, Illinois – 12/20/06

The facility failed to supervise a resident at high risk for falls. This failure resulted in the resident suffering a fall, then dying. The facility has requested a hearing on the Department’s action.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Nursing home pharmacy webcasts now available online

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists now has available two informative webcasts about the Nursing Home Survey Guidelines. One of the webcasts revolves around nursing home abuse in pharmacy services and unnecessary medications.

To access the webcasts.

Study highlights seniors’ high risk for disability, death, and illness from medication-related problems

Adverse drug reactions alone are between the 4th and 6th leading causes of death for individuals 65 and older in the United States. Medication-related problems can be categorized into eight categories: untreated conditions; drug use without indications; improper drug selection; subtherapeutic dosage; overdosage; drug interactions; failure to receive medication; and adverse drug reactions.

The study showed that seniors are affected by medication-related problems by causing, aggravating, or contributing to common and costly geriatric problems.

For the full study report.

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires better and more extensive training for use of restraints on residents

Nursing home workers who employ physical restraints and seclusion when treating residents and patients must undergo new, more rigorous training to assure the appropriateness of the treatment and to protect patient rights. The new training should help nursing home residents who may suffer from nursing home abuse when employees forcefully place restraints on residents.

For the full article.

Nursing home abuse alleged at New York nursing home

The New York state Health Department is investigating conditions at a nursing home following an allegation of nursing home abuse. Complaints have surfaced that an employee abused residents in an area of the nursing home where the residents suffered from dementia. The employee who was allegedly abusive to the residents was fired on Monday.

For the full article.

68 year-old man missing after wandering from nursing home

A resident of a North Carolina nursing home is still missing after wandering from the nursing home on Friday. The 68 year-old left the nursing home on Friday evening. He was last seen around 3 p.m. on December 16 in Etowah. He had hitchhiked along U.S. 64. The man’s wife also resides in the nursing home.

For the full article.

Fire safety series: more product recalls

Pressure cookers: Innova, Inc. is voluntarily recalling about 1,450 Ultrex-brand Pressure Cookers. The pressure cooker’s lid can open while its contents are under pressure, allowing the hot contents to be expelled and causing burn injuries to bystanders. For more information.

Air conditioners: The Trane Co. has voluntarily recalled about 10,580 PTEE and PTHE Series Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTACs). Wiring problems can cause the units to overheat and smoke. For more information.

Fired nursing home nurse sues nursing home operator

A Maine nurse is suing a nursing home operator, charging that she was fired for reporting nursing home abuse and neglect. The lawsuit states that the nurse called the Department of Health and Human Services to report nursing home neglect to a patient who had broken his hip. The nurse had learned from a co-worker that the man had fallen almost five hours earlier and had been put back in his bed without an assessment. The nurse alleges that she was fired in retaliation for doing the right thing and reporting nursing home abuse and neglect.

For the full article.

Leading government Alzheimer’s researcher charged with criminal conflict of interest

Last week, federal prosecutors charged a leading government Alzheimer’s researcher with engaging in a criminal conflict of interest. The researcher, working for the National Institute of Health (NIH), had earned $285,000 in private consulting fees from a pharmaceutical giant. The researcher stands accused of performing consulting work for Pfizer Inc. that improperly overlapped with his government duties.

This charge comes after the government announced tougher ethical restrictions on NIH researchers to avoid such conflicts of interest where employees were making significant money from consulting with pharmaceutical firms. If convicted, this researcher faces a maximum of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

For the full article.

Nursing home abuse and neglect victim awarded $3.2 million by a jury

A quadriplegic who suffered severe nursing home abuse and neglect at a Denver nursing home was awarded more than $3.2 million by a jury of his peers yesterday. The 41 year-old resident developed severe bed sores while at the nursing home. Additionally, the 41 year-old man was dropped on his neck and burned on his chest.

For the full article.

Ex-nursing home owner indicted on 26 charges gets free lawyer

One of the brothers who owned Massachusetts nursing homes and was indicted on a total of 26 charges, including nursing home abuse and neglect, theft of patients’ personal funds, embezzlement, Medicaid fraud and others, will be receiving a free lawyer. The man has been ruled indigent and will receive free legal assistance from a court-appointed lawyer.

For the full article.

How to select a nursing home

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is incredibly difficult, especially with fears of nursing home abuse and neglect. A California newspaper recently featured an article about how to choose a nursing home. They state the following helpful tips: ask friends and doctors for recommendations; visit the home and observe interactions between staff and residents; smell for foul odors which should not be common; observe organized activities; ask about accreditations; and remain involved after admittance.

For the full article.

Judge offers to mediate nursing home case

In a follow up to a previous post about a Kentucky nursing home that was losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding due to nursing home abuse and neglect, a U.S. district judge has volunteered to serve as a mediator. The judge states that with the holidays soon approaching, he does not want residents to be left with nowhere to stay.

For the full article.

William L. Dawson Nursing Home – Chicago, Illinois – 12/8/06

The home has been fined $45,000 for failures to prevent neglect. Staff failed to monitor residents in regard to pressure sores, identify new pressure sores, asses and provide treatment for pressure sores and obtain a doctor’s order before treating pressure sores.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Tearful Alabama judge dismisses nursing home abuse charge

The prosecutor in the case brought criminal charges of sexual assault against a nursing home nurse’s aide. The nursing home abuse and neglect victim, a 90 year-old nursing home resident, was attacked in October 2003. She suffered a black eye, finger-shaped bruising on her arm and bruises on her inner thighs. An examination indicated that she had been raped and suffered internal injuries. Because the 90 year-old suffers from dementia, she was unable to identify her attacker.

The judge tearfully dismissed the cases stating “I must rule based on law, regardless of how I feel.” The prosecutors were unable to meet the burden of proof.

Earlier this year, the family of the 90 year-old victim reached a settlement in a civil suit against the Alabama nursing home.

For the full article.

Manorcare at Elk Grove Village – Elk Grove Village, Illinois – 12/6/06

The facility has been fined $22,500 for failure to provide the necessary care and services to a resident who required medication. Staff neglected to provide medication to the resident for more than two weeks, which led to the hospitalization of the resident.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Lynhaven – Granite City, Illinois – 12/6/06

In an example of nursing home abuse and neglect, the home failed to implement its own policies and procedures for the monitoring of patients and prevention of neglect. As a result, a resident wandered into a restricted area, fell from a loading dock and later died.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Bloomington Rehab & Healthcare Center – Bloomington, Illinois – 12/6/06

The facility failed to activate the emergency medical response system. Staff found a resident unresponsive but did not honor an advance directive to resuscitate the resident, who died.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Astoria Gardens & Rehab Center – Astoria, Illinois – 12/6/06

The facility failed to prevent a medication error when staff gave a resident ten times the amount of the ordered does. Staff also failed to notify the resident’s doctor about the overdose. The resident died two days later.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

9 employees arrested during NY surveillance for nursing home abuse

9 employees of a Queens nursing home have been arrested for nursing home abuse and neglect after a hidden camera revealed evidence of widespread patient neglect and falsification of patient records. Among those arrested was a physician who served as the medical director of the nursing home, two licensed practical nurses, and 6 nurse aides.

The secret camera was installed in only one patient’s room and found all of the following incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect: the patient did not consistently receive the physician-ordered physical therapy; the patient went without re-positioning that is required to avoid pressure sores; the patient did not receive assistance in eating and often went without food or drink; and the patient did not receive medications as prescribed.

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Update: employees fighting nursing home abuse charges and retaining licenses

The 3 former nursing home employees from Michigan accused of nursing home abuse in mistreating the corpse of a nursing home resident are appealing a ruling to uphold the misdemeanor charges. A witness to the nursing home abuse states that she had heard about similar behavior by the 3 employees in the past but had never witnessed it. The women were fired from the nursing home, but have retained their licenses.

For the full article.

Illinois nursing home roof collapses from snow and injures residents

A roof weighed down by the heavy snow collapsed into an Illinois nursing home cafeteria in Peoria on Friday night. Luckily, a quick-thinking staff member was there and heard the structure begin to fall. The staff member evacuated dozens of people before the collapse. 4 nursing home residents were injured with cuts and bruises, but remarkably there were no fatalities or serious injuries. Around 170 people were in the building at the time of the collapse.

For the full article.

Former supervisor admits to sexually assaulting nursing home resident

In another case of nursing home abuse and neglect, a 77 year-old former groundskeeper of a Pennsylvania nursing home pled guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting a 92 year-old resident. The resident suffered from dementia and used a wheelchair. The 77 year-old former supervisor had previously claimed that the relationship was consensual. The resident-victim passed away about two months after charges were filed in the case. The former supervisor faces a maximum of 22 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

For the full article.

Nursing home aides accused of mistreating corpse

3 former workers at a Michigan nursing home stand accused of mistreating the body of a deceased woman. The 3 nursing home aides admit that they posed for photographs with the corpse and were fired after the incident. The aides allegedly arranged the woman’s body in various poses. Lawyers in the case state that this is a matter of first impression in Michigan nursing home abuse and neglect law because the nursing home law deals only with the treatment of patients, not corpses.

Again, this draws the question of what type of employees nursing homes are hiring to protect and treat its residents. Because of the current staffing shortage, nursing homes must often accept less quality employees in order to ensure that they are adequately staffed. However, when nursing homes are staffed by incompetent and insensitive employees, the nursing home abuse and neglect persists.

For the full article.

Bush Medicaid Panel proposes moving nursing home residents into managed care plans

One of the recommendations that will be included in the final report of the Bush administration’s Medicaid Commission includes moving nursing home residents into managed care plans. The proposal suggests that state should be allowed to enroll some of the sickest Medicaid recipients, including nursing home residents and people with disabilities, in managed care plans. The proposal claims that it gives states greater flexibility in altering benefits and eligibility.

The recommendations have received some criticisms. A Democratic congressman from Michigan dismissed the study panel as a “hand-picked commission stacked against working families.” Additionally, policy director of AARP adds that “in some states, flexibility means cutting benefits.” Policy director of American Association of People with Disabilities also disapproves of the recommendations because people with disabilities have not had good experience with managed care.

For the full article.

Young couple weds at Ohio nursing home

A young Ohio couple recently held their wedding at a nursing home. They chose the home because the groom’s mother had recently suffered a series of strokes and was a resident there. The couple wanted the mother to be there. The wedding was held in the activity room and the residents were overjoyed to witness it.

For the full article.

Nursing home patient accused in another resident’s sexual assault

Police in Dayton Ohio have begun investigating the report of a sexual assault at a nursing home. The accused is another resident, who was subsequently arrested. The assault took place at 6:50 p.m. in the room of the 63 year-old victim. At this time, it does not appear that charges have been brought against nursing home for nursing home neglect.

For the full article.

Iowa nursing home may soon be forced to close for failing to meet minimum standards

One of the largest nursing homes in Iowa may soon be forced to close due to allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect. Officials of the nursing home were notified on Monday that state officials intend to revoke the facility’s nursing home license at the end of the year. Additionally, federal officials intend to end Medicare and Medicaid funding effective today. The home has been in compliance with minimum standards only 22 weeks over the past 22 months.

For the full article.

Half of nursing home’s residents show symptoms of stomach virus

In Bloomer, Wisconsin, it was recently discovered that about half of a nursing home’s 40 residents have the symptoms of a highly contagious stomach virus. One resident died at the facility Monday, but it is not confirmed that the death was related to the virus.

For the full article.

Raintree Terrace – Carbondale, Illinois – 12/1/06

The home failed to implement its policy to prevent neglect; develop and implement appropriate monitoring procedures; and investigate, inform and train staff to ensure a resident’s safety. A resident with a long history of PICA, which causes a person to consume non-edible items, had to be hospitalized after tearing a shirt and eating the threads.

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. To access the website click here.

Police investigating death of nursing home resident

Police have begun an investigation of the death of a woman at a Kansas City nursing home. Officials said that on Thanksgiving morning, the 80 year-old woman was found lying in her bed with her neck pinned between a side rail and the head of the mattress at her nursing home. Police do not define this as a criminal investigation into the nursing home abuse and neglect and will not until the coroner’s report is finished. Three employees are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

For the full article.

$15.4 Million resolution for Medicare fraud and unnecessary medical treatments

A Miami hospital has paid $15.4 million to settle federal and Florida civil health care fraud claims against it. The settlement resolves the civil case U.S. v. Jack Jacobo Michel MD et al, in which the government alleged violations of the False Claims Act.

The claims alleged that in 1997, the hospital paid kickbacks to physicians in return for patient admissions. In 2000, one of the defendants was a party to a $14 million settlement with the U.S. for a similar scheme from 1992-2000 that involved Medicare fraud and Chicago medical malpractice.

For the full article.