Articles Posted in Nursing Home Staff

retirement home

Nursing Homes With “No Harm” Deficiencies Are Not Being Held Accountable

Nationwide, a majority of nursing homes voluntarily participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Because of this partnership, facilities must adhere to minimum standards of care established by the federal Nursing Home Reform Law. Those who do not comply, should receive health violations leading to various penalties including fines or in some of the most severe cases, a group’s Medicare or Medicaid certification will be suspended or revoked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

CMS data indicates that about 95 percent of these health violations are cited as causing “no harm” to residents. In a May 2019 newsletter published by the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) several examples of these “no harm” deficiencies, taken from Statements of Deficiencies (SoDs) on Nursing Home Compare, were discussed. Surveyors classified all of the shortcomings listed below as “no harm,” meaning that they determined that residents were neither hurt nor put into immediate jeopardy for their health or well-being.

sexual assault

Suit Filed Against State After Rape and Pregnancy of Incapacitated Woman

Lawyers for a young Arizona woman who was consistently raped and then impregnated by her nurse have filed a 54-page claim against the state seeking $45 million in damages. The 29-year-old woman was a patient and resident under the care of Hacienda Healthcare long-term care facility located in Phoenix. She has been nonverbal and intellectually disabled since the age of three after a drowning accident. Due to repeated sexual assault by a staff member, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy in December of 2018.  Shockingly, the claim also says the woman could have been pregnant before.

Hacienda Healthcare did publicly apologize for the incident and has promised to follow more robust hiring and training practices. The Arizona Department of Health Services has not yet released a comment regarding the case. 

nursing home abuse attorneys

Viral Photo Shows Nursing Home Resident Covered in Vomit, Begging for Help

In October of 2018, a visitor at Legend Oaks Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas was witness to an older woman, left in a wheelchair and covered in vomit, begging for help for several hours in a nursing room hallway.

The man who took the photo was not connected to the woman who battles dementia but said he was so disturbed by the resident’s situation he wanted to share the documented encounter with local News4 in San Antonio. The observer told the reporters that instead of helping clean the woman he saw employees throw towels at her and around her as she begged for help, hours on end.

nursing home abuse

10 Ways Banks Can Help Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation

Not only are family members and financial caregivers watching out for financial abuse targeted at the elderly, including vulnerable nursing home residents, but banks and other financial institutions are also filing an increasing number of suspicious account reports (SARs). This year, the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans received over 180,000 encounters of suspicious elder financial exploitation (EFE), involving a total of more than $6 billion since 2013.

Noted in a 2019 report published by the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, banks reported a total of $1.7 billion in suspicious activities in just 2017, including actual losses and attempts to steal the older adults’ funds.

nursing home abuse attorneys

The Time Is Now to Advocate for Older Adults

Any day is better than the last for advocating for the elderly as data from Adult Protective Services (APS) shows more than 5,000,000 elders are abused each year, including 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60. The abuse and neglect can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual and financial, and not always obvious.

Like every other year, during the month of May, the Administration for Community Living, an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. For this year the theme is, Connect, Create, Contribute and aimed to encourage older adults and their communities, including advocates, to:

nursing home attorneys

Underpaid At-Home Caregivers File Lawsuit Against Employer

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is reporting a story coming out of the U.S. District Court in Little Rock concerning underpaid caregivers who have filed a lawsuit against Palco, a financial management services company headquartered in Arkansas that provides support to Medicaid recipients across several states. The business has clients such as veterans, the elderly, and children who participate in at-home and community-based services and require help with daily living tasks. The suit is seeking class-action status on behalf of all people who were paid as caregivers by the company under the Independent Choices Medicaid program within the past three years.

According to the state Department of Human Services, Independent Choices assist about 3,000 Medicaid recipients who receive in-home services in processing payroll and guides recipients in paying workers who help them, most of who are often family or friends. The lawsuit says the plaintiffs and other workers have regularly worked more than 40 hours a week and weren’t paid one-and-a-half times their regular wage by their employer as required under the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA). Medicaid recipients are only the employer if they hired the home care worker directly, and no agency or other organization is involved, such as Palco.

dementia patients

Regulators Release New Guidelines to Reduce Antipsychotic Use for Residents Living with Dementia

Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes given to patients living in nursing homes to calm behaviors associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. But for decades, staff have been wrongfully using the powerful medications as a crutch-to-caregiving to make these patients easier to handle. Antipsychotic drugs can be especially dangerous when used without the patient’s physician or family’s knowledge or consent, a haphazard tactic given that the mismanagement and misuse of these drugs have been known to cause sudden death and drastically decline a person’s well-being.

Some of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs used in nursing homes today include:

nursing home neglect

Long-Term Care Resident Left Unattended Dies While Smoking Near Oxygen Tank 

Ohio police in Oakwood Village are investigating the death of a resident from Grande Oaks Nursing Home. The man had caught on fire while smoking a cigarette in his wheelchair outside of the facility. Reports show he was allegedly smoking outside while using an oxygen tank when his wheelchair caught fire. Because staff allegedly were not aware, they did not respond. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until someone driving by noticed the fire and smoke and immediately contacted 911. Local police say they arrived to a smoldering wheelchair parked in front of the building with a male laying on the ground, face down. The man had already stopped breathing and CPR was administered. He later died from his burn-related injuries at a nearby hospital.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policies show, “Oxygen use is prohibited in smoking areas for the safety of residents (NFPA 101, 2000 ed., 19.7.4). Facilities should ensure resident safety by such efforts as informing visitors of smoking policies and hazards to prevent smoking-related incidents and/or injuries.

nursing home wrongful death

Diabetic Patient Dies After Given Too Much Medication at California Care Facility

A diabetic patient has died at Bella Vista transitional care facility located in San Luis Obispo County in California, and the home is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit. The civil lawsuit states care staff gave an 85-year-old female patient too much medication to manage her diabetes when they dispensed four doses of medicine in less than four hours.

According to the complaint, the woman also had dementia, hypertension, hyperlipidemia in addition to her diabetes while a patient at Bella Vista the last eight months. She relied on facility staff for help with nearly all of her daily living activities and depended on them to manage her conditions and medications. As outlined in local news reports, the troubling events leading up to the woman’s death began in the early morning hours.

elder abuse attorneys

Nursing Home Countersues Although Liability Accepted for Man’s Choking Death

In 2013, an 82-year-old man died from a preventable choking incident at Woodhaven Care Center in New York. The nursing home accepted liability for the man’s death, and a jury awarded $1 million to the man’s family highlighting the issues with understaffing. The wrongful death lawsuit stated that inattentive nursing home staff failed to provide the man with his dentures and fed him food that was not a part of his dietary plan. The man was then left unsupervised, choked on the meal and died within moments after a nurse’s station video camera caught the incident. Staff also waited nearly 20 minutes before calling for help and dialing 911.

Today, Woodhaven has outrageously presented a countersuit against the family of the deceased for alleged money yet owed for his stay. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys plan to follow this story as mediation in the case will be scheduled in the future.

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