Articles Posted in National Nursing Homes

Elder Woman Struggling

Nursing Home Caregivers Charged with Financial Exploitation of Elderly Resident

Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old woman who had her life savings robbed of her by two former nursing home caregivers employed at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, located at 2437 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago.

Last year, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, with the aid of Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte, filed a civil lawsuit accusing the workers of stealing $750,000 from Watanabe while she was residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park from 2009 – 2018. It was her bank that flagged the suspicious account activity.

Improve Nursing Home Care

Nursing Homes Cited for Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Now Highlighted with “STOP” Icon on Government Website

In response to a recommendation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), The Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it will now be easier for consumers to identify nursing homes and long-term care facilities with instances of non-compliance related to abuse. To do so, CMS is rolling out a warning icon strategy to highlight facilities that meet the following criteria:

  • Facilities cited for abuse where residents were found to be harmed (Scope/Severity of G or higher) on the most recent standard survey, or on a complaint survey within the past 12 months;

Arbitration Agreement

FAIR Act Bill Has Passed the House, Now Headed to the Senate

On Friday, September 20, lawmakers in the House voted 225-186 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), with the help of many supporters who look to hold long-term care doers responsible for abuse and neglect. The bill is designed to end forced pre-dispute arbitration in contracts between consumers and corporations, including nursing homes, long-term care centers and assisted living communities.

Moving ahead, the FAIR Act could:

nursing home neglect

Nursing Home’s Failed Disaster Response Resulted in 12 Resident Deaths 

Four former employees at the Florida nursing home plagued with power outages from Hurricane Irma will be held responsible for the 12 residents who died from heat-related injuries and illnesses in 2017. The deceased were all residents at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and ranged in age 57 to 99.

The employees, of which three were nurses and one a facility administrator, failed to do their basic duty to protect life and never dialed 911 for evacuation help. The company responsible for restoring power to the home released a statement that “those customers who have electricity dependent medical needs should call 911 if they are without power and in a life-threatening situation.”

nursing home vote

Lawmakers Will Soon Vote on the FAIR Act to Stop Forced Arbitration 

Americans have the right of a jury trial unless forced to agree otherwise in the form of an arbitrary clause contractually. These agreements have found their way into all of our employment, consumer, franchise and even medical contracts. Once used as a tool for businesses to solve their disputes, forced arbitration has become a greedy and ruthless tactic, dangerous to consumers.

Just this week, the full House of Representatives is set to vote on the FAIR Act, H.R. 1423. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), is vital to all American consumers as no one should be forced to agree pre-dispute to allow third-party arbitrators decide on a judgment rightfully meant for a public trial. The bill has 222 cosponsors including several Representatives from Illinois.

nursing home abuse

Nursing Home Chaplain Agrees to Guilty Plea Deal in Sex Abuse Case

The Good Samaritan Home of Quincy is a place for residents to live independently but also provides environments for assisted living, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and dementia care. On Thursday, August 29, a former chaplain of the home James E. Riley, appeared in court to waive his right to a jury trial after a case was opened accusing him of sexually abusing two residents of the nursing home. The victims are ages 88 and 78, and the assaults are said to have happened at the Good Samaritan Home, located at 2130 Harrison Street in Quincy, Illinois, in May of this year.

A negotiated plea of guilty and sentencing hearing is expected to include two counts of criminal sexual abuse, one count of criminal sexual assault, and one count of predatory criminal sexual assault through the use of force.

nursing home abuse and neglect

Senators Blame Government Regulating Office for Growing Number of Nursing Home Deficiencies

On Tuesday, July 23, bi-partisan members of the Senate Finance Committee, led by ranking committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), once again raised alarming concerns over the rising amount of physical, verbal, mental and sexual abuse incidences occurring inside U.S. nursing homes. In addition, and not for the first time this year, confusion regarding the current lack of oversight role the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is playing, and funding needs to support sufficient resident-to-staff ratios were recognized and discussed at great length.

Several lawmakers referenced a same-day released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found:

Chicago News – CBS 2 News at 10:00 covers the story of Margaret Collins.

Nursing home resident Margaret Collins, a 91 year old woman with dementia, was the subject of repeated harassment from two nursing home employees. The upsetting viral video has caused a backlash of anger against elder abuse and an outpouring of support for Margaret Collins and her family.

nrusing home reform

Senate Hearing Regarding U.S. Nursing Homes Called Attention to Unfixed Issues and Reform 

An estimated 1.5 million individuals receive care from nursing homes nationwide each day, many of whom are living with serious physical and cognitive impairments, leaving them frail and remarkably vulnerable to abuse and neglect injustices. On July 23, 2019, members of the Senate Finance Committee Hearing once again heard pleas from elder community leaders about the constant struggles of Americans dependent on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

(CMS) regulated skilled nursing facilities face each day. These guests discussed the continual lack of follow thru to require facilities to improve, a disregard to follow federal regulation by U.S. nursing home administrators, and ongoing failures to meet minimum care standards.

poor elder care

Nursing Home Chain Failures Highlight a Greater Need for Ownership Regulation and Closer Government Review 

Some of the most troubling elder abuse and neglect stories stemmed from nursing home private ownership in the U.S. recently emerged thanks to an NBC News investigation featuring a man named Joseph Schwartz and his responsibilities over nursing home and long-term care facility chain, Skyline Healthcare. The mogul swiftly built his empire out of a small New Jersey office and then across the Midwest. It failed miserably leaving life-long pain and suffering for more 7,000 elderly Americans in more than 100 facilities in 11 states.

Massachusetts: Schwartz told staff there was no more money to fund all of his nursing homes or to pay them. The care team was buying toilet paper with personal funds to help residents. Patients were left for days in their feces due to staffing cuts and no one to help them. When some of the homes closed, 60 residents had nowhere to go, and family members were left uninformed of their loved one’s displacement. In March of 2019, the final three former Skyline Healthcare nursing homes in Massachusetts were closed and placed in receivership after Schwartz agreed to surrender licenses.

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