Articles Tagged with nursing home abuse

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.

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:

abuse and neglect attorneys

IDPH Releases First Report of The Year Listing Nursing Home Violators

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its first Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019. This report dates January 2019 thru March 2019 and highlights Illinois facilities cited for violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Facilities with violations in quarter one of 2019 include:

nursing home abuse

AARP Speaks Out on Alarming Proposed Changes to Nursing Home Regulation

At Levin & Perconti we continuously monitor changes to current federal and state nursing home regulations in order to inform our clients of how those changes might impact quality of care. Recently we were pleased to see one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country, AARP, voice concerns about regulatory actions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in a letter to the United States Senate Committee on Finance.

Not Enforcing the Rules

nursing home abuse attorneys

Illinois Lawmaker Says Families Should Be Able to Observe Nursing Home Care Provided to Loved Ones with Dementia Through Video Monitoring

Senate Bill 109, a plan sponsored by Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), passed the state’s Senate in late March in response to multiple complaints received by the Illinois Department of Public Health about abuse, neglect and theft against nursing home residents. The bill was designed to help families of individuals battling dementia and would allow the installation of video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room to deter or detect signs of abuse and neglect. The legislation language specifically speaks to the use of electronic monitoring in patient rooms in a building or care area solely dedicated to dementia residents.

The bill is now on the way to the Illinois House for further debate. It supports a 2015 law that allowed for video and audio monitoring equipment in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities or those living in long-term care facilities.

nursing home abuse

Illinois Auditor General Report on 2015 Quincy Legionnaires’ Outbreak Reveals Procedures Not Followed and Possible “Cover Up”

On Monday, March 25 the Illinois Auditor General released the state report related to the deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at an Illinois veterans’ home located in Quincy that began on August 21, 2015. The infectious disease crisis carried along for several years and impacted 66 residents and 8 others who tested positive for legionella and resulted in 13 resident deaths which likely could have been prevented. The report contradicted the state’s former administration’s solutions to the outbreak and showed recommendations led by federal authorities to remedy the crisis were not actually followed.

Our legal team has highlighted these key themes found within the state audit report:

nursing home abuse

Nursing Homes Often Use These Common Defenses When Accused of Abuse and Neglect

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti have nearly three decades of experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. Through our work we have been able to identify the many common ways nursing homes will attempt to defend themselves even when guilty of obvious wrongdoings which created harm to an already vulnerable individual. These injuries can range from physical and sexual abuse to careless neglect stemmed from medication mismanagement, poor hygiene, haphazard slips and falls, untreated bedsores, malnourishment and dehydration. These injuries can quickly become deadly when not discovered soon enough and are typically created by nursing home operators who make greedy choices that put patients at risk. Some of those common actions include:

  • Reducing or underreporting staffing levels

nursing home reform

Latest Senate Hearing Shows CMS Can Do More to Protect Nursing Home Residents

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019 another government session, this time led by the US Senate Committee on Finance, was held to discuss several disturbing reports of nursing home abuse and neglect and the lack of preventative measures and faulty reporting system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create environments for quality resident care. The hearing was led by Chairman, Chuck Grassley (R – IA) and Ranking Member, Ron Wyden (D – OR) with special panelist testimony delivered by family members of residents fallen victim to nursing home abuse or neglect.

A Minnesota woman heartbreakingly remembered her mother, an Alzheimer’s patient who was raped by care staff. During the hearing she said, “My final memories of my mother’s life now include watching her bang uncontrollably on her private parts for days after the rape, with tears rolling down her eyes, apparently trying to tell me what had been done to her but unable to speak due to her disease.” A woman from Iowa shared her family’s concern after their mother died in a nursing home ranked with the highest possible quality of resident care scores from CMS even though the organization had been seriously fined for physical and verbal abuse. The elderly woman was allegedly left in severe pain and may have been dehydrated days before her nursing home death.

nursing home news

New Administrator Hired for DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center

The DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center now has a permanent administrator after more than five months of operating under interim leadership. According to a report published on February 20 in The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the county nursing home’s operating board recently voted, 7-0, to approve Cheryl Vittorio of Elgin as the new administrator. Vittorio was previously the interim administrator of another nursing home and rehabilitation facility in Jacksonville, Illinois. Jeff Whelan, DeKalb County Board member and chairman of the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center Operating Board, said her base pay will be $112,000 a year and increase after a six-month probationary period. The previous administrator was no longer employed at the facility as of September 19 when the board found that leadership responsibilities fell short on many situations.

Prior to the administrator’s departure, the facility was fined a Type “A” violation in total of $25,000 after a patient fell and was seriously injured when improperly moved to a bed, according to a quarterly report from the Illinois Department of Public Health. A Type “A” violation pertains to an incident in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted. DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center is a large facility with 190 beds and has county ownership. It is located in DeKalb, Illinois and participates in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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