Articles Tagged with nursing home staff

dementia patients

Dementia Residents Are Easy Targets for Nursing Home Abusers and Bullies

For nursing home residents with dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, daily care is largely dependent on others. Nursing home workers of many types assist these patients in managing daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating, exercising, managing their medications, and even overseeing finances. Dementia patients require extra attention and guided support as they are naturally prone to higher personal injury rates, infection, and falls but also more likely to become a victim of abuse and neglect, have their privacy violated and also be bullied by both nursing home workers and other residents. All residents, no matter what their situation, have the right to privacy, dignity, respect, and freedom. They should be treated with consideration and be free from all types of mental and physical abuse.

It’s important to remember that nursing homes must meet these federal residents’ rights requirements to continue participation in Medicare or Medicaid. If not, they must be held accountable.

nursing home abuse

What To Do If You See A Nursing Home Resident’s Rights Being Violated On Social Media 

Nursing home employees are crucial in helping identify violators of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, including the reporting of other workers who choose to document these violations on personal Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat accounts or through private text messages. A recent example of this ‘social showcase of abuse’ came through Levin & Perconti’s representation of a 91-year-old woman who was taunted, and her privacy violated by two care aides formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, taunted Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia and then shared their abusive behavior within their community of followers on Snapchat. It was a former employee – still connected to the workers via the social network – who saw the video and made the right choice to alert the resident’s family of it.

At Levin & Perconti, we recognize and applaud the many overworked and underpaid care workers who ultimately save lives by reporting their co-workers, managers, and even sometimes their friends who choose to disregard the care, privacy, and treatment of nursing home residents in Illinois. But we also know there are many more workers afraid to report these incidents in fear of retaliatory actions made against their careers by the nursing home industry. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act & Illinois Whistleblower Act protects all workers from retaliation for reporting or threatening to report a violation of the law or regulation concerning the care and privacy of nursing home residents.

nursing home attorneys

Aperion Care Fined After Dementia Resident Was Sexually Assaulted 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has fined an Aperion Care nursing home in Jacksonville $25,000 for an alleged resident-to-resident sexual assault. According to the state agency’s report of Illinois nursing home violators, an investigation found the facility to have failed at adequately assessing and identifying sexual vulnerability and resident-to-resident abuse.

Here is what was found through IDPH’s report:

nursing home snapchat video

Video of Dementia Resident Taunted by Nursing Home Caregivers Was Shared on Social Media 

Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.”

The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video was captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” and the “snap” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.

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.

nursing home abuse attorneys

New Rule May Help Justify Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes 

For some nursing home residents battling psychosis and severe mental disorders conditions such as schizophrenia, antipsychotic drugs may help when prescribed and administered responsibly. But for decades these narcotics that come with a “black box” warning and dangerous side effects have been overused in dementia residents to hush or lessen their needs on nursing home staff, despite rules against the misuse of these drugs as chemical restraints and drugging patients without their consent.

Earlier this month, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a rule that could make the use of antipsychotic drugs such as Clozapine, Abilify, and others easier to come by through simplifying “the survey process and reduce improper deficiency citations, as well as remove potential obstacles for mental health professionals to provide quality care for residents.”

understaffing legislation

Slammed with a New Law and Bigger Fines, Will Illinois’ Nursing Homes Finally Start Providing Enough Care for Residents?

In June 2019, Illinois lawmakers, sparked by a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, passed legislation in support of increasing fines and penalties for nursing homes who are not meeting minimum standards for staffing and also provided $240 million to fill a $649 million projected funding gap between the state and federal government. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will receive $70 million of the newly budgeted state dollars to build-up nurse staffing. The bill also demands better communication between family members of loved ones who reside in nursing homes so they can be informed of staffing challenges that may interrupt or delay the level of care expected.

Several groups and elder organizations supported, endorsed, and pushed the legislation including:

nursing home neglect attorneys

New Study Shows Majority of Nation’s Nursing Homes Fail to Meet RN Staffing Requirements

Harvard and Vanderbilt medical schools recently put researchers to the task of examining payroll records from over 15,000 U.S. nursing homes, revealing the staggering truth about registered nurse (RN) staffing. Three-fourths of the nation’s nursing homes never meet federal staffing expectations for registered nurse staffing, and RNs are missing from such facilities on the weekends.

Health Affairs published the study in its July issue in which co-author David Grabowski, a professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard, said that the conclusions based on a year’s worth of newly logged payroll data, could present much more significant issues in elder care today and well into the future.

nursing home abuse whistleblower

Skilled Nursing Facility Employees Can Report Abuse and Neglect

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) reviewed potential abuse and neglect claims of more than 34,820 Medicare beneficiaries who were residing in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in 2016 and sent to the emergency room. The OIG released its findings in June of 2019 concluding that about one in five potential cases of abuse of elders or neglect were never reported to state inspection agencies, even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so.

Here is a closer look at what the OIG report had to say:

resident violence

Nursing Home Blames “Limited Resources” for Multiple Acts of Resident-on-Resident Violence

A facility located in Aurora, Colorado and operated by Renew, First Phoenix-Aurora of Wisconsin, and Peregrine Administration of Colorado is again at the center of a violent resident-on-resident legal case involving a 92-year-old resident who was found beaten by another individual who she shared the facility with. According to reports of the lawsuit, the woman with dementia was sitting in her wheelchair, in a hallway, when the assault occurred and now suffers from anxiety and other recurring medical complications. Attorneys are seeking more than $100,000 in damages for the injured woman and her family.

The victim was failed by staff and administrators who say they don’t have the resources to keep a known violent resident, who continues to harm others, away from those who live there. Many of Renew’s residents are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and not able to speak up or acknowledge the abuse for themselves and remain dependent on others to keep them safe and protected from such abuse.

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