legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Nursing Homes in Michigan
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there are 426 nursing homes in Michigan. Of these skilled nursing facilities, 265 ranks at or above the national average in quality care.
However, 161 nursing homes in Michigan rank below average or much below average, involving residents receiving nursing care. These poor levels are substantially lower than the Medicare and Medicaid quality measures.
Nursing homes often hire individuals that lack the qualifications to provide residents the care and assistance they require. Without sufficient training, the nurse, nurse aides, and other employees cannot do their jobs correctly when providing care to nursing home residents.
Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence
Many nursing home residents suffer from negligence by untrained staff or die unexpectedly when a caregiver, nurse, or nurse aide makes a mistake.
Many cases involving abuse in Michigan nursing homes go unreported. Patients in independent living communities, long-term care centers, and skilled nursing facilities are physically hurt, sexually assaulted, or emotionally traumatized by caregivers, residents, visitors, family members, and friends.
Below is a small sample of neglect and abuse occurring in Michigan nursing homes, according to CMS.
Failure to Report and Investigate Any Act or Reports of Abuse, Neglect, or Mistreatment
Anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious at the care center must immediately report it to the administrator and state agency. A serious concern involving not investigating would be if someone saw something happen but didn't report it.
- Failure to prevent physical abuse from a resident and failure to separate the residents after the incident that resulted in physical abuse and psychosocial distress involving a witnessed attack when one resident was hit on the top of the head by another patient, making a loud sound and grabbing their head wincing in pain. (Cherry Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center)
- Failure to implement and operationalize policies and procedures to protect one resident from willful staff-to-resident sexual aggressive behavior results in a vulnerable resident being subjected to sexually suggested discussions, exposure to private areas, the potential of degradation, and feeling of disappointment. (Father Murray – A Villa Center)
- Failure to ensure that 18 residents were provided an environment free of neglect resulted in immediate jeopardy when a nurse aide failed to ensure supervision and medication/treatments were administered during the afternoon shift, increasing the likelihood of severe injury or death. (Greenville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center)
- Failure to protect a vulnerable adult from sexually explicit text messages and exposure of the genitals from an employee resulted in anger, hurt feelings, and continued feelings of not being protected by the facility that continues. (Heritage Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center)
- Failure to ensure an environment free from abuse for one resident after an allegation of a Certified Nursing Assistant using profanity and profane gestures directed toward the patient. (Lahser Hills Care Centre)
- Failure to provide nursing services and timely transport to the hospital for a resident with a change in condition that resulted in physical harm and decline in condition. (Majestic Care of Battle Creek)
- Failure to ensure that a resident's dietary nutritional orders were entered correctly led to a resident going seven days without receiving enteral nutrition or hydration, resulting in his death. (Majestic Care of Flushing)
- Failure to prevent neglect for three residents when staff members transferred the resident in an unsafe manner led to psychosocial distress and feelings of fear. (MediLodge of Richmond)
- Failure to protect three residents from a perpetrator when an allegedly aggressive resident told the staff members that they had kicked patients, leaving one with a lacerated wound 2 inches in length on the left temple that bled profusely. (Medilodge of Sterling Heights)
- Failure to monitor, supervise, and provide an environment free from physical and sexual abuse after a resident was digitally penetrated by a patient while sleeping. (Medilodge of Sterling Heights)
- Failure to provide care and services for four residents at risk for abuse and neglect resulted in immediate jeopardy when a lack of quality incontinence care and repositioning led to a resident's pain and discomfort and another resident developing an unstageable pressure ulcer and multiple stage II ulcers. (Michigan Masonic Home Skilled Nursing Facility)
- Failure to ensure a resident was free from verbal abuse from a Certified Nursing Assistant encounter with the CNA's voice allegedly became elevated, moving closer to him while he was calling the police because of their actions. The police escorted the CNA from the facility. (Mission Pointe Nursing and Physical Rehabilitation Center of Clawson)
- Failure to ensure proper monitoring and implement interventions to avoid harm to a confused resident resulted in a delay transferred to acute care, urinary tract infection, extensive vaginal bleeding, and decreased hemoglobin. (Mission Pointe Nursing and Physical Rehabilitation Center of Flint)
- Failure to prevent the abuse of one resident required emergency room treatment when another patient hit the resident in the eye. (Riverside Health Care Center)
Why Federal Regulations Have Not Stopped Abuse in Nursing Homes in Michigan
Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the United States. Although both federal and state governments regulate it, abuse will always exist due to the nature of the nursing home industry.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), nursing homes are often understaffed, and the present staff members are often overworked and underpaid. This combination can lead to frustration and anger on the part of the staff, which can sometimes lead to abuse of the residents.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the most common forms of abuse in Michigan nursing homes include:
- Physical Abuse: Any physical punishment, Assault, or inappropriate touching is abusive behavior. Physical abuse could include hitting, slapping, tripping, pushing, and choking.
- Sexual Assault: Any unwanted sexual contact or behavior is considered sexual abuse, which includes forced sexual contact, rape, and groping.
- Psychological Abuse: Verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and neglect can all be psychological abuse.
- Financial Exploitation: Nursing home patients can be taken advantage of financially by family members or caregivers who steal their money or possessions.
- Social Isolation: Nursing residents can be isolated from friends and family members to control them, leaving them feeling lonely and helpless.
- Medical Neglect: Failing to provide necessary nursing home care or ignoring medical problems is a form of neglect, which can lead to serious health complications for the resident.
- Nutrition Neglect: Not providing enough food or proper nutrition can be a form of neglect, which can cause the resident to become malnourished or even die.
- Environmental Neglect: Not providing safe living conditions or maintaining an appropriate temperature in a Michigan nursing home can be a form of neglect, which can put the resident at risk for injury or illness.
- Medication Errors: Giving the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the drug can be a form of neglect, and it can seriously harm the resident's health.
- Restraint Use: Restraints should only be used as a last resort when necessary for the resident's safety. If restraints are not used properly, they can cause serious injury to the resident.
- Unsanitary Conditions: Dirty facilities, lack of cleanliness, and rodent/insect infestations can all lead to unsanitary conditions in the nursing home. Filthy conditions put a skilled nursing care resident at risk for infection and other health complications.
- Wrongful Death: Nursing home residents are sometimes neglected or abused so severely that they die.
Skilled nursing facilities are profit-driven businesses, where nursing home costs often contribute to the level of care they provide. Finally, many nursing homes are not well-maintained, which can lead to unsafe conditions for the residents. These factors combine to create an environment where abuse and neglect can flourish.
Michigan Nursing Homes Must Implement Infection Prevention And Control Protocols to Prevent Spreading Disease
As the population ages, the number of people requiring long-term care in nursing homes continues to grow. With this growth, the potential for the spread of infection and disease also increases. Michigan's nursing homes and rehab facilities must develop an infection prevention and control program to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of their residents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an infection as "the invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in tissues, which may cause disease." Infections can occur in any part of the body and can be caused by various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Infection control is preventing the spread of infection from one person to another.
An infection prevention and control program includes several key components, such as:
- Disinfecting equipment: Equipment should be disinfected after each use to prevent the spread of disease, which includes cleaning surfaces, disinfecting medical devices, and properly disposing of medical waste.
- Wearing gloves: Gloves should be worn when handling patients and cleaning surfaces and equipment. Gloves help protect against the spread of infection.
- Washing hands: Hands should be washed frequently, especially before and after contact with patients or providing nursing care. Hands should be washed with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintaining a clean environment: The skilled nursing facility should be clean and free of clutter. Floors, walls, and furniture should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Avoiding contact with sick patients: Nurses should avoid contact with contagious patients whenever possible. If contact is unavoidable, nurses should use gloves and other protective gear.
- Screening visitors: Visitors entering Michigan nursing homes should be screened for illness before being allowed into the nursing home. Anyone who is sick should not be allowed into the home.
- Reporting symptoms: Nurses should report any symptoms of illness to their supervisor immediately. This helps ensure that any potential outbreaks are quickly identified and addressed.
- Staying up-to-date on vaccinations: All nurses and aides in Michigan nursing homes should stay up-to-date on all required vaccinations, including those for influenza and hepatitis B.
According to the Michigan Department of Public health, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to infections due to their age and overall health status. In addition, residents often share common spaces and close quarters with other residents, which increases the risk of spreading infection.
Michigan hospitals, long-term facilities, and nursing homes must take steps to prevent the spread of infection by implementing an effective infection prevention and control program.
Skilled nursing homes in Michigan that accept Medicare funding: