Fresno California Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Fresno Nursing Home Neglect AttorneysAbuse and mistreatment occurring in nursing facilities are pervasive problems all throughout California. It is tragic that the assisted-living homes and nursing facilities entrusted to provide quality care for loved ones at their weakest and most vulnerable moments fail to provide proper care for their residents. In fact, the Fresno nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have served as legal advocates to many victims of nursing home abuse and gross negligence from those in charge of providing care.

Fresno is a thriving community located in the rich soil of the San Joaquin Valley. It has a population of more than 500,000 where nearly 75,000 are senior citizens 65 years and older. This number is even higher when accounting for the retirees who are living in Fresno and Tulare counties. In recent years, the number of elder citizens has risen substantially as more baby boomers enter their retirement years. Unfortunately, this increase in the aging population has placed a weighty burden on nursing facilities that tend to be overcrowded or understaffed.

Some federal and state statistics place the incidences of abuse, neglect and mistreatment occurring in retirement homes as increasingly high. In fact, nearly one out of every three nursing facilities have some type of regulatory violation occurring every year. This number is expected to grow exponentially as the next generation enters their elder years.

Fresno Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns

Finding adequate medical professionals to fill open positions in nursing homes is becoming a significant short coming, as is hiring poorly trained staff members. Other serious concerns include insufficient staffing during specific hours of operation including on weekends, nights and holidays. Along with that, many facilities have a lengthy history of mistreatment, abuse and neglect of residents caused by a variety of factors, including failing to adhere to federal medical requirements of providing care to its residents.

Our Fresno County nursing home lawyers constantly review opened investigations, filed complaints and health/safety concerns outlined in national databases including Medicare.gov. Our team of dedicated California elder abuse attorneys post this information in an effort to provide assistance to families in need of locating the best nursing facility in the community to provide a spouse, parent or grandparent the highest level of health and hygiene care.

Comparing Fresno Area Nursing Facilities

The list below contains Fresno area nursing facilities currently maintaining a below average rating comparable to other facilities throughout the United States. In addition, our law firm has posted our primary concerns by providing detailed information on specific cases involving potential abuse, neglect or mistreatment. Some of these cases involve serious harm, neglect or mistreatment by the nursing staff, a lack of standards that allows the spread of infectious diseases, mistreatment and abuse.

Information on California Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawsuits

Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across California to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:

TWILIGHT HAVEN
1717 S. Winery Ave.
Fresno, California 93727
(559) 251-8417

A “Not for Profit” 50-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide a Nursing Home Area Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Accident from Occurring

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 07/13/2015, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure an environment free of accident hazards for [1 resident at the facility who] sustained a fall on a freshly mopped wet floor.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Twilight Haven resulted in the resident sustaining “injuries from a fall [including] three skin tears to his left arm measuring 4.0 centimeters by 3.5 centimeters, 2.0 centimeters by 2.0 centimeters and 2.5 centimeters by 2.0 centimeters.”

The deficient practice was noted by state surveyor after an observation of a housekeeper at 2:00 PM on 07/08/2015 who was “mopping the floor while an ambulatory resident laid in Bed A.” Later that afternoon, the state surveyor interviewed the housekeeper at 3:50 PM who indicated “she places a wet floor sign in the room if the resident is present after mopping […and] she was not aware of [the resident] falling on a freshly mopped wet floor […and] did not remember participating in any education regarding fall risks and mopping.”

The state surveyor conducted a 4:00 PM interview the same day with the facility’s Maintenance Supervisor who stated “he was not aware of [the resident] falling on a freshly mopped floor […and] did not remember participating in any education regarding fall risks and mopping […and] did not collaborate with any other departments on providing education to his staff after [the resident] had a fall with injuries related to a freshly mopped wet floor.”

The surveyor also noted the resident’s 02/19/2015 IDT (Interdisciplinary Team) Notes that revealed the resident had fallen after walking on a freshly mopped floor. The IDT recommendations included “reeducate housekeeping to ask ambulatory resident exit room while mopping.” A follow up interview was conducted the next day at 2:55 PM with the facility’s Licensed Vocational Nurse and Director of Staff Development who were “unable to locate documentation of education provided to staff regarding fall risks and mopping after [the resident] had fallen and sustained injuries on a freshly mopped wet floor.

Our Fresno nursing home neglect attorneys recognizes failing to follow protocols to ensure that residents are provided a nursing home area free of accident hazards places the health and well-being of the resident in jeopardy. The deficient failures including failing to educate housekeeping on how to prevent an avoidable accident from occurring might be considered negligence or mistreatment because it fails to follow the facility’s 01/01/2012 policy and procedure titled: Housekeeping – Safety Precautions that reads in part:

“A clean, safe and sanitary environment for residents is staff primary responsibility.”

HORIZON HEALTH AND SUBACUTE CENTER
3034 E Herndon
Fresno, California 93720
(559) 321-0883

A “For-Profit” 180-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide and Maintain Equipment to Minimize the Potential of a Cognitively Impaired Resident from Eloping or Wandering Away from the Facility

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 12/04/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “meet professional standards of quality [4 Wander Guard transmitter’s] were not tested for functionality according to the physician’s orders and manufacturer’s guidelines.” The wander Guard is “an alarm system designed to alert staff a cognitively impaired resident wanders outside alarmed doorways.” The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Horizon Health and Subacute Center resulted “in a fallen injury to [a resident at the facility] and have the potential to result in a fall of [3 other residents] who wore a Wander Guard alarm and were at risk for elopement [wandering].”

The complaint investigation was opened after a state investigator reviewed a resident’s MDS (Minimum Data Set) to determine the resident’s function and cognitive abilities. The MDS revealed the resident “had long and short-term memory impairment. In addition, the resident’s Nursing Progress Notes revealed the resident “has wandering behavior.” The resident’s physician was notified and ordered that the resident wear a Wander Guard.

The surveyor reviewed the resident’s TAR (Treatment Administration Record) that indicated “Alarm: Wander Guard – Check placement and function every Q (every) shift. Related to dementia (memory loss affecting overall mood, being and physical function).”

However, during an interview at the facility with a licensed nurse it was revealed the nurse “did not have a device to test the Wander Guard.” The surveyor conducted concurrent interview and observation with the licensed nurse who “pointed to the main entrance and side entrance to the building equipped with the Wander Guard alarm (door alarm operates by monitoring motion through a doorway or hallway).” The licensed nurse stated “there are only two doors that have Wander Guard alarms. Facility map indicated there were a total of 11 exits [however the licensed nurse] did not know why the exit doors were not equipped with the Wander Guard Alarm.”

Interview with another licensed nurse at the facility, it was revealed that “Wander Guard testing was done on the night shift […and] she had worked on the night shift and had never checked the functioning of the Wander Guard alarm.” A subsequent interview with a third Licensed Nurse revealed that “the nurses had no way to check the Wander Guard alarm system other than walking the resident who wore the alarms through the doors which were set up for the alarm system.” A fourth License Nurse interviewed by the state investigator stated, “I don’t know what a Wander Guard is.” The License Nurse “was unable to identify the Wander Guard on [the resident’s] right ankle.”

Later that day, the state investigator conducted a 4:45 PM interview with the facility’s Administrator who stated, “there is no way the nurse is going to be bringing the resident to the door to check the Wander Guard works. [The Administrator] stated she was not aware that the transmitter tester had been broken.”

The state surveyor noted that the manufacturer’s guidelines titled: Wandering Management Transmitter User Guide indicates:

“Users must read this guide before using the product. Under require transmitter testing it indicated, you must test these transmitters prior to use to verify proper operation. Test the operation of transmitters using the transmitter tester… Required weekly testing for transmitters in use on residents. All steps are mandatory.”

Our Fresno nursing home neglect lawyers recognize that failing to follow protocols when using and managing equipment to prevent eloping from the facility has the potential of placing the health and safety of the resident in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Horizon Health and Subacute Center might be considered negligence or mistreatment because the failure does not follow the facility’s policy and procedure titled: Resident Elopement and Wandering that reads in part:

“Facility administration and staff recognize that elopement poses a real danger to certain residents. Functional alarm systems will be implemented in order to maintain the resident safety. Apply wander guard bracelet to the resident’s wrist or wheelchair if the resident refuses to wear the bracelet and removes the bracelet. Placement and function of the wander guard should be checked at the start of each shift.”

SELMA CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL
2108 Stillman
Selma, California 93662
(559) 896-4990

A “For-Profit” 34-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide a Standard of Care Minimizing Medication Errors to Less Than 5% Involving the Wrong Drug, Wrong Those, Wrong Time, Etc.

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 06/10/2015, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure residents were free of medication errors in excess of 5% when the facility’s medication error rate was 51.6 percent for [6 residents at the facility observed during a] medication pass observation.” This deficient practice involved “31 opportunities in 16 medication administration errors when medication was not administered. These failures placed [6 residents] at risk for medical complications.”

The deficient practice was noted by state investigator after a group interview was conducted at 1:05 PM on 06/02/2015 where to resident revealed “medications on the evening medication pass were being administered [stating] ‘medications come real late’.” The resident stated “every day 8:00 PM medications are being administered at a 9:45 PM.

During a medication pass observation occurring at 9:44 PM on 06/03/2015, it was noted that a License Nurse “performed a finger stick on [a resident].” A review of the resident’s “current physician’s orders indicate orders for a finger stick to be performed every day at 8:00 PM.”

Nine minutes later, the Licensed Nurse administer the resident’s their medication nearly 2 hours later than ordered by the physician.

During a subsequent observation during a medication pass observation at 10:00 PM on the same day, the same License Nurse administered medicine to another resident. A review of that resident’s current physician’s orders indicate that the resident’s medication is to “be administered every day at 8:00 PM.”

The state investigator conducted a 10:10 PM 06/03/2015 interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing Services who stated “in regards to the timeframe in which medication should be administered, the standard is one hour before and one hour after the medication is ordered to be given. Everyone knows that.”

Two days later on 06/05/2015 at 9:35 AM, the state investigator conducted an interview with the Director of Nursing Services who stated “receiving medications that control blood pressure later than they are schedule could place residents at risk for having cardiovascular complications. [The Director of Nursing Services stated that one resident] could have had complications with his heart failure […and another resident] could have had complications with her high blood pressure […and a third resident] could have decompensated with his history of stroke.”

The state investigator noted a review of the professional reference material titled Potter and Perry fundamentals of nursing that reads in part “medication administration. Right time. Give all routinely ordered medications within 60 minutes of the time ordered (30 minutes before or after the prescribed time).”

Our Selma nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to follow protocols and procedures to ensure no medication errors occur could jeopardize the health and well-being of residents who are not provided medication in a manner ordered by their physician. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Selma Convalescent Hospital might be considered mistreatment or negligence because the failures do not follow established procedures and protocols including the facility’s policy and procedure titled: Administration of Drugs that reads in part:

“Resident shall receive their medications on a timely basis.”

DINUBA HEALTHCARE
1730 South College Ave.
Dinuba, California 93618
(559) 591-3300

A “For-Profit” 97-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Residents an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Failure to Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Elopement from the Facility

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 09/29/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “supervise a confused resident who had an elopement history.” The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Dinuba Healthcare resulted in a resident “eloping from the facility which jeopardize the resident’s health and safety.”

The complaint investigation was opened after the investigator interviewed the facility’s Administrator at 8:30 AM on 09/24/2015 who stated that the resident “had eloped from the facility on 09/20/2050 and was found across the street by an off-duty CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) […and the resident] had been gone about 10 minutes and they were not sure how he got out of the locked doors.”

The Administrator then went on to say that the resident “had arranged clothes and pillow into a human form in a special staff would not notice his absence […and the resident] had tried to go out the window previously in the change room.”

The state investigator conducted a concurrent observation and interview with the resident at 8:45 AM on 09/24/2015 who “was sitting on his bed. When asked if he left the facility, he stated, ‘Yeah, and I’ll try it again’.”

The surveyor reviewed the resident’s Initial Psychological Assessment that indicates that the resident “had mild moderate dementia making it difficult for him to accept placement. The psychologist recommends to keep him adequately socialized.” As a part of the investigation, the state surveyor also reviewed the resident’s 07/27/2015 Care Plan indicating that the resident “has behaviors of wandering and attempted to leave the facility, climbing out windows placing him at risk for injury.” A subsequent 08/06/2015 Care Plan indicates that the resident has been diagnosed with “anxiety manifested by restlessness and agitation and attempting to leave.”

The investigator notes involve an interview at 9:15 AM on 09/24/2015 with the facility’s Certified Nursing Assistant who stated “she was at the front of the nursing station received a call from the night CNA that [the resident] was on a neighborhood street.” To CNA’s from the facility “drove to the site.” One CNA noted that the resident “saying he’s walking to Texas. The police came and attempted to persuade [the resident] to return to the facility. When the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) arrived, [the resident] backhanded one of them and the police grabbed him and put him onto the gurney.”

Our Dinuba nursing home neglect attorneys recognize a failing to provide residents an environment free of accident hazards and provide adequate supervision to prevent an avoidable elopement from occurring at the facility places the health and safety of the resident in jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Dinuba Healthcare might be considered negligence or mistreatment because the resident eloped from the facility without being observed and was only found because a facility’s CNA recognized the resident on a neighborhood street.

WESTGATE GARDENS CARE CENTER
4525 W. Tulare Ave.
Visalia, California 93277
(559) 733-0901

A “For-Profit” 140-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Medically Related Social Services to Help Each Resident Achieve the Highest Possible Quality of Life

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/15/2015, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “provide adequate and appropriate services for [21 residents at the facility].” In addition, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to provide proper discharge planning services and support a resident’s rights in the discharge process which resulted in unnecessary transfer and emotional distress to [a resident].”

The deficient practice was noted after state investigator reviewed the closed record of a resident at 2:00 PM on 01/15/2015 where the 12/22/2014 (100 days after admission) Social Services Resident Progress Notes revealed that a family member/responsible party “came to the social service office, he is aware of discharge date, he states that he would like long-term care.” It also shows that the responsible party “is aware per agreement upon admit that resident is short-term and if long term is needed, we would assist in proper placement.

The state investigator reviewed the resident’s 11:24 AM 12/30/2014 Progress Notes indicating the resident “was discharged [from Westgate Gardens Care Center and transported to another facility] on 12/30/2014 at 10:30 AM [103 days after admission]. Resident was apprehensive and had mixed emotions about leaving.”

The 12/29/2014 Discharge Plan of Care created by the facility’s SSA (Social Service Aide) indicates that the resident “has completed therapy and the [responsible party/family member] has requested long-term care and] agreed for SSA to assist with finding a SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility).”

The state investigator conducted a 3:00 PM 01/16/2015 interview with the resident’s responsible party who stated that the resident “was really happy there [at the facility]. She liked all the people and her roommate. My relative told me she shouldn’t have to move to [another facility] that the facilities were the same. I wish I would have listened to them. A few days before she transferred out they told me she would have to leave and go to a long-term care facility, they said she was here for rehab and a short stay, that I had no choice for her to stay. But she doesn’t like it at [the other facility]. She was starting to get better at [Westgate Gardens Care Center], she like the nurses, now she’s so sad, cries, she misses all the people she got close to. When she came in they never told her she would have to leave.”

The state investigator conducted a 01/15/2015 interview with the facility’s SSD (Social Services Director) who stated “we accept it her as a short term placement. We have stand up meetings in the morning with the Administrator and Admitting and they tell us who is a short-term resident.” The SSD indicated that “the original plan was that [the resident] was a short term placement and I found her placement in a long-term care facility the front hallway is for short-term rehab (rehabilitation) residents.

The surveyor inquired if the Social Services Director had asked how the resident felt about moving to another facility. The SSD replied, “No. We offered options. Was it an option to stay at [this facility]? No, it was not because she was in a short stay wing for rehabilitation. When asked if the facility had a paper or verbal agreement she stated, I think a paper agreement, they agree that they are coming for rehab.” However, the Social Services Director “was unable to provide the form when requested by the surveyor […and when] asked what services [the other facility] offered that [Westgate Gardens Care Center] didn’t offer, [the SSD stated] ‘they are a SNF with long-term beds’.”

The investigator conducted a 01/20/2015 interview with the Assistant Administrator of the facility where the resident was transferred to after leaving Westgate Gardens. However, the Assistant Administrator stated “she had not received the following information upon admission of [the resident at the new facility including the resident’s] Transfer Assessment, Progress Notes, Physical Therapy Notes, Restorative Nursing Notes, Social Service Notes or a Discharge Summary.” The Assistant Administrator also stated that upon admission the resident only required “a wheelchair, specialized bed for wound care, special eating utensils and a rimmed plate.”

Our Visalia nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that emotional abuse can cause significant trauma just as physical and mental abuse. The deficient practice of the nursing staff and administration at Westgate Gardens Care Center might be considered abuse, mistreatment or neglect because they did not provide proper discharge planning services and support a resident’s rights that resulted in unnecessarily transferring the resident to another facility which caused emotional distress.

When Physical Abuse Negligence and Mistreatment Occurs

Not all cases involving mistreatment or abuse are physical, although obvious indicators are usually most readily apparent to family and friends when visiting. The most common kinds of abuse resulting in civil lawsuits and claims for compensation involve:

  • Physical Assault – Typically, obvious indicators of physical harm include burns, bruises, broken limbs, dehydration, malnutrition, facility acquired pressure sores, medication overdoses, poor hygiene and any indication of chemical/physical restraint.
  • Sexual Abuse – Any act of non-consensual sexual contact is considered abuse as is sexual contact with an individual that does not have the capacity to give consent. Other forms of sexual abuse involve forcing someone to watch pornography or sexual acts involving others. Common indicators of sexual abuse involve bruises on breast and the genital area, torn clothing and/or venereal disease.
  • Emotional Abuse – Abusive behavior involving humiliation, verbal assaults, intimidation and threats often leave emotional scars. In many incidences, emotional abuse occurs when an elderly individual is isolated from activities or from others including family and friends. Typically, signs of emotional abuse include fear or appearing intimidated when around others, especially when around staff members or other residents.
  • Neglect – Any failure to fulfill a duty or obligation by the nursing staff or employees is considered neglect. Typically, staff members, caregivers or others can neglect the resident by failing to administer prescribed medication, allowing the individual to live in unsanitary conditions, failing to bathe the resident, failing to provide a safe environment, or failing to shelter, nourish or hydrate the victim.
  • Financial Exploitation – There are many cases where nursing home residents are financially exploited when others withdraw funds from their bank account, steal their property or make unexpected changes in the resident’s insurance policies and wills.
  • Fraudulent Activity – Under medicating or overmedicating or making a false entry in a resident’s care records are signs of fraudulent activity. Duplicate billing, understaffing, or poorly trained nursing staff are often evidence that the nursing facility is placing profits ahead of the comfort and quality care of its residents.

Every nursing home in California is regulated by state and federal statutes, regulations and laws. If the nursing facility fails to abide by every applicable federal or state regulation/rule, the home, administrator, nursing staff or others could be held legally liable for substantial fines, damages and civil action for compensation.

Nursing homes, assisted living centers and rehabilitation facilities are required by law to perform background checks on every employee and ensure that all staff members are properly trained and supervised by competent managers. In addition, the nursing home is required to provide sanitary living conditions in a safe environment.

Many families with loved ones injured, harmed or killed at the hands of their caregivers will hire personal injury attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse, mistreatment and neglect.

Holding a Nursing Home Accountable

If you suspect abuse, neglect or mistreatment has occurred to your loved one in a nursing facility, it is crucial to consult promptly with a reputable Fresno nursing home liability law firm. The California nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented many elders victimized by caregivers and other residents at their facility. Our law firm takes every step possible to ensure that you and your loved one receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Our Fresno County team of dedicated, experienced attorneys handles cases involving abuse, neglect and mistreatment. Our law firm has access to every resource possible to gather, review documentation, medical records, incident reports, doctor’s notes, nursing notes, intake/outtake records and care plans.

We encourage you and your family to contact our California elder abuse law office today by calling (888) 424-5757 to schedule your appointment for a full case review. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential. We accept all nursing home neglect, wrongful death and personal injury cases through contingency fee agreements. This means we provide immediate legal representation, advice and counsel without any upfront fees. All of our legal services are paid after we negotiate your acceptable out of court settlement or win your case at trial.

For additional information on California laws and information on nursing homes look here.

If you are looking for information on a specific facility or an attorney, please see links below to respective locality pages.

 

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