More Americans than ever before are entering their retirement years and reaping the benefits of new advances in medical technology to extend their life much longer than ever before. However, the increasing number of senior citizens moving into long-term care facilities has placed a heavy burden on nursing homes that are becoming understaffed and overcrowded. The Roswell nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have witnessed a rise in the number of cases involving neglect and abuse in recent years that corresponds to the heavier burdens placed on nursing facilities.
While there are many residential nursing facilities that provide compassionate, loving care in a safe environment, other nursing homes tend to place profits over comfort, cleanliness and kindness. When these facilities fail to provide protection for a loved one, it is crucial for family members to contact a competent New Mexico elder abuse attorney to seek justice and secure accountability.
The number of cases of abuse, neglect and mistreatment in nursing homes is expected to rise exponentially in the years ahead as more middle-aged individuals enter their retirement years. This is especially true in Chaves and Eddy County where statistics show a dramatic rise in the number of retirees over just the last five years. Of the more than 125,000 residents in both counties, nearly 16,000 are 65 years and older, where nearly one out of every five will require skilled nursing care at some point in the future. The limited number of available beds in nursing facilities and a lack of adequate staff will likely increase the number of cases involving mistreatment.
Roswell Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns
Our Chaves County nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that long-term care has become a booming business, where many facilities are operated by large corporations where residents become nothing more than a money-generating part of doing business. Family members are often frustrated when researching where to place a loved one who requires the best-skilled care in their local community.
In an effort to help, our Roswell nursing home attorneys continuously review and evaluate publicly available resources including information found on Medicare.gov. Our team of attorneys assesses the information involving opened investigations, safety violations, health hazards and filed complaints against nursing facilities all throughout Eddy and Chaves counties. Family members often use this valuable information as an effective way to make an informed decision based on the best data available on nursing facilities in Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad.
Comparing Roswell Area Nursing Facilities
The information below a list of Roswell area nursing facilities compiled by our New Mexico elder abuse attorneys listing homes in the community that currently maintain substandard ratings compared other facilities throughout the United States. Additionally, we have added our primary concerns by showing specific resident cases who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of negligence, mistreatment or abuse. Some of these cases involve facility acquired bedsores, a lack of following physician’s orders, unsanitary conditions, maintenance issues, wandering/elopement from the nursing home, the spread of infection and other serious problems.
Information on New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawsuits
Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across New Mexico to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:
- New Mexico Medical Error Settlements
- New Mexico Nursing Home Medication Error Settlements
- New Mexico Nursing Home Fall Case Valuations
- New Mexico Nursing Home Bed Sore Case Valuations
- New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Case Values
CASA MARIA HEALTHCARE CENTER AND PECOS VALLEY REHABILITATION
1601 South Main Street
Roswell, New Mexico 88203
A “For-Profit” 118-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Accident That Could Lead to Actual Harm
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 06/23/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “implement adequate safety precautions, after multiple falls, which likely resulted in the resident falling and suffering a broken nose, skin tears/abrasions and back pain.”, These failures by the nursing staff at Casa Maria Health Care Center and Pecos Valley Rehabilitation directly affected one resident at the facility in one incident “the lack of safety precautions has the potential to result in the resident falling again and suffering a more serious injury.”
The state investigator handling the complaint reviewed a resident’s 02/20/2015 Care Plan that revealed the resident “had a cognitive loss, dementia, and has memory problems related to the history of [their disease… and] is at risk for injury. The investigator reviewed the resident’s 02/09/2015 through 05/26/2015 Nurses Notes that reveal that “the resident had fallen 10 times since [admittance of the facility on] 02/04/2015.”
The complaint investigation was initiated after a 9:30 PM 02/09/2015 incident where “the resident was found on the ground outside next to his wheelchair. The resident stated that he went outside to smoke and he hit a bump and it made him fall, sustaining a small scrape on the knee.” Four days later at 11:00 AM on 02/13/2015 “the resident was found sitting on the floor in the bathroom between the wheelchair and the toilet. The resident stated he was trying to get his pants off and when he went to sit the wheelchair moved causing them to sit on the floor. The scab on his knee from the previous fall came off and left elbow hit the wheelchair causing a small skin tear.”
The following day at 5:30 PM on 02/14/2015 “the resident went out to the courtyard and was found lying on his right side. The assessment was completed and the resident had an abrasion to the right knee.”
The day after that at an unknown time after breakfast on 02/15/2015, “the resident returned to his room after breakfast and was reaching down to pick something up from the floor when his foot slipped off the pedal of his wheelchair causing him to fall. They were no injuries noted.”
Three days later on 02/18/2015 during the morning hours, “the resident was found on the floor in his room. The resident stated that he fell out of his wheelchair hit his head […and] he thought he broke his nose. The resident was sent to the emergency room and return to the facility [after being diagnosed].”
Six days later at 4:30 PM on 02/26/2015, “the resident fell out of his wheelchair onto the floor in the sitting position. He scraped his right arm and had several skin tears.”
The following month on 03/08/2015, “the resident was reaching to the ground fell from the wheelchair […and] complained of back pain and [was] sent to the emergency room and returned after evaluation [where] no injuries were found.”
The next month at 8:30 PM on 04/02/2015 “the resident was found lying in front of the wheelchair on the front of the transport van. The resident had been attempting to position himself on the platform ramp to get out of the van and didn’t get a good hold when the wheelchair rolled backwards, causing the resident to fall from the chair.”
Nine days later on 04/11/2015, “the resident was found sitting on the floor between the bed and a wheelchair [… stating that] he was trying to put himself to bed. There were no injuries noted.”
The last documentation of a fall occurred at 4:30 PM on 05/26/2015 when “the resident was found lying on the floor in his room by the bed and wheelchair.” Documentation in the nursing notes shows the resident sustained injury.
The state investigator reviewed the resident’s 2015 Care Plan that revealed “the resident was at risk for falls. Interventions included: therapy to evaluate and treat, anticipate needs and provide prompt assistance, assure lighting is adequate and areas are free of clutter.”
The Care Plan had documented four falls that occurred at the facility without new interventions. These falls occurred on 02/13/2015 through 02/15/2015 and again on 02/18/2015.
The investigator reviewed the resident’s 03/16/2015 Care Plan that revealed that the resident “has a problem with a history of frequent falls due to physical limitations related to amputation of left lower extremities and weakness.” The Care Plan also shows to encourage the resident and remind him to “frequently asked for assistance from staff for transfers, keep call light within reach an answer promptly, remind him to keep his bed in the lowest position with brakes locked.”
It was noted by the state investigator that even though falls occurred on 04/02/2015, 4/11/ 2015 and 05/26/2015, they “were not documented on the Care Plan and no interventions were added.”
The investigator conducted an interview at 12:30 PM on 06/18/2015 with the facility’s Nurse Assessment Coordinator who was asked: “if new safety precautions were initiated after each fall.” The Coordinator responded, “No, the resident is very resistant to care and we tried to remind him not to try to transfer himself and let us know when he needs help.”
Our Roswell nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide every resident an environment free of accident hazards and take appropriate measures to minimize the potential of additional falls could place their health and well-being in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Casa Maria Healthcare Center and Pecos Valley Rehabilitation might be considered negligence or mistreatment because no effective actions or interventions were developed or implemented to minimize the potential of additional falls after the first fall and subsequent falls had occurred.
MISSION ARCH CENTER
3200 Mission Arch Drive
Roswell, New Mexico 88201
A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Entering a Nursing Facility without a Catheter Is Not Provided a Catheter and Instead Receives Proper Services to Prevent UTIs and Restore Normal Bladder Function to Avoid Actual Harm
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/27/2016, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “maintain aseptic (free from contamination caused by harmful bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms) condition of an indwelling catheter by not changing the catheter and bag when showing signs of crossing or having feces on tubing.” The investigator looking into the complaint also noted the facility’s failure “to monitor for complications of Foley catheter use – signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs) for [a resident at the facility with an] indwelling urinary catheter.” It was noted that the deficient practice “likely resulted in the resident developing a UTI and…a strain of bacteria highly resistant to several types of antibiotics.”
Notations by the state investigator into the complaint involved a review of a resident’s records showing that the resident had “an indwelling urinary catheter because of immobility and skin breakdown.”
The investigator also reviewed the resident’s November TAR (Treatment Administration Record) revealing an order dated 11/07/2015 indicating staff to “change Foley drainage bag when occluded (obstructed) or when Foley catheter is changed as needed.” However, there was no documentation on the TAR (Treatment Administration Record) to “indicate the urinary catheter and bag had been changed.”
The investigator also reviewed the resident’s 11/07/2015 through 11/24/2015 Nurse’s Notes that revealed “no documentation about [the resident’s] condition of the indwelling catheter, tubing or bag after 11/09/2015.”
A review was conducted of the hospital records that revealed 11/25/2015 1:48 AM Emergency Department Nurse Documentation revealing that EMS (emergency medical services) “also reported facility requested the emergency room to look at patient’s Foley catheter because [the patient] was pulling at the catheter. Feces noted on catheter, dark yellow thick crystallized appearance to urine in Foley tube.”
Additional History and Present Illness documentation dated 11/25/2015 from the hospital revealed that “on examination, patient’s Foley was found to have dirty urine and urine bag was changed.” This was signed by the physician at the hospital.
The hospital documentation also noted a urinalysis report from 11/25/2015 revealing the resident was suffering from a urinary tract infection and had a high white blood cell count, high red blood cell count, and high bacteria count.
Notations were also made in the nurse documentation of 11/25/2015 at the hospital that revealed: Assessment for neglect: signs of neglect: poor hygiene observed.” The records also reviewed that at 3:27 AM, “notified Adult Protective Services at 2:58 AM for signs of neglect.”
Upon discharge from the hospital on 12/03/2015: Hospital admission of November 20 15,015 revealed: Hospital course Abuse at the nursing home suspected and Adult Protective Services contacted, the Emergency Department.”
The state surveyor conducting an investigation into the complaint interviewed the facility’s Assistant Director of Nursing Service at 3:00 PM on 01/14/2015. The Assistant Director of Nursing stated that “a Foley bag should be changed if occluded [blocked] or leaking.” The Assistant Director of Nursing “also stated if the tubing was crusty and the urine bag had sediment in the urine, it should be changed […and] the nurse should be assessing and use their nursing judgment to provide catheter care as needed.”
Our Roswell nursing home abuse attorneys recognize that failure to provide adequate treatment to a resident with an indwelling urinary catheter increases their potential of developing a urinary tract infection. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Mission Arch Center might be considered abuse or mistreatment and that their actions raise alarms of neglect by the staff and doctors in the hospital emergency room.
SAN PEDRO NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER
1402 West Gilchrist
Artesia, New Mexico 88210
A “For-Profit” 65-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols by Reporting and Investigating Any Act or Alleged Act of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/15/2016, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “immediately report and investigate an injury of unknown origin for [two residents at the facility] with injuries of unknown origin.” In addition, the investigator also noted the facility’s failure “to investigate and provide a follow-up investigation for one resident” and a failure to report an injury of unknown origin of [another resident] in a timely manner.” It was noted that “this failure to investigate an allegation of injuries of unknown origin has the potential for residents to suffer neglect and injuries of unknown origin and fail to prevent further occurrences and take appropriate corrective actions.”
The state investigator reviewed the resident’s 11/11 2015 Nurse’s Notes that revealed the resident was “found on the floor by the nurses’ station this shift at 10:10 AM by staff members. The Director of Nursing directed the nurse to send the resident to the emergency room via emergency medical services.”
During the course of an interview conducted at 8:15 AM on 07/15/2016 with the facility’s Administrator and Director of Nursing, both were asked about the follow-up investigation involving the 11/11/2015 injury of unknown origin for the resident. During the interview, the Director of Nursing “looked at the facility incident folder and stated, ‘we do not have confirmation that a follow-up investigation was sent to the State Agency.”
During the investigation of a separate incident, the investigator reviewed the 1:10 AM 10/07/2015 Nurse’s Notes for another resident. Documentation noted that a Certified Nursing Assistant “reported to the nurse that she found the resident on the floor, resident was fully conscious and alert […and] she sustained a swelling (hematoma) at the back of the head and reported of pain.” The nursing staff applied the ice pack to the resident’s injury and “in order to send to the emergency room for evaluation was obtained at 7:00 PM.” At that time, the resident was sent to the hospital for evaluation.”
The state investigator conducted a 9:50 AM 01/14/2016 interview with the facility’s Administrator who presented the survey team and internal incident report in regards to the resident’s incident. “The document was unsigned and with the same information found on the nurse note of 10/07/2015. There were no other investigation information and no new interventions listed.” The Administrator stated, “after review, we made a mistake in not reporting this injury of unknown origin.”
Our Artesia nursing home abuse attorneys recognize that failing to report and investigate any act of abuse mistreatment, neglect or injury of unknown origin violates federal and state nursing home regulations. The failures of the nursing staff and administrator at San Pedro Nursing and Rehabilitation Center might be considered abuse or mistreatment because their actions failed to follow the facility’s policies including the policy titled: Abuse and Neglect Policy that reads in part:
“Investigation The facility administration will complete the investigation within five days of the allegation, will document all interviews, including the date, time and content of the interview.”
“After the investigation is complete, the facility administration will document a summary of its findings as to whether the alleged abuse was substantiated or unsubstantiated and the report of its findings will be forwarded to the agencies which were notified at the beginning of the investigation.”
1900 Westridge Road
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
A “Not for Profit” 105-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Programs That Investigate, Control or Maintain Infection to Avoid Spreading Infection throughout the Facility
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 03/06/2015, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “clean a patient transfer lift used by [a resident at the facility].” The investigator noted that “this failure has potential for MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria to be spread from resident to resident who require the use of the transfer lift.”
The state investigator reviewed a resident’s 02/26/2015 Nursing Progress Notes that revealed that the resident had a surgical wound on the right hip that was cultured and found to contain infectious MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
During an observation of care to the resident occurring at 9:30 AM on 03/05/2015, “a Certified Nursing Assistant was observed taking the lift that had just been used with [the resident] down the hall to be used for the [residents in another room].” At this time, the Certified Nursing Assistant “was not observed to disinfect the transfer lift.” The following day at 9 AM on 03/06/2015, during an interview occurring with the staff development Registered Nurse and the facility’s infection control Registered Nurse, it was stated that “the transfer lift should have been clean with disinfectant after being used with [the resident with MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)] and prior to use with any other resident. They also stated that the staff had received training prior to caring for [the infectious resident] but they would conduct the training again.”
The investigator reviewed the facility’s 03/01/2015 Memo and Training Record that was signed by the “Facility Infection Control Registered Nurse. The documentation revealed that the resident “has been placed on contact precautions due to MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infection in her right hip surgical wound. MRSA can live up to three hours on environmental surfaces and all showers and chairs must be disinfected using Quaternary Disinfectant and left on the surface for 10 minutes before using for any other resident.”
Our Carlsbad nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to develop, implement and enforce programs and investigate to maintain or control infection to avoid infection from spreading throughout the facility places the health and well-being of all residents in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Landsun Homes might be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow the facility’s revised August 2011 policy title: MRSA – Management of Recurrent Skin and Soft Tissue Infection that reads in part:
“Enforce strict environmental cleaning procedures, including focusing on highly touch surfaces, doorknobs, counters, bath tubs, and showers, toilet seats, etc.: and not allowing residents to share or reuse items that have come in contact with infected skin.”
NORTHGATE UNIT OF LAKEVIEW CHRISTIAN HOME NURSING
1905 West Pierce St
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
A “Not for Profit” 112-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocol When Investigating and Reporting Any Act or Report an Act of Neglect, Abuse or Mistreatment of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/07/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “ensure residents are free from abuse.” This deficient practice by the nursing staff at Northgate Unit of Lakeview Christian Home Nursing affected three residents “review for incidences of abuse, neglect and injury of unknown source.”
The state surveyor conducting an investigation into the complaint noted the facility’s failure “to thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse” and failing to provide “evidence that injuries of an unknown source were reported to the State Survey Agency.” There is also a notation that “this failed practice has the potential for abuse to continue and for the sorts of injuries to remain unidentified.”
As a part of the investigation, the state surveyor reviewed a resident’s 04/27/2015 Incident Report noting that the resident “had complained that a Certified Nursing Assistant had been mean to her and told her you don’t need to go to the bathroom, you can just go in your [adult diaper].”
Upon review of the facility’s 05/05/2015 five-day follow-up that was signed by the Registered Nurse it indicated “there were no findings of abuse, but the employee will be counseled.”
During an interview that occurred at 9:30 AM on 05/07/2015, the Registered Nurse “stated she conducted the investigation on the allegation of abuse concerning [the resident and the Certified Nursing Assistant].” The Registered Nurse stated that “she interviewed [the resident] and [the resident] confirmed that the [Certified Nursing Assistant] had a smart mouth and had been rough with the resident while toileting her.”
The investigator then reviewed the 04/29/2015 Facility Incident Report indicating that “the family of the resident alleged the CNAs are too rough when caring for and think that they caused the bruises on the resident’s outer hand and forearm.” A notation was made that a review of the facility’s Five-Day Follow-up for the allegation concerning the resident consisted of eight sentences and does not thoroughly complete the investigation.
On 05/07/2015 11:00 AM, an interview was conducted with the facility’s Director of Nursing and Administrator who agreed that “the abuse investigations conducted for the allegations of abuse for [these two residents] were not thoroughly investigated.”
Our Carlsbad nursing home abuse attorneys recognize that failing to follow procedures and protocols to investigate and report any allegation of abuse to the appropriate agencies in a timely manner violates federal and state nursing home regulations. The deficient practice by the administration and nursing staff at Northgate Unit of Lakeview Christian Home Nursing might be considered additional abuse or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow the facility’s 09/15/2013 policy title: Abuse Policy that reads in part:
“Abuse Reporting Policy Statement: All person must appropriately report an incident or suspected incident of resident abuse including injuries of an unknown origin. When an alleged or suspected case of mistreatment, neglect, injuries of unknown source or abuse is reported, the facility Administrator and/or his or her designee will notify the following persons or agencies of such incidents [including] State Licensing and Certification Agency; Resident representative, Physician and/or Medical Director, Law Enforcement Officials (when appropriate, appropriate Licensing and Professional Board.”
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The thought of a loved one being abused or neglected in a nursing facility is beyond disturbing. Often times, the victims are the most vulnerable among us, especially those who are unable to easily defend themselves or lack the capacity to speak out of the deplorable and heinous actions of caregivers or other residents at the facility.
Many cases handled by personal injury attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect involve:
- Falls Caused by Neglect – Statistics indicate that nursing home residents are twice as likely to suffer injuries from falling compared to elderly individuals that live at home. For the disabled, infirmed and elderly, falling can be extremely dangerous that often results in permanent physical limitations, chronic pain, anxiety, ongoing health issues and even death.
- Prescription Errors – Medication mistakes are a serious problem in nearly every nursing facility in the state. The most common errors include giving the resident another resident’s medication, not giving the resident the correct medication or the correct dosage or at the right time. Other serious concerns involve ongoing pain the resident experiences because they were never given their narcotic due to theft.
- Malnutrition or Dehydration – Most elderly individuals lack the capacity have immediate access to food and beverages when hungry or thirsty. A lack of a nutritional diet or and accessibility to water can cause irreparable damage, serious harm, a change in their health condition or even death.
- Bedsores – Every bedsore (pressure sores; decubitus ulcers; pressure ulcer) is avoidable, even in resident’s who are mobility challenged and unable to reposition their body without assistance. If a loved one develops a facility-acquired bedsore, it might be the first indicator that neglect, mistreatment or abuse is occurring in the nursing home.
- Elopement or Wandering – Typically, residents who are cognitively impaired require ongoing supervision to minimize the potential of wandering or eloping away from the facility. Any incident that evolves elopement without detection could be considered negligence or mistreatment of the nursing facility that endangers the life and well-being of the resident.
Taking Legal Action
Nursing facilities are legally required to provide every resident acceptable standards of care. However, mistakes in treatment, inadequate staffing, a lack of training, physical assault and ignoring the needs of residents are just a few of the many problems that occur in nursing homes throughout New Mexico.
All incidents of mistreatment, abuse and neglect are 100 percent preventable. Unfortunately, many residents lack the ability to protect themselves or feel powerless against retaliation for speaking out as to what is happening that is causing them harm, injury or pain.
Securing a Legal Assistance of a Competent Attorney
If the suffering, injury or pain your loved one is experiencing appears to be caused by negligence, abuse or mistreatment at the nursing facility, it is crucial to take immediate legal action. The Roswell nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assist you in understanding your family’s rights and can take appropriate and immediate action to stop the harm now.
We urge you to contact our New Mexico elder abuse law firm today by calling (888) 424-5757 to speak with an attorney about your situation. We serve clients all throughout the state including those living in the Roswell area and throughout Chaves and Eddy counties. We accept all wrongful death lawsuits, personal injury claims and nursing home neglect cases through contingency fee agreements. This means all of your legal fees are paid only after we negotiate your out of court settlement or win your case in a jury trial.
For additional information on New Mexico 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.