Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse in the Nursing HomeWhen you learn that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, the realization can be painful and emotionally trying. Instead of feeling a sense of despair, there are steps that you can take to end the abuse and get the help that you need for your loved one. There are expansive federal and state laws in place to ensure that your loved one is protected, even if he or she is in a state-run facility. There is no excuse for nursing home abuse, which is any act or failure to act that causes mental injury, physical injury or death to a nursing home resident. There are many forms of nursing home abuse, and it may take the following forms:
• Verbal abuse
Sexual abuse
• Mental & psychological abuse
• Physical elder abuse
• Corporal punishment
• Involuntary seclusion
• Other actions of nursing home staff or administrators
• Omissions to act that result in harm to nursing home residents

Specific signs of abuse include the appearance of bed sores, dirty clothing, an inability to speak or communicate, depression, unexplained bleeding or abrasions, refusal of a nursing home facility to allow visitors to see the resident and withdrawal from family members and friends.

If a loved one has suffered due to nursing home abuse, then family members can file a nursing home lawsuit on behalf of the injured loved one. The lawsuit may also be brought on behalf of the estate of a loved one who has passed away.

Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?

Nursing home abuse can occur due to the negligent hiring of employees on a nursing home staff, an understaffed nursing home or simply the harmful intentions of employees on staff to engage in such abuse. Nursing home administrators have a duty of care to residents, and this duty of care includes carefully conducting background searches of all employees hired in the nursing home. In some instances, nursing home administrators are desperate to fill open employee spots and may overlook an employee’s past history of violence or abuse. Hiring unemployable individuals increases the likelihood that abuse will impact the residents currently in a nursing home facility.

How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse?

If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of abuse, then it is important for the loved one to receive immediate medical attention for any emotional or physical injuries. Most states have an Act that provides for emergency protection services of vulnerable adults when there abuse has occurred. Make sure that you carefully document each injury that a loved one has suffered with a doctor, physician or other medical professional.

After you have recorded the injuries suffered by your loved one with a medical professional, it is important to report the abuse to local police authorities. Abuse of vulnerable adults in nursing homes is considered a crime, and it is considered a felony in many states too. When the police are notified about the abuse, they will be able to search a nursing home facility and gather evidence that can support your case. The police department can also question witnesses and begin identifying the staff members or administrators who may be charged with perpetrating this abuse.

How Nursing Home Abuse Law Firms Can Help Your Loved One

Also, you can get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer to help you with your nursing home abuse case. In addition to imposing criminal penalties for the abuse that has occurred, a court of law may be able to award damages for the injuries that your loved one has suffered. A nursing home abuse lawyer will research the facts of your case and determine the best course of action for your legal strategy.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understands the complexities of nursing home abuse cases and the challenges faced by a family when determining how– or if to proceed with a case. Our attorneys appreciate the strain put upon a senior when they are asked to relive a disturbing experience. Consequently, we take every feasible measure to protect your loved one from further distress during the entire litigation process. While our team is well versed in nursing home litigation and trial, we will work with you to follow your desires to proceed toward a settlement or take the case to trial. All of our nursing home abuse cases are handled on a contingency basis– where a legal fee is only charged when there is a recovery for you. Call us anytime (888) 424-5757

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Fines and Doing BusinessWhen families place a loved one in a nursing facility to receive quality health care, maintaining their safety and well-being in the loving environment is usually their biggest concern. However, to the nursing home, the level of care provided is often dictated by the cost of doing business, which is usually at the expense of the residents. In recent years, the Connecticut Department of Public Health fined six individual nursing facilities when residents died or suffered serious injuries from numerous falls.

Avon Health Center

In September 2014 Avon Health Center in Avon, Connecticut was fined over $1000 because of falling incidents involving two residents. One incident involved a resident falling out of a mechanical lift sling in March 2014 when the clip broke, causing a broken bone at the base of the resident’s skull. The individual succumbed to their injuries six days later. As a result, the medical professionals at the facility were retrained to ensure proper use of the equipment. But just 11 days after that incident, another resident broke their wrist as the result of a fall when a nurse’s aide in charge of their care left the individual alone.

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Nursing Home Admissions and Banning ArbitrationPlacing a loved one in the care of skilled nursing professionals has always been an overwhelming process where families are presented with stacks of papers and documents to sign, including a commonplace admission agreement. In many incidences, the family is only given the instruction to “just sign here” to have a loved one admitted into the nursing facility.

However, if the U.S. Congress has its way, understanding the comprehensive arbitrary agreements in place to be admitted into nursing facilities may be getting easier. This is because a federal regulation proposal that was initiated in 2015 will require nursing facilities to explain arbitration agreements to resident candidates and family members so that everyone knows what they are signing before admittance. The proposal would also ensure that agreeing to arbitration between the resident and nursing facility would not be a requirement for admittance into the nursing home, but merely an option to handle unresolved disputes.

Rules Affecting Medicare-Approved Facilities

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Elder Abuse Division for District AttorneyPreying on the elderly is a common problem in every city in the United States, including in Las Vegas where predators often attack the most vulnerable members of society. In November 2015, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson met the problem head-on in an effort to keep every elder Nevadan citizen safe by developing and implementing a new unit with a specific focus on elder abuse.

Fraud and theft cases are prevalent all across the United States, including in Nevada, where the elderly are taken advantage of and are often swindled of their much-needed minimal income. Abuse of the elderly is expected to grow exponentially in the decades ahead as the population of elderly individuals continues to grow because more and more baby boomers are retiring every day.

In addition to physical and mental abuse, many elderly individuals are victims of financial abuse where predators defraud senior citizens through social engineering tactics by exploiting their family relationships, age and vulnerabilities.

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How Often Does Elder Abuse Occur in Nursing Homes?The number of adults 50 years and older in the U.S. is expected to increase more than 70 percent of where it was in the year 2000 to 132 million in total by 2020. The significant increase is attributed to the substantial number of baby boomers reaching their senior years along with the increased longevity of a population living longer than ever before.

As a result, there has never been a greater demand for the hiring of more caregivers to fill the positions require at nursing facilities nationwide. This includes doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides and certified nursing assistants. To date, the nursing home industry is not fully prepared to meet the needs of those that will require housing, skilled nursing, assistance with daily living activities and health care support in the near future.

Today’s Aging Population

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Medicare Nursing Home Comparison 1

Alden Facility 

Overall Rating 

Health Inspections 

Total # of Deficiencies 

Nursing Home Staffing 

RN Staff Only 

Total # of Licensed Nurse Staff Hours/Resident/Day 

Fire Safety Inspections 

Alma Nelson 

1/5 

1/5 

18 

2/5 

2/5 

1 hour, 17 minutes 

7 

Des Plaines 

5/5 

4/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

2 hours, 34 minutes 

0 

Barrington 

4/5 

4/5 

2 

3/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 49 minutes 

1 

Evanston 

5/5 

4/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

4 hours, 7 minutes 

2 

Naperville 

3/5 

2/5 

6 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 7 minutes 

11 

Skokie 

4/5 

3/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

2 hours, 30 minutes 

2 

Lakeland 

2/5 

2/5 

6 

3/5 

5/5 

1 hour, 25 minutes 

3 

Lincoln 

1/5 

1/5 

16 

1/5 

2/5 

1 hour, 1 minute 

2 

Long Grove 

1/5 

2/5 

9 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 14 minutes 

4 

North Shore 

3/5 

3/5 

11 

3/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 48 minutes 

1 

Northmoor 

4/5 

4/5 

9 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 2 minutes 

1 

Waterford 

4/5 

3/5 

5 

4/5 

5/5 

1 hour, 38 minutes 

11 

Orland Park 

2/5 

2/5 

11 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour,17 minutes 

0 

Park Strathmoor 

1/5 

2/5 

15 

1/5 

2/5 

1 hour,12 minutes 

11 

Poplar Creek 

3/5 

3/5 

6 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 10 minutes 

3 

Princeton 

2/5 

1/5 

17 

3/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 19 minutes 

1 

Terrace of McHenry 

1/5 

1/5 

22 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 8 minutes 

13 

Town Manor 

1/5 

1/5 

28 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 14 minutes 

1 

Valley Ridge 

2/5 

2/5 

6 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 9 minutes 

1 

Wentworth 

2/5 

1/5 

9 

1/5 

1/5 

55 minutes 

2 

Medicare Nursing Home Comparison 2

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Septic Shock from a Bed SoreIn the United States, there are over 934,000 occurrences of septic shock each year. Sepsis is an advanced form of infection that is caused by bacteria or fungus and, if not treated quickly, has an extremely high rate of mortality. Elderly people are already at a much higher risk than any other age group and many patients develop sepsis from decubitus ulcers. If a patient is discovered to have a bedsore that has progressed into an advanced stage, sepsis treatment needs to begin promptly in order to give the patient the best chance of recovery.

What is a Decubitus Ulcer?

Commonly referred to as bedsores, decubitus ulcers develop due to lack of circulation. When left in the same position for long periods of time, the weight placed on a person’s joints can cut off the blood flow to the surrounding area. Over time, tissue begins to degrade at the cellular level due to a lack of oxygen and when the tissue dies, it creates an open wound that is extremely painful and highly inviting of bacterial infections that only serve to make the situation worse. Most bedsores are easily preventable and due to the manner in which they progress, it is unacceptable for bedsores to go unnoticed until their late stages.

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Nursing Home Owners Interests are Where?The FBI apprehended a man and his wife in Atlanta this month for Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The man, George Houser, owned three nursing homes which were all in disrepair and providing a substandard of living to the patients they served. While we would like to believe that this is an isolated incident, recent studies and data have all pointed to the fact that when nursing home facilities are owned by for-profit companies or held by a private owner who is seeking a profit, the needs of the patient will always be less important than the bottom line.

A New Precedent Set for Negligent Nursing Home Owners

George Houser was the first person ever to be federally convicted on the basis of submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services that were defined as “worthless”. Throughout all three of his homes, the ceilings were falling apart, rainwater needed to be collected in garbage cans spread throughout the facilities, dirty laundry was piled up and the floors were filthy. Houser wrote bad paychecks to his employees, failed to pay for their insurance benefits after withholding premiums from their pay, defaulted on payment to food vendors and clinical laboratories and failed to pay for waste disposal or nursing supplies. His employers paid for food and supplies out of their own pockets because patients were starving to death and becoming gravely ill.

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Criminal Charges in Nursing HomesEmployees at nursing homes widely abuse the elderly. However, the financial abuse is rarely ever talked about. There are not many statistical reports that give insight into the amount of financial abuse Americans aged 65 or older face at nursing homes. These elderly are the people admitted to nursing homes by family members because the elderly cannot take of themselves and the family cannot help them. They are in the care of the nursing home employees, who are mostly licensed nurses and medical assistants. Due to the disabilities and diseases that ails the elderly, they are unable to report any incidences of financial abuse or otherwise.

How Do Nursing Home Employees Abuse Residents Financially?

The employees at nursing homes financially abuse residents all over America through many ways. One of the most popular methods is to overcharge residents for services that they did not require, services that were never offered or by stealing medication that the residents may not have needed. The last method explicitly falls under drug abuse and it is administered under the local state departments. Many of the state departments have warned for-profit and licensed nursing homes to administer the drug use in their premises. However, in many cases, the administrators of such for-profit nursing homes are involved in drug abuse. The State Health Department also asks anyone aware of such financial or drug abuse to consider it their mandatory duty to report such incidents on behalf of the state.

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Medical Care through Nursing Homes for Younger PeopleNursing homes are generally defined as public homes where those people live who do not require hospital care but at the same time, cannot live at home because an injury or disability makes them unable to care for themselves.

In the past few decades of advancing medical care, there have been more turnarounds in serious health injuries than it could have been predicted 20 years back. Simply put, this advancement has enabled the younger generation to survive, even in potentially fatal accidents and diseases. As a result, most of these youngsters are living at nursing homes with the elderly.

Why Are Young People Rushing to Nursing Homes?

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Hospice Cares and Questions about Sincerity

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care refers to the provision of medical and emotional support to people who are in the last stages of a serious illness, or those who are thought to have six months left due to a particular illness. Such patients agree to shift from the exhausting treatments for illnesses such as cancer or heart failure, to a more comfortable form of care. Hospices also provide support to family members, providing them with help in managing the care needed and the emotional challenges faced when a loved one is dying.

However, if patients live beyond the six-month deadline, the doctors and caregivers are supposed to reassess the patient’s condition to determine whether they still qualify for hospice care.

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