Information & Ratings on Sterling Living Center, Sterling, Colorado
Are you legally responsible for protecting the rights of your loved one in a Logan County nursing facility? Are you concerned that they might be experiencing mistreatment, neglect or abuse by medical professionals, employees, visitors or other patients? If so, contact the Colorado Nursing Home Law Center Attorneys now for immediate legal intervention.
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This nursing home is a "for profit" center providing cares and services to residents of Sterling and Logan County, Colorado. The Medicare/Medicaid-participating 103-certified bed nursing facility is located at:
1420 South Third Avenue
Sterling, Colorado, 80751
In addition to providing around-the-clock skilled nursing care, Sterling Living Center offers other services that include:
- Physical, occupational and speech therapies
- Dementia and memory care
- Long-term care
Both the federal government and the state of Colorado can impose monetary fines or deny payments through Medicare of any nursing facility that has been found to have violated established nursing home regulations. Typically, the higher the monetary fine, the more egregious the violations.
Within the last three years, the government has levied to monetary penalties against Sterling Living Center, citing substandard care. These penalties include a $44,307 fine on May 19, 2017 and a $15,373 fine on May 17, 2016, for a total of $59,680.
Also, the facility received twelve formally filed complaints that all resulted in citations. Additional documentation about penalties and fines can be reviewed on the Colorado Department Of Public Health an Environment Department of Public Health Website concerning this nursing facility.Sterling Colorado Nursing Home Safety Concerns
To be fully informed on the level of care nursing homes provide, families routinely research the Colorado Department of Public Health and Medicare.gov database systems. These databases detail a comprehensive list of opened investigations, safety concerns, filed complaints, incident inquiries, health violations, and dangerous hazards. This information provides valuable content to make a well-informed decision of where to place a loved one who requires the highest level of hygiene assistance and health care assistance.
According to Medicare, the facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including one out of five stars concerning health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing issues and four out of five stars for quality measures. The Logan County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found serious deficiencies and safety concerns at Sterling Living Center that include:
- Failure to Timely Report Suspected Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment and Report the Results of the Investigation to Proper Authorities
- Failure to Provide Medically-related Social Services to Help Each Resident to Achieve Their Highest Possible Quality of Life
- Failure to Implement Gradual Dose Reductions and Nonpharmacological Interventions According to Regulations
- Failure to Provide and Implement an Infection Protection and Control Program
- Failure to Provide Necessary Care and Services to Maintain the Resident’s Highest Well-Being
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 22, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility “failed to report an alleged violation of abuse to the State Survey and Certification Agency [according to] State law.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident “reviewed for abuse.” The survey team reviewed the facility’s policy and procedure titled: Abuse and Neglect Prohibition dated August 2017 that reads in part:
“Each resident has the right to be free from abuse. Any observations or allegations of abuse, neglect or mistreatment must be immediately reported to the Administrator. The facility will timely [investigate] any alleged abuse/neglect [by] state law.”
The incident involved a 74-year-old female resident whose MDS (Minimum Data Set) Assessment documented “no mood or behavior noted. The resident’s Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) score was eleven out of fifteen, which indicated that the resident was moderately impaired with decision-making. She was dependent on staff with all activities of daily living except eating.”
A review of the resident’s March 18, 2018, Care Plan – the day of the accusation – identified “the resident was verbally accusing staff of doing things that they were not, and she was mean to others who provided care due to ineffective coping skills.” The Care Plan shows interventions that include a “staff member should be present in the room to provide care, observed and monitor behavior, engage calmly and conversation, if the response is aggressive, walked away and approach [the resident] later.”
A review of the resident’s Progress Notes dated on the afternoon of March 18, 2018, shows that the resident “reported to a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) that the Director of Nursing “grabbed her finger and hurt her. There was no documentation reflecting the incident was reported to the Nursing Home Administrator.”
The investigators interviewed the resident in her room the following day just before lunchtime. The resident said “she needed the help of one person for going to the bathroom [and] she participated in physical therapy which helps to be more independent. She had no complaints regarding any abuse, dignity or mistreatment in the facility.”
The surveyors re-interviewed the resident the next morning at 9:00 AM when “she said she had a dispute with the Director of Nursing a couple of days ago regarding her medications, which he refused to take as prescribed. However, the nurse never hurt her or anyone else in the facility.”
The resident said “she might have stepped on a staff member’s foot with her walker. However, it was nonintentional. She added, she was not afraid of anyone, and she is not afraid of the Director of Nursing.”
The surveyors interviewed the Director of Nursing a few minutes later who said that “she helped the resident to the bathroom [two days earlier on March 18, 2018, when] the resident yelled at her and said she pulled on her finger while she helped the resident.”
The Director said “she removed yourself and the situation and asked the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to complete the resident’s care. Then she documented the incident in the Progress Notes, updated the resident’s care plan, directed staff to provide care in pairs due to the onset behavior.”
However, the Director of Nursing confirmed that “she failed to report the allegation to the Nursing Home Administrator, did not complete an incident report and did not start an investigation, and she should have.”Failure to Provide Safe and Appropriate Respiratory Care for Every Resident When Needed
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 22, 2018, a state surveyor documented that the facility had failed to ensure one resident “who needed respiratory care, was provided such care, consistent with professional standards of practice including the safe handling, cleaning/changing, and storage.” The nursing home specifically failed to “ensure respiratory equipment were changed timely and stored properly for [a resident] to prevent cross-contamination of the equipment.”
The investigative team reviewed the facility’s policy titled: Respiratory – Changing Disposable Equipment that reads in part:
“Disposable equipment is for single resident use only and will be changed one time each week, as regularly scheduled and on an as-needed basis.”
The surveyors say that “the policy revealed residents who are receiving the respiratory care would receive a separate set up, and all the disposable equipment will be labeled with the resident’s name and date.”
A surveyor interviewed a resident just before dinner time on March 22, 2018, who said that “the staff changed her nasal cannula once a month. She said she has to [request] the staff at times before someone would change the tubing and oxygen water bottle when she has noticed moisture and the tubing becoming clogged.”
The resident said “she has not seen the white bag change in a long time. She said she uses the HHN equipment two to three times a week or more. She says she does not remember when the nurse changed the HHN treatment equipment. She said she cleans the HHN mouthpiece once in a while by herself to prevent respiratory infection.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 22, 2018, the state survey team noted that the nursing facility had “failed to provide medically-related social services for [one resident] reviewed for vision, hearing and dental needs.” Specifically, “the facility failed to assess the resident to submit an application for funding to purchase eyeglasses [promptly]. The resident paid for the eyeglasses when a funding program was available.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 22, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility failed “to attempt nonpharmacological interventions [before] administering ‘as needed’ medications.”
The survey team reviewed a resident’s MDS (Minimum Data Set) Assessment indicating that the cognitively intact resident had a Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) score of fifteen out of fifteen.
The resident “exhibited other behavior symptoms not directed toward others one to three days during the seven days look back period. The behavior did not put the resident at significant risk for physical illness or injury [and] did not significantly interfere with the resident’s care and did not significantly interfere with the resident’s participation in activities or social interactions.”
When the surveyors reviewed the resident’s Current Plan of Care it “did not identify the use of nonpharmacological interventions or approaches to address the resident’s anxiety.” During an interview with the facility Social Services Manager and the resident primary care Physician, it was revealed that “there were no nonpharmacological interventions identified for the resident.”
The Primary Care Physician said that the resident “will just ask for the anti-anxiety medication and did not have nonpharmacological interventions identified in her plan.” During the interview, the Primary Care Physician said that “she planned to keep the ‘as needed’ order for [the antianxiety medication] and would assess the effectiveness of the medication every two months to manage the resident’s anxiety.”
The Social Services Manager was re-interviewed and told the surveyors that “she was working to identify and plan for nonpharmacological interventions to use with the resident.” The manager said that the “staff tried interventions in the past but did not document the attempts.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 15, 2016, a state investigator noted the nursing home's failure to “maintain an infection control program to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved two resident units.
The surveyors stated that specifically, the nursing facility “failed to ensure that clean surfaces were not re-contaminated with dirty cleaning supplies and that proper hand hygiene was performed by housekeeping staff.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 15, 2016, the state investigative team documented that the nursing facility failed “to provide necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable [wellbeing according to] the comprehensive assessment and Plan of Care for [two residents].”
The surveyors say that specifically, “the facility failed to document and measure bruises of unknown origin for [a resident]; and obtain treatment orders and failed to monitor a skin tear [for another resident].”
The survey team reviewed a resident’s Care Plan that “identified actual impairment to skin integrity related to falls, hitting on the doorway and scratching self (bruises and scabs to bilateral upper and lower extremities).” The documentation also revealed, “new bruises/skin tears on June 17, 2016 [when the] resident scratched bilateral lower extremities.”
The documentation shows that interventions included “encourage the resident not to scratch himself and asked the nursing staff to apply lotion when the itching began. Skin cream as ordered to bilateral arms and legs. Skin cream to bilateral lower extremities. Encourage the resident to call for assistance when transferring.”
The notation shows that the nursing staff must “monitor sites of skin tears for signs and symptoms of infection until healed. Notify Physician and friends of injuries and treatment as ordered. Pressure alarm on at all times to alert staff when the resident was trying to get up by himself. Transfer the resident with care.”
A review of a skin check (head to toe) dated August 14, 2016, revealed “existing bruises. The resident returned to the facility from the hospital with existing bruises to the top of both hands and forearms. No new marks were noted. The resident did have a small puncture wound to the back of the left-hand where the emergency room attempted to draw blood.”
The investigator stated that “the form did not contain information on the number, size, type or length of the existing bruises.” A subsequent head to toe skin check performed on August 27, 2016, failed to document “any existing bruises.” In two follow up head to toe skin assessments performed on August 27, 2016, and September 3, 2016, the assessments “did not document any existing bruises.”
Do you suspect that your loved one suffered abuse, mistreatment or neglect while residing at Sterling Living Center? If so, contact the Colorado nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 now for immediate legal intervention. Our law firm fights aggressively on behalf of Logan County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Sterling. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim.
Our knowledgeable attorneys can offer legal assistance on your behalf to ensure your case for financial compensation is successfully resolved against every party that caused your loved one harm. Our law firm accepts all nursing home abuse lawsuits, personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death suits through a contingency fee agreement.
Our law firm offers every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to resolve your case successfully, you owe us nothing. We can begin working on your case today to ensure your family receives monetary recovery for your damages. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.Sources: