As our parents reach old age, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our mothers and fathers are cared for. Because of the demands of the modern world, it’s not possible for us to be the ones personally caring for our parents, so many people entrust long-term nursing homes to provide the care that our loved ones need. Depending on the physical and cognitive function of our parents, many elderly might need nursing assistants who are available to check in every once in awhile. Other elderly people require 24/7 care from a specialized professional. When family members turn to registered nurses and other nursing home staff members, we assume that our loved ones will receive the support they need. Unfortunately, it’s far too common to hear about times where nursing home staff members and medical professionals don’t uphold their professional responsibilities.
Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN) Receives Felony Charge
A LPN has plead guilty for abusing a resident while this patient was living at a long-term nursing home. The nurse made a mistake and administered the wrong drug to her patient and then tried to cover up the fact by not telling her supervisor. Instead of receiving cough suppressant like the patient was supposed to, the nurse administered an opioid pain reliever to the patient. This severe pain medication caused the patient to have an overdose, so the nurse altered the patient’s medical records to hide the mistake. Eventually, another nurse noticed that the patient was having an overdose and rushed the patient to the hospital. Luckily the patient was eventually released from the hospital, after nearly dying because of receiving the incorrect treatment for her problem.
Licensed Practical Nurse Commits Abuse At Nursing Home
When the management company of the nursing home found out about the incident, they had staff members investigate what happened. The investigation team uncovered that the nurse covered up administering the incorrect treatment and that she failed to inform any other staff members that she made a mistake. Now the nurse no longer works at the nursing home, but her problems aren’t over. Currently the nurse who committed these crimes is now facing sentencing and may receive up to ten years of prison time. This is just another reminder of how important it is to select the correct nursing home for your parents once they’re no longer able to properly care for themselves.
Investigated Nursing Home Company Went Into Bankruptcy and Dissolved
Former patients and family members of a nursing home chain in New Mexico have told investigators about the horrific treatment of patients that has occurred for years. According to testimony and investigations, Preferred Care Inc purchased nursing homes from Cathedral Rock that had went bankrupt. Both nursing home businesses have negative track records from treating their patients poorly and also failed to perform simple care duties such as feeding their residents. A report even showed that it took nursing home staff members hours to feed and even bath all of their residents because of the poor management of long-term care facility.
Poor Care Possibly Lead To Death Of Patients
After investigating these two companies in 2015, and investigator took a closer look at the operations of facilities in New Mexico, finding that there are many abuse incidents over a three year period of time. One incident explains how nursing home staff members failed to perform their duties of care for a resident that had a high risk of falling. The elderly patient was found on the floor by nursing home staff, after being there for some time. Hours later the victim ended up dying and it’s believed by the patient’s mother that there wasn’t enough staff to watch all of the residents.
Investigation Shows Nursing Home Ill Prepared For Residents
Investigators also spoke with previous nurses of the long-term care facilities to verify just how understaffed the nursing homes were. According to one nurse that worked at one of the Santa Fe nursing homes, she had to take care of 22 different patients with only the help of one other staff member. West Palm Beach elder law attorneys believe that as a result, patients went without proper hygiene for hours as 22 patients had to wait to be toileted and changed by one person. Attorney Generals in New Mexico are now making sure that the families of any victims see justice in a new lawsuit.
Nurse Abused Patients With Low Cognitive Ability
Staff members at a nursing home in New Castle witnessed horrific treatment of long-term care patients with dementia by one ex-worker and informed police. Police were told by employees of the nursing home that this abusive nurse had several incidents with nursing home patients over around three months in 2016. After conducting internal investigations, the abusive nurse was fired, however police still want to locate this ex-employee in order to charge her for the crimes committed.
Nurse Has A Warrant Out For Her Arrest
In January, the nursing home employee stuffed socks in a patient with dementia. Later during the week, she covered the mouth of one resident in order to get her to stop talking. She was also verbally abusive to patients during this time, all while being told that her physical and verbal actions weren’t correct from staff members. The next month, the nurse used a patient’s clothing article to cover their mouth and nose until the patient couldn’t breathe. During this time, the nurse screamed at the victim all because the victim grabbed her arm. Staff witnessed the event and had to physically stop her.
Police Search For Nurse Due To Nursing Home Abuse
There are many more incidents of abuse that were allegedly performed by this nurse, most of which involve some type of suffocating her nursing home patients. In February, the nurse approached a patient from behind while the patient was sitting in a chair. The nurse then proceeded to force the victim’s head back and covered the victim’s mouth while laughing hysterically. Later that month, the nurse removed the dentures of one elderly patient by force, and even made the victim put her whole hand in her mouth in order to shut the victim up. Now the nurse is wanted by police who have stalking, simple assault, and harassment charges against her.
About 90% Of The Time Elder Abuse Doesn’t Result In Jail Time
New research has discovered that a majority of people who commit elder abuse won’t serve jail sentences. Investigators took data from throughout the country regarding elder abuse and neglect and it turns out that only ten percent of people who have committed elder abuse, even when guilt is admitted, results in jail time. Most elder abuse cases end up dismissed or aren’t proven as a result of the victim having diminished cognitive function and not being able to testify against the abuser. Most people who commit elder abuse crimes are given battery charges, instead of doing time.
Elderly Abuse Is Shockingly Dismissed Frequently
Many nursing home staff members who end up testifying guilty for abusing nursing home patients don’t end up with any convictions on their record. That’s because in many cases when probation is completed by abusive nursing home staff members, no findings are added to an individual’s record. Therefore even when someone has abused an elderly person, chances are their personal record won’t explain the circumstances of any incident. People who have committed physical abuse, verbal abuse, and even rape have gotten away with their crimes against the elderly and remain employed in the hospitality industry.
Many Victims Cannot Testify Against The Abusing Staff Member
Videos have surfaced of two nursing home staff members that depict horrible crimes against elderly with Alzheimer’s and dementia. These staff members assaulted and battered long-term care residents and even went so far as 2 record video of the residents while nude secretly. Although they went to trial for all of these incidents, nothing is listed on their record because they completed probation successfully. this is scary because no disciplinary action has been taken and there’s no way for employers to know that they were convicted of a crime. Gordon & Doner are aware of many cases of elder abuse where convicted criminals get away with nothing more than a probation period.
Nursing home dumping occurs when a long-term care nursing home patient is discharged and replaced with a patient that don’t require the same high level of care. This practice most often occurs to those who are mentally ill or those who are poor and unfortunately seems to be on the rise. This practice is known as dumping because there aren’t many options, if any at all, for the patient to turn to as their illnesses prevent other nursing homes from accepting them or their families are not able to pay for the extensive care that they need.
Maladministration investigation officials have noticed that there has been a huge increase in the amount of people filing complaints because of patient dumping. They’ve received over 50% more complaints in 2014 than they did in the early 2000s, showing just how significant this problem is becoming. Because of the increased number of people filing complaints, this is quickly becoming one of the major issues that families and patients have with long-term care nursing homes.
Why Does Nursing Home Dumping Occur?
This issue has been highly debated by the American Health Care Association and the Long Term Care Community Coalition, both of whom argue opposite points in regards to whether nursing home dumping is a beneficial practice. On one hand, patients who get violent or require so much care that other patients are put in risk are moved elsewhere. On the other hand, most of these patients have dementia, so it’s difficult for them to be uprooted while undergoing changes that are often confusing. You also have the fact that some of these patients can not even afford to pay for more intensive care.
One California lawsuit about patient dumping will soon explain who is responsible to make sure that patients have somewhere safe to go when they are discharged from their nursing home, so expect more updates on the matter.
Police and the Department of Children and Families are trying to unearth whether a death involving a patient in a Pinellas Park nursing home is linked to nursing home abuse. Paramedics responded to a call from the nursing home to explain that a patient received second-hand burns from overexposure to the sun. After arriving at the hospital, the man ended up dying due to cardiac failure. Now investigators want to know whether the correct patient procedures were followed and why it took so long for nurses to notice red flags that the man had been exposed to the sun for too long.
The nursing home under investigation has a history of violations and has been fined multiple times in the past few years. But investigators are unsure of whether this case constitutes as nursing home abuse. That’s because the patient had the ability to travel throughout the nursing home as he pleased, since he only required limited care. Gordon & Doner believe that this doesn’t necessary mean that nursing home abuse actually occurred.
Strange Nursing Home Death Prompts Investigation
The Florida man who passed away because of overexposure to the sun is gaining interest from investigators because it’s likely that nursing home staff at the facility didn’t complete the proper due-diligence for their patient. Investigators are primarily focusing on uncovering whether staff checked in on the patient and any time and if so, why he stayed outside in the sun long enough to develop serious burns. If it turns out that staff had not checked on the man during his extended stay outside, or if he had been outside for too long, chances are the nursing home may have more legal problems to face. This is just one of the many incidents that influence this nursing homes ‘poor’ customer service rating.
A patient recently died because of a medical error caused by a physician. This is just one incident in a recent series of violations against Golden Living facilities, the third largest nursing home in the United States. Golden Living operates throughout much of the United States and has been caught in a recent spree of violations including drug misdiagnosis, keeping poor living conditions for residents, and failure to communicate nursing home patient conditions with physicians until it was too late. A spokesperson for the nursing home explained that their staff is doing everything in their ability to insure than an incident like this doesn’t occur again, but unfortunately new problems continue to emerge.
Nursing Home Errors Cause Series Of Patient Deaths
The most recent incident occurred when a physician accidently prescribed a blood-thinning drug to the incorrect patient through their medical system. Although there were nurses on staff at the time, neither they nor the physician realized that the nursing-home resident they were prescribing medication to wasn’t the same person they were seeing at the time. The patient who ended up receiving the medication ended up taking it for nine days before nurses noticed that the patient was having adverse responses to the drugs which resulted in death from blood clots resulting in a stroke.
A similar mistake occurred less than two months ago to another patient who was given a dose of morphine ten times greater than what he actually needed. By the time anyone noticed that this medical mistake happened, the patient had already passed away say Gordon & Doner. This shows just how few measures were taken to make sure that all medication information entered into the system was accurate while also reinforcing why it’s so important for nursing homes to review the performance of their staff members.
A registered nurse in Canada ended up resigning while agreeing never to practice medicine again because of the numerous shocking allegations against her. The allegations made against this nurse by nearly 20 patients and staff members at the nursing home that she worked at ranged from being verbally abusive to patients, to being a little too close with the ones she liked. Her actions were manipulative and although she admitted to all wrongdoings, she won’t be fined, which is the usual practice in Ontario for nurses since they don’t receive the high pay that physicians do.
Some of the shocking things that this nurse did include calling her patients names like “spoiled” and “a whiner.” She also refused to give medication to one of the patients and even refused to identify herself to another patient so that her actions wouldn’t be found out by the patient’s family members. One patient even recalled that she made fun of the size of her buttocks while being helped to the bathroom during the trial, at which time the nurse cruelly smiled. Although these allegations just recently became known, this nurse has worked for the same company for over 6 years and probably aren’t out of the blue.
Abuse Allegations Against Long Term Care Nurse Lead To Resignation
Nursing home negligence lawyers also shared that the nurse took things a little too far with some of her patients, calling some of them “mama” and “papa”. She also kissed and hugged her patients, which can become confusing when elderly members of the nursing home can no longer tell the difference between a patient-nurse relationship. The nurse also admitted to manipulating one patient when he made a complaint about the level of service he received from her, in which she responded that his memory was questionable. Luckily patients at her nursing home never have to undergo the negative treatment they received from her again, since she decided to resign from her position permanently.
A bill proposed by lawmakers in East Peoria, Illinois wants to stop nursing home patients and their families from making anonymous complaints about actions occurring at the nursing homes. While lawmakers seem to have the best interest of the elderly community and those who require long-term nursing home care in mind, proponents to the bill believe that this will only cause nursing home patients to stop contacting authorities about nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
According to some nursing home negligence lawyers, nursing home patients and their families are able to leave complains with the state through their 800 number and they’re free to stay anonymous if they so wish. Now Rep. Mike Unes wants to change all that and require that nursing home residents, nursing home employees, and family members of those in nursing homes leave their contact information if they want their claim to be investigated. Although according to the bill this information would be confidential and only investigators would have access to it, those who propose the bill believe that this will actually reduce the amount of people who file legitimate claims instead of increasing it.
Bill Seeks Ban Against Anonymous Nursing Home Complaints
The Illinois Citizens for Better Care believes that this bill will make elderly and their family members think twice about claiming that abuse or neglect occurred at a nursing home in fear of retaliation. The new bill will make it so that possible victims of nursing home abuse are told that if they make a fake claim, they’ll face criminal sanctions, which is another barrier that will stop even legitimate claims from being made.
Nursing home patients and staff members oppose the bill and don’t think that it will increase the level of service that patients receive, especially because there are differing levels of comfortability that nursing home patients and their families have with sharing private information. The bill goes forward to the House and then the Senate after a favorable vote, so we’ll soon see whether or not it passes.
The DOJ recently announced that they want to focus on researching nursing homes that provide substandard care. They’ll create ten task forces around the nation made up of members from the U.S. Attorney’s offices, Adult Protective Service agencies, state and local prosecutors’ offices, and law enforcement. This will help authorities share information about nursing home abuse and neglect and allow agencies to work together quickly to resolve issues with increased coordination.
Is The Department of Justice Cracking Down On Nursing Homes Necessary?
Not everyone is happy about the Department of Justice task forces. The American Health Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson believes that creating task forces paints the wrong picture about living in a long-term care facility. Although there has been an increased focus on nursing home abuse and neglect, recent data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nursing home deficiencies is in decline.
Parkinson believes that cracking down on nursing homes using a government task force is a smokescreen that will allow Medicare and Medicaid to find ways to cut costs. He estimates that the real cost could be that millions of senior citizens may not get the post-acute and long term care they require. Instead of looking at the proposal as a helpful measure, Parkinson thinks that it’s the Department of Justice’s way of showing that Medicare has a flawed payment system. He supports payment reforms that will enhance service and save federal dollars instead of creating task forces.
Is Cracking Down On Nursing Homes Going To Solve The Elderly’s Problems?
Gordon & Doner believe that the task forces, being established in California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington will stop fraud from occurring. The overall goal is to stop nursing home owners and operators from putting their own economic gains before the needs of their residents. Others believe that the task forces are negative, and will complicate matters for senior citizens requiring aid.