Header graphic for print

Nursing Homes Abuse Blog

By Jonathan Rosenfeld

Alzheimer’s Patients Frequently Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients
Alzheimer's patients victims of nursing home abuseSending your loved ones to a nursing home might be a growing concern for you, especially if you are aware of the number of Alzheimer’s patients who have been victims of nursing home abuse each year.  Nursing homes cater for almost 75 percent of Alzheimer’s patients every year. These Alzheimer’s patients are 80 years of age or more. Dementia, whose leading cause is Alzheimer’s, eventually takes away the life of the affected patient.

In 2012, almost two-thirds of the people affected by Alzheimer’s have died in nursing homes, according to a report published by the Alzheimer’s Association. The lack of effective care and treatment of the disease is highlighted in the growing number of deaths from Alzheimer’s each year. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, once your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer, they have an estimated four to eight years after being diagnosed.

Statistics for Alzheimer’s Patient Abuse in Nursing Homes

With 75% of Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes, most abuse incidents go unreported. However, in a study published on elder abuse by the National Center on Elder Abuse, 3.2 million citizens of the U.S. lived in nursing homes during the year 2008. They quote a study that reports an alarming number of 44% nursing home residents who say they have abused physically, sexually or financially.

A higher number of 95% say they have been neglected in these nursing homes or they have seen their fellow residents being neglected. They also report that the U.S. General Accountability Office considers most such surveys insufficient to report actual harm posed to the nursing home residents. Another elder abuse report says that at least 5000 death certificates of nursing home residents state the cause of death as “malnutrition, dehydration or starvation.”

Atlanta Nursing Home Lawsuit

At a nursing home in Atlanta, 11 current and former employees were arrested who face around 70 criminal charges for alleged abuse of nursing home patients along with 10 other employees. Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that the abuse included the physical striking of the elderly by the nursing home employees. There were a few reports of water being thrown at the patients, neglect of physical care with “double diapering” incidents and restraining of the elderly with bed sheets. The same home has been criminally charged for financial abuse as well.

Why Alzheimer’s Patients Are Frequently Subjected to Abuse

Experts have reported that the physical, sexual and financial abuse is far greater at homes or other communal places, where the elderly are abused mostly by family members. However, at such places, the number of reports is higher because either another family member or a neighbor usually reports an incident, which opens up investigations. In nursing homes, however, the owners hide their incidents with the fear of their nursing homes being closed down. Moreover, due to deteriorating memory, fear of being abused again and lack of physical ability to report, elders in nursing homes rarely ever report an incident of abuse or neglected to care. In fact, due to the above reasons, Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes are 5 times more likely to be abused that those elderly who are not affected by Alzheimer’s.

As Nursing Home Profits Increase, So Does The Risk of Injury

Posted in National Nursing Home Issue & For-Profit Chains

 Large-For-Profit-Nursing-Home-Chains-Declining-Levels-of-Care-Increases-In-Patient -InjuryThe entire purpose of any for-profit corporation is to make money and to continuously implement new strategies that will increase profit and reduce expenses. How far is too far though when a company puts its own needs above those of the people it serves? The ten largest for-profit nursing care companies were put to the test last year in a study that compared their care to that of government agencies and not-for-profit homes. Researchers were alarmed at just how stark the contrast was between nursing facilities that existed to make a profit and those that didn’t— and the results did not favor the for-profit homes.

Ten Nursing Home Companies that Only Care About Profit 

After evaluating multiple government sponsored nursing homes and not-for-profit care facilities and comparing the results to the following companies, it was determined that the level of care shown by these companies failed to equal the care that patients received in homes that were not out for financial gain. Each of these companies failed to live up to their not-for-profit counterparts’ levels of care.

Deficiency and Citations Abound at These Facilities

All of the companies listed were found to have higher rates of deficiency than not-for-profit and government facilities. In fact, the for-profit companies’ were 36% higher than their counterparts and the deficiencies were over 40% more severe. After the homes were purchases by private companies, the study shows that staffing levels often remained the same and the number of citations that the facilities were receiving rose significantly. The end result has been sicker patients and higher profits for the companies that care for them.

Understaffing: the Easiest Way to Cut Costs & Boost Bottom Line

One of the key ways to increase margins is to limit costs and most companies today will try to keep their staffs as trim as possible. This is no different for the ten largest nursing care facilities, which have refused to hire the amount of staff necessary to care for their patients in an effort to reduce the bottom line. 30% less nursing hours were reported in these facilities when compared to government and not-for-profit facilities. Understaffing is one of the greatest contributing factors to a lower standard of care and these companies have cut corners and sacrificed the health of their patients in order to avoid paying for a proper staff.

Can the Traditional Business Model be applied to Nursing Home Care? 

Most businesses either produce a product or provide a service to their customers. The majority of the time, that product is consumable, replaceable or renewable through maintenance. Services that are rendered are normally not the kind that would impact the health and well-being of the consumer. However, nursing care has an impact on the quality of life and dignity of the patients being served.

Anyone who has been in business will attest to the fact that the purpose of a business is to minimize its costs and maximize its profit for the best return on investment. This model has applied to every business that has been founded in America. Applying these principles to nursing home care is only harming millions of elderly patients in our country, however, and we need to approach the business of health care for the elderly differently.

We trust our loved ones to these facilities and should expect that they will be treated with respect and shown courtesy. They have worked their entire lives to provide for us and it is our duty to allow them to live their last years in comfort and dignity. Nursing facilities must not be allowed to treat our loved ones’ care as if it were a part of a traditional business model and the best way to be heard by these companies is to speak in their language and take our money elsewhere while holding them accountable for any unjust treatment they have given to those we love.

Attorneys Ready to Take On Big Nursing Home Chains

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience litigating and settling nursing home negligence cases against some of the nation’s largest chains.  If you think your loved one was improperly treated at these facilities, we are interested in speaking with you about your situation.  We offer free consultations and never charge a fee without a recovery for you.

Source:

http://long-term-care.advanceweb.com/Columns/Gerotalk/Study-Finds-Largest-For-Profit-Nursing-Home-Chains-Providing-Lesser-Care.aspx

Feeding Tubes In Elderly – A Complex & Debatable Procedure

Posted in Feeding Tube Complications

Elderly Feeding Tubes is Hard to RegulateOne of the most controversial medical practices impacting patients of all ages is the use of feeding tubes. These medical devices are often used as a means to provide nutrition and hydration to residents who are unable to consume food on their own. Increasingly, however, nursing homes are resorting to the use of feeding tubes as a way to provide nutrition to residents. The issue is that families of nursing home residents are often not well-informed about the risks associated with the use of feeding tubes.

The Harmful Effects of Feeding Tubes

When a stomach tube is implanted in an individual, it can cause serious, harmful effects. Only in recent years have medical studies started to address the emotional impact that feeding tubes have on patients. Residents may suffer from depression and anxiety when they receive feeding tubes. They can experience sadness in realizing that they have lost a major functionality of the human body.

Family members may also not realize the emotional impact that feeding tubes can have on patients. Medical facilities need to ensure that family members are well-informed of these side effects. Before a medical facility determines that a patient may require a feeding tube, it may be necessary for family members or the patient to provide informed consent.

If your loved one received a feeding tube without your consent, then your loved one may have a cause of action against the nursing home. This may be a form of abuse or neglect depending on the laws in your state. You should make sure that you contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to review the legal remedies that may be available to you.

Diminishing the Quality of Life for Patients

Patients may suffer from depression when they are unable to consume food in a normal manner due to feeding tubes. Some patients also become extremely self-conscious about the appearance of a feeding tube. Before you decide to proceed in allowing a loved one to receive a feeding tube, it is important that you assess the ways in which a feeding tube may impact his or her quality of life. The loved one should also be informed of how his or her life will change as a result of receiving a feeding tube.

Going Against the Tenets of Medicine

Some doctors refuse to use feeding tubes at all costs possible. They may only resort to the use of feeding tubes when absolutely necessary. These medical professionals view the feeding tube as an intrusive and unnecessary measure.

Nursing home facilities often have different reasons for proceeding with the use of feeding tubes. They may choose to use a feeding tube as a way to expedite the discharge time of a patient. These facilities may try to get the patient out of the door of emergency care as soon as possible. Some medical professionals would consider this an unethical use of feeding tubes. Feeding tubes are also used as a means for reducing costs in nursing homes. Nursing home workers will no longer have to devote hours of their time to feeding an individual patient if he or she has a feeding tube.

Considering the Adverse Effects on the Patient

Even if a nursing home administrator is attempting to reduce costs, he or she should still consider the adverse effects of using feeding tubes in regards to patients. Patients may suffer from allergic reactions, internal bleeding or inflammation if they have feeding tubes. Instead of using feeding tubes, a nursing home facility should try to invest funds in hiring additional employees if possible.

Contact Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Additional Help

If you wish to learn more about the legal rights of patients in nursing homes, you should get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you to assess the best manner of proceeding when your loved one has been harmed.

Elder Abuse: Scary Numbers Substantiate Major Problems

Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Problems in Elder AbuseRecent statistics indicate that nursing home abuse is a societal issue of great magnitude in the U.S. As the baby boomer generation continues to climb into its retirement years, discussions of nursing home care are likely to continue to intensify and become more popular. Elder abuse continues to be a major problem in the U.S. and must be resolved. Hospitals and nursing home facilities must treat elderly citizens with the respect and care that they deserve. In addition, elderly individuals are also provided with certain legal rights under federal laws. It is vital that people in the U.S. are informed of the legal rights that nursing home residents are afforded under the law.

The Elderly Population in 2050

By 2050, those who are 65 and older will make up at least 20 percent of the total U.S. population. Because elderly individuals will make up a significant portion of the population, it is important that society prepare for these years. If elder mistreatment continues to be a major issue in 2050, then millions of people will be at risk of suffering from inadequate care.

The Inability to Care for Elderly Individuals’ Needs

Nursing homes often engage in elder mistreatment due to understaffing and the inability to provide adequate care for senior citizens. Nursing home may lack the resources that they need to care for elderly individuals, such as exercise facilities, beds, rooms, medicine or even food. Facilities that depend on government subsidies may not have enough funding to provide a sanitary and clean environment for residents. They may also fail to hire the appropriate number of staff workers for elderly citizens.

For those nursing facilities that depend on government subsidies, additional funding may be required to ensure that these facilities comply with federal and state laws. Private nursing facilities should also ensure that they use adequate funds to comply with these laws. Often, private-run facilities do not want to use funds derived from profits to improve the quality of care that they provide.

Increased Risks of Inadequate Care for Those with Disabilities

Disabled elderly individuals are also at risk of receiving mistreatment in nursing home facilities. These individuals are often most vulnerable due to the fact that they may not be able to communicate with family members. They may be unable to tell family members that they have been abused or neglected in any way. It is very important that family members make extra effort to understand the type of care that their loved ones are receiving from staff workers. If you notice that a loved one has any signs of bruising, then this is likely an indication that he or she has been the victim of abuse.

Abusers in nursing home facilities tend to target the most vulnerable members of the population. They may attempt to abuse those who are unable to communicate or have limited ability to move. For these residents, it is important that special protections are in place.

Assert the Legal Rights of Your Loved One

Those who have been abused may be entitled to compensation under the law. In addition, a nursing home may be required to take certain actions if it has violated federal laws aimed at protecting the legal rights of nursing home residents. Nursing homes may be required to hire additional workers or invest in additional medical equipment for residents. They may need to improve the sanitation of their facilities.

If your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it is important that you stand up for his or her legal rights. It is vital that you get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse lawyer can conduct an investigation of the circumstances that may have lead to your loved one’s neglect or abuse. An attorney will also be able to hold administrators accountable for the mistreatment of your loved one.

High Staff Turnover Rates Plague Many Nursing Homes

Posted in Nursing Home Staff, Uncategorized

Turnover Rates Can Lead to Problems in Nursing HomesIn Illinois and the greater U.S, a constant problem plaguing nursing homes is the high turn-over rate of staff members. When a nursing home facility is understaffed, the care of patients tends to suffer. Staff workers cannot devote themselves fully to patients. They may not have time to provide bed changes, bed transfers and one-on-one time with patients. Nursing home residents also may suffer neglect in regards to their nutrition or medicinal needs.

Nursing homes are at risk of losing staff members when they fail to provide the training or compensation that these workers require. All too often, nursing homes attempt to save money by allowing staff members to work without the proper training. Staff members may become frustrated due to their inability to adequately address the needs of patients. They may also quit their jobs due to frustrations caused by working over-time or physical exhaustion.

Iowa Nursing Homes Lose Numerous Staff Members

A recent research study indicates that Iowa nursing homes are at a particular risk of losing staff members. Every year, nursing homes tend to lose at least 40 percent of their staff members in Illinois. This data was collected by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Those nursing home facilities that are able to retain staff members have special practices in place. They tend to be patient-focused, and employees feel like their jobs matter. Employees feel like a personal connection with patients and are dedicated tot heir care. These nursing home facilities tend to lack a “corporate feel” where profits are the sole concern.

The Advantages of Low Turnover Rates

When nursing homes have low turnover rates, this means patients can develop better relationships with their caregivers. Employees are able to provide better care for the patients that they watch over. They are also able to maintain institutional knowledge about the best practices involving in caring for nursing home patients. When a facility has a high turnover rate, there is a risk that this institutional knowledge will be lost.

Injuries of Patients Go Undetected

In nursing facilities that have high turnover rates, injured patients may be at risk of having injuries go undetected. A busy staff worker may not notice that a patient has fallen and received serious bruises, a broken bone or a concussion. If a patient’s injuries go undetected, he or she may suffer from a worsened condition or even death. It is vital that nursing home facilities attempt to maintain a low turnover rate of employees.

Creating Incentives for Nursing Home Employees

About 25 percent of all nursing home workers do not receive any health insurance. They also receive a median pay of about $11.50 an hour. Nursing facilities that aim to improve their work environments may want to consider increasing the pay rate for employees and also providing health insurance options. Nursing home employees will likely leave a position if they are able to secure better employment that also provides benefit options.

Preparing Employees for the Profession

Nursing home facilities need to adequately prepare employees for the realities of the profession. Many workers are not informed of the hard work that being a staff employee entails. They may not be aware that they must physically lift patients or assist them with movements. Nursing home facilities need to make sure that employees are well-informed and also well-trained. It is vital that facilities invest in the training of employees.

Improving the Care of Loved Ones

If you have recently placed a loved one in a nursing home facility, it is important to be aware of the quality of care that he or she receives at all times. You should make an effort to be attuned to the care that he or she receives from staff workers. If you notice that a facility has a high turnover rate, then this may result in increased instances of neglect and abuse. If you are already facing issues in regards to the abuse or neglect of a loved one, you can contact Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers for the assistance that you require.

Nursing Home Workers Must Be Prepared to Clear Blocked Feeding Tubes

Posted in Feeding Tube Complications

Serious complications can arise when nursing home workers do not effectively clear clogged feeding tubes inserted into the stomach or small intestine of their patients. For many elderly individuals, feeding tubes offer significant benefits as a way to provide sustenance when traditional ways (chewing and swallowing) are not possible.

However, carelessness, negligence and improper use could lead to serious feeding tube complications. It is essential that the nursing home staff follow proper hygiene procedures to control the potential of infection or injury when assisting residents who need assisted feeding.

The Benefit of Feeding Tubes

A feeding tube is a beneficial medical device positioned through the nose down to the inside of the patient’s stomach. It provides the opportunity to consume enough sustenance for survival. For some patients suffering a chronic disability, a feeding tube placement is a permanent solution, whereas treatment for acute conditions usually only require a temporary placement. Permanent assisted feeding solutions might involve NG-tubes (placed in the stomach) or NJ tubes (placed in the small intestine).

Feeding Tube Issues

Individuals that receive nutrition through an inserted feeding tube typically have a greater potential of developing infections and malnutrition. Serious complications can arise if the nursing staff is not closely monitoring every resident tube feeding occurring in the nursing home. Consistent issues including constipation, nausea and vomiting can lead to life-threatening complicated problems.

Studies have indicated that the nutrition obtained through assisted feeding tubes is often inadequate to sustain muscle mass and improve muscle function, causing further debilitation of the patient. In addition, a clogged feeding tube can easily become completely restricted, blocking the intake of liquid and foods, causing serious complications.

Like hospitals and other medical facilities, nursing homes must develop, implement and maintain strict protocols to manage MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). While the bacteria are often harmless when thriving on the skin’s surface, they have the potential of causing death if they enter the body. This can be a significant problem to elderly patients already experiencing compromised immune systems.

Research indicates that feeding tubes provide a convenient entry location for harmful bacteria and can cause a fatal infection. Because of that, it is essential that staff members take special care to follow sanitary procedures. Common problems associated with feeding tubes include:

  • Clogged feeding tubes
  • Infections
  • Inability to ingest food through the feeding tube
  • Excessive drainage around the feeding tube
  • Tubes unexpectedly coming out
  • Skin irritation
  • Increased potential of bedsores from lying on diarrhea in the bed
  • Associated pain at the location of the inserted feeding tube

Neglectful Care

In some incidences, nursing home workers provide negligent inadequate care when inserting and managing feeding tubes in their in-home patients. Illinois nursing homes have been cited for a variety of feeding tube related incidences including:

  • Failing to feed residents according to schedule
  • Failure to properly document the amount of fluid intake
  • Feeding residents with expired feeding tube formulas
  • Failure to properly clean all feeding tube components and equipment

Nursing home neglect is often the result of improperly trained caregivers who cannot recognize the obvious symptoms and signs of a misplaced or dislodged feeding tube. Often times, the caregiver will continue providing food through the tube even when it is not secured in the stomach or intestines. When this happens, the patient can suffer serious injury or death. Nursing standards mandate that the caretaker check the tube placement prior to each feeding, a protocol often overlooked by many professional caregivers.

Taking Legal Action For A Feeding Tube Complication Case

Often times, children and grandchildren recognize the obvious signs of malnutrition, neglect and abuse happening to a loved one residing in a nursing home or other medical facility. When this occurs, it is recommended to take appropriate legal action to stop the negligence immediately. Reputable attorneys can fight for your loved one’s rights.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the laws that govern feeding tube protocols and the rules regulating elder care facilities. Our professional legal staff and seasoned attorneys have litigated many Illinois cases involving unnecessary use of feeding tubes and inadequate feeding tube placement/follow-up care, which led to serious injuries, illnesses and death.

If you have a loved one suffering serious injury or has died by a complication with the feeding tube in a long-term care facility, nursing home or hospital, contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757. We offer our substantial experience in dealing with neglect and abuse cases in nursing facilities and have a comprehensive understanding of Illinois medical claims involving feeding tube cases. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your claim to stop the abuse and seek financial compensation for your injury, loss, suffering and pain.

New Law Allows Families To Make Complaints About Illinois Nursing Homes

Posted in Abuse In Chicago Nursing Homes & Other Communities Within Illinois

Complaints are Allowed about Illinois Nursing HomesAccording to the National Center on Elder Abuse, numerous elderly members of society suffer from physical, emotional, mental and verbal abuse every year. The NCEA posts statistics on elder abuse that are readily available to the public. The NCEA has found that the majority of senior citizens are abused by family members, however, statistics indicating the occurrence of abuse in long-term care facilities are still staggering. Over 3.2 million individuals reside in long-term care facilities. A 2000 research study indicated that 44 percent of the 2,000 interviewed residents stated that they had been abused at some point in the facility.

A Problem Society Can No Longer Ignore

Elder abuse has become a national problem that has even captured the attention of President Obama. A law introduced by Gov. Pat Quinn will give individuals the ability to file online abuse complaints with the Illinois Department of Public Health. Those with complaints will be able to file the complaints on the IDPH website. Illinois politicians believe that the new law will assist experts in analyzing senior abuse trends in the state and nation.

Other states are currently taking advantage of similar online filing systems. In Pennsylvania, individuals can submit electronic abuse complaints to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. In California, concerned individuals can file an online abuse complaint with the California Department of Social Services.

Publicizing the Effort to the Public

The legislature will need to publicize the new law in order to make family members aware of the online filing system. One of the major obstacles in adopting this new filing system will be ensuring that the public understands which government entity is responsible for handling complaints. As one can see, there is no uniform manner in which states handle complaints of elderly abuse. A variety of institutions, including public health systems, social services organizations and attorney general facilities, are responsible for responding to complaints of elder abuse.

Protecting Vulnerable Members of Society

The new law will be vital for continuing to offer protection to Illinois’ most vulnerable members of the community. Those filing complaints will be able to specify the exact type of abuse that a senior citizen has suffered. He or she may specify that the individual has been a victim of unsanitary conditions, developed bedsores, received inadequate treatment, received inadequate nutrition or has been physically abused. Also, the individual filing the report can add his or her comments on the nature of the abuse.

All Forms of Abuse Must Be Reported

Family members or witnesses of abuse should be aware that abuse can take many forms. Individuals are not just limited to filing reports of physical abuse. If they see that an individual has been a victim of verbal abuse, then this is a type of abuse that could be reported. Witnesses may also report instances of sexual abuse or poor care. In fact, witnesses may have a duty under the law to report any instances of abuse that they have seen.

The Basic Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home residents are afforded certain basic rights under Illinois state law and federal law. It is important that the adequate support and protections are in place to uphold these basic rights. If nursing home workers are able to continually abuse residents without any repercussion, then these laws do not hold any true power. It is up to the public to be aware of nursing home abuse laws and to enforce them by taking advantage of this new reporting system.

Conclusion

If you have a loved one who currently resides in a nursing home, make sure that you are aware of the type of care that he or she receives. It is important that family members make an effort to be involved in the care of a loved one within a nursing home. All too often, abuse can take subtle forms. With the new reporting system in Illinois, you will be able to report elder abuse in any form.

Sources:

Nutrition Overlooked When Caring For Bed Sore Patients

Posted in Bed Sores, Pressure Sores, Decubitus Ulcers & Pressure Ulcers

Nutrition leads to helping heal some soresElder abuse is a widespread issue in American society. Unfortunately, nursing homes often sacrifice the care of senior citizens in their quest to become profitable entities. Even more unfortunate is the fact that abuse is often an intermingled problem. When a senior citizen suffers from one form of abuse, such as poor nutrition, it often triggers other health issues. A senior citizen may suffer from inflamed bed sores as a result of poor nutrition. Bed sores that may have otherwise healed under a proper diet regimen may become infected when one is receiving poor nutrition.

The Increased Risk of Bed Sores in the U.S.

Over 2.5 million individuals suffer from bed sores at long-term care facilities throughout the U.S. The Joint Commission also reports that over 60,000 senior citizens die as a result of developing pressure sores. Pressure sores may be prevented by proper care. Often, nursing home workers are required to perform bed transfers as a way to relieve pressure on the body of a resident. They may need to assist a resident in changing sides to relieve the pressure. Nursing home workers often fail to provide this much-needed relief to residents in the course of their busy schedules. They may be overworked and not have the energy to perform a bed transfer. They may be overwhelmed by too many other job duties to perform bed transfers as required.

The Development of Pressure Sores

When a resident fails to change position in a medical bed, he or she will develop pressure sores. These painful sores develop when the skin experiences unrelieved pressure. Elderly individuals usually develop the sores on various pressure points on the body. They typically form on the hip, back or shoulder area. If left untreated, pressure sores can transform into serious ulcers. They may cause blood clotting issues and permanent disability. As such, it is vital that nursing home workers perform their daily duties and remember to assist residents in motion exercises, changing sides and transferring beds if needed.

The Role of Nutrition in Prevention of Bed Sores

Individuals often forget that nutrition also plays a critical role in the healing and prevention of bed sores. Healthy eating can provide an individual with the strength that he or she needs to ward off pressure sores. In addition, proper hydration also plays a vital role in the healing of pressure sores. The fact remains that many nursing home residents do not receive proper hydration. As a result, they may suffer from cracked skin and excessive bleeding. Pressure sores may never heal properly if an individual does not have enough water in his or her body. When individuals do not receive proper nutrition, body tissues may continue to break down.

Reporting Neglect and Abuse

If your loved one currently has bed sores, then you must make an effort to be mindful of his or her continued care. You should gather documentation of the exact steps that nursing home workers have taken in response to the individual’s condition. You should also be aware of whether a resident’s care continues to become progressively worse. If your loved one continues to suffer from a lack of proper nutrition, then this is considered a form of neglect. You should take advantage of the new online reporting system implemented by the Illinois Department of Public Health. With this system, you can file an online complaint in regards to abuse suffered by a nursing home resident at any time. The authorities will then investigate the nature of the abuse and follow up with your complaint.

Conclusion

Our nation’s senior citizens must have the care and nutrition that they need to survive in their later years. Those who have already developed pressure sores in nursing homes must also be remembered. The fact that a nursing home facility is understaffed should not cause the care of ill senior citizens to suffer. Proper nutrition is essential when an individual is battling bed sores.

Sources:

Bed Sore Lawsuit: Facility Failed To Identify & Treat Patient’s Wounds

Posted in Bed Sore Lawsuit

Failure to ID and Treat Wounds now in Legal TroubleMillions of our nation’s senior citizens suffer from painful bed sores every year. For many of these patients, receiving proper care is never an option. They reside within long-term care facilities that are understaffed or contain poorly trained workers. Nursing home employees may not understand how to care for senior citizens who have bed sores or know how to prevent this painful condition.

These excuses do not allow nursing homes and their staff members to escape culpability for their acts. Federal and state laws afford elderly nursing home residents basic human rights. Elderly individuals have the right to receive proper nutrition and care. They have the right to receive care that prevents bed sores, rather than triggers this condition.

Bed Sore Victims Suffer Without Care

Bed sores develop when a nursing resident remains in one position for too long. He or she may lay in a bed for an extended period of time without movement. Bed sores frequently develop on residents who are permanently disabled. These residents depend on staff workers and family members for help with their daily movements. A disabled or weak elderly person may develop bed sores when nursing home workers fail to “change sides” on the individual or provide physical therapy appointments.

Statistics indicate that the development of bed sores is prevalent for patients in a variety of settings. A recent study indicated that up to 28 percent of individuals in long-term care settings may suffer from bed sores at any given point in time. In home care settings, this figure increases to 29 percent of all elderly individuals. In acute care, up to 18 percent of individuals suffer from bed sores.

Despite the development of medical devices and technology, the number of senior citizens suffering from bed sores has only increased. From 1993 to 2006, medical researchers found an 80 percent increase in the number of people who suffered from this painful condition.

Neglect Allegedly Related to New Jersey Woman’s Death

Society can no longer afford to avoid confronting the major issues that bed sores pose to our nation’s elderly population. In North Bergen, New Jersey, infected bed sores were discovered to be the cause of an elderly woman’s death. A recent lawsuit filed by the elderly woman’s death resulted in an award of a $1 million settlement. In 2011, nursing home workers discovered that the elderly woman had developed bed sores. The woman required assistance with eating and daily exercise. Instead of acknowledging the situation, the nursing home neglected the woman and failed to provide her with the care that she needed. Her weight fell, and she ultimately died of a blood infection.

An attorney for the woman’s family found that the woman’s condition may have been remedied with certain basic care. Had the elderly woman received repositioning assistance and proper nutrition, her wounds may have healed. The woman’s early death may have been prevented.

The Risks Associated with Infected Bed Sores

Senior citizens must receive immediate care and assistance when nursing home workers discover that they have bed sores. The sad reality is that many nursing homes seem to want to avoid the issue at all costs. They may allow the condition of a resident to progressively become worse. Your loved one’s health should not be sacrificed in the name of profits for a nursing home facility. Nursing home facilities have a duty to spend additional funds on extra staff or training if necessary.

Getting Help for Your Loved One For Bed Sores

A nursing home abuse attorney can help you if your loved one is in pain and suffering due to bed sores. The minute you notice that your loved one has developed a bed sore, it is time to take action. Time is of the essence when you need to develop an action plan for the continued care of vulnerable elderly individuals with bed sores. A nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you expedite the time in which your loved one receives the proper care he or she needs.

Sources:

Nursing Home Manipulate Data For Higher Ratings

Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Manipulating Data Can Lead to Higher RatingsTrying to choose the right nursing home for a loved one can be a very difficult endeavor. First and foremost, family members often want to make sure that the loved one will be safe and cared for in the facility. Family members want to make sure that the loved one receives the medical care that he or she needs. Other considerations may entail the quality of facility, amenities and social activities that are made available to the loved one.

When choosing a nursing home for a loved one, family members may be swayed by the ratings that particular facility receives. It is important that family members understand the criteria that is used to provide a nursing home with a certain rating. A recent news article indicates that the ratings provided to nursing homes may not always be totally accurate. Rather, these ratings may be a reflection of certain biases that major organizations like Medicare tend to have.

Recent Inaccurate Medicare Ratings Provided to Nursing Homes

A recent news article published by The New York Times indicates that nursing home ratings may provide misleading information for consumers. The New York Times conducted an examination of the criteria that Medicare uses to provide ratings tonursing homes. The Times found that Medicare does not currently consider complaints filed by consumers or fines imposed upon nursing homes by government entities. A luxury nursing home, Rosewood, received high ratings despite the fact that the facility had received a significant fine for causing the death of one of its patients. Rosewood had received a $100,000 fine for causing the death of a woman who received an overdose of a blood thinner.

Numerous Complaints Filed Against Rosewood

The Times examination also revealed that over 100 consumer complaints had been filed against Rosewood from 2009 to 2013. Another website tracking complaints, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, claims that Rosewood has been the subject of 162 consumer complaints. This figure is over twice the average number of complaints that are filed for nursing homes in California.

Interviews with Residents Reveal the Reality

Individuals from California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform also interviewed individuals who currently reside at Rosewood. The interviews indicated that residents believed that the home warranted a lower rating than five stars. The individuals felt that there was a shortage of quality staff workers to assist them. They also felt that the home did not provide access to basic supplies and necessities. Individuals also indicated that they thought the conditions in Rosewood were not always sanitary.

Improving the Conditions of Nursing Homes

Nursing homes across the U.S.needto improve upon the care provided to residents. Currently, research indicates that one in three residents are the victims of abuse in U.S.nursinghomes. These entities must develop a greater commitment to the care of patients rather than earning profits. If the condition of nursing homes continues to decline, residents will continue to suffer.

Ensuring Patients Receive Quality Care

Under federal law, patients have the right to receive quality care. This means that a nursing home is under a legal obligation to hire enough staff workers to care for patients. When a nursing home is understaffed, patients can be left without adequate care. They may not receive the proper nutrition that they require. They may not receive the medications that they need. In addition, nursing homes may resort to the use of chemical or physical restraints when they are understaffed. If you notice that your loved one is not receiving the care that he or she needs from staff workers, it may be time for you to file a complaint. Your loved one’s nursing home may need to hire additional staff members to deliver proper care that he or she requires.

Conclusion

Contact nursinghome abuse lawyers today to receive immediate help for your loved one. Our attorneys are ready to investigate the circumstances behind your loved one’s case.

Nursing Homes Abuse Blog