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Nursing Homes Abuse Blog

By Jonathan Rosenfeld

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 to nursing 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. need to improve upon the care provided to residents. Currently, research indicates that one in three residents are the victims of abuse in U.S. nursing homes. 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 nursing home 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.

Short-Term Nursing Home Admission Proves Deadly for Patient

Posted in Respite Care

Nursing Home Patient Staying a Short While DiesNeglect is one of the leading causes of death for nursing home residents in the United States. Nursing home staff workers have a legal obligation to provide consistent care to residents. When staff workers fail to check up on nursing home residents, the residents ultimately suffer. Residents may develop pressure sores, illnesses, and disabilities, or suffer from malnutrition as a result of neglect.

If your loved one has suffered due to a lack of proper care in a nursing home facility, then it is up to you to take action. You should get in touch with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can assist you in filing a complaint against the facility. Nursing home abuse attorneys can ensure that authorities pursue the appropriate action against the parties responsible for the care of your loved one.

Lack of Proper Care During a Recent Short-Term Stay

In a recent tragic case, a woman was placed in a Bloomington nursing home after receiving care in the emergency room. The purpose of placing the woman in the nursing home was so that she could receive rehabilitation care. In just a few days, the woman suffered from breathing issues and rapid weight gain due to neglect by nursing home staff workers. The woman was placed in the Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington, and staff workers failed to provide consistent check-ups on the woman. As a result, no one noticed that her health had rapidly declined.

Investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health

The Minnesota Department of Health investigated the circumstances behind the death of the woman. A report published by the Minnesota Department of Health stated that the woman’s health had not been adequately monitored. In addition, the report alleged that nursing home staff workers had failed to respond in a timely manner to the woman’s health complications.

The Response of the Nursing Home

When the woman’s condition worsened, family members were prevented from staying overnight with her. Under federal regulations, a nursing home has a legal obligation to provide a patient with the right of access to his or her family members. By preventing the woman with access to visitation from her family members, the nursing home was likely in violation of federal laws. Had the woman’s family members been allowed to visit with her, they may have been able to speak with the victim and record her observations about the neglect.

A Lack of Proper Reporting of Cases Involving Abuse and Neglect

The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that only one in 14 cases of elder abuse is ever brought before the authorities. One of the reasons for this low statistic is that family members may be unaware that a patient is the victim of abuse or neglect. They may also not be aware of the proper method of reporting an abuse complaint to the authorities.

Illinois legislators have sought to make the process of filing an elder abuse complaint much easier for family members. Family members and others will now have the opportunity to file elder abuse complaints by using an online system through the Illinois Department of Public Health. Elder abuse attorneys may also be able to assist family members in understanding the proper method of filing neglect or abuse complaints.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Elder Abuse Lawyers

It is important that you do not wait to call elder abuse lawyers when your loved one is a victim. It is necessary to take immediate action when a loved one is suffering from abuse. Putting an end to the abuse should be the forefront of your consideration, as well as ensuring the loved one receives proper care. You may have a claim for compensation on behalf of the life of your loved one. Contact an elder abuse lawyer today to learn more about the legal rights of your loved one.

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Technology Promises to Reduce Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

Posted in Medication Errors

Technology to Help in Medication Times in Nursing HomesOne of the major issues impacting patients is medical malpractice involving medical errors. Every year, millions of patients receive the wrong medications. Patients can face increased risks when they receive the wrong medication in a nursing home facility. Often, nursing home patients are elderly and weak. They may have weakened immune systems that are unable to handle the wrong medication. In some cases, providing the wrong medication to patients can also have fatal results.

It is important that society address the multi-faceted types of abuse and neglect that nursing home residents now face. In addition to neglect or malnutrition, nursing home residents may suffer from adverse effects when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication. Researchers have attempted to find solutions to this issue in order to improve upon nursing home reform. As long as researchers remain committed to finding solutions to this form of medical malpractice, the care of nursing home patients may improve in the future.

The Development of MedEye

Two recent MIT graduates have developed MedEye as a solution to the issue of providing the wrong medication. MedEye is a medication-scanning system that that uses a special type of vision to go through the records of a patient. The vision technology scans the medication records of a patient to ensure that the pills match the records. Dutch researchers have discovered that 10 percent of all MedEye scans reveal medication errors in patient files. It seems that MedEye will improve upon medication verification in a drastic manner in the future.

Scanning Pills for Patients

The way in which MedEye functions is that the device physically scans pills that are placed in it. The device measures the pills that are placed on the tray. Nurses are able to quickly determine whether a patient has the right medication prescription.

The major obstacle that hospitals now face is the installation of MedEye and similar types of technology. The technology can be expensive, and hospitals need to be willing to make this investment. In the nursing home industry, it seems unlikely that facilities will be latching onto this new technology. Many nursing homes are driven by profits and fail to properly address the care that their patients require. It does not seem likely that nursing homes will be willing to invest significant funds in MedEye technology to provide the right type of care for patients.

Increasing the Efficiency of Nursing Homes

An argument can be made that MedEye technology may increase the efficiency of nursing homes. These facilities will no longer have to commit resources to handling lawsuits involving medical malpractice. Nursing homes will be able to potentially save millions of dollars by investing in the MedEye technology. Nursing home administrators should not automatically dismiss this technology as being too expensive.

When nursing homes are able to ensure that patients receive the proper medication with MedEye technology, they do not have to hire extra workers for the disbursement of medication. Nursing homes may need to use extra workers for the process of determining which medications patients should receive. With the MedEye technology, it is likely that nursing homes will not have to go through this laborious process.

Improving Nursing Home Care for the Future

Nursing homes need to remain committed to continually improving upon the type of care that they provide to workers. In recent years, nursing homes have been unable to improve upon rates of neglect and abuse. Millions of patients continue to be the victims or abuse and neglect in nursing homes. It is vital that society recognize the vulnerability of our elderly citizens and actively seek to protect them through the law.

Contact Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today If You Loved One Has Suffered Harm Related To A Medication Error

Nursing home abuse lawyers are here to help your loved one. We believe in fighting for the legal rights of elderly citizens who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes. Don’t wait until the abuse worsens to get the legal help that you need.

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Ignored Alarm On Ventilator Patient Results In Criminal Charges

Posted in Ventilator Patients

In June 2014, criminal charges against a nursing home were issued for nine workers, including the head administrator, involving the death of one of the residents. A New York State, Suffolk County grand jury issued a 46-count indictment alleging abuse and neglect. The Attorney General’s office in charge of the case brought the original criminal charges against the nursing home.

The charges allege that neglect at the 320-bed nursing facility Medford Multicare Center for Living caused the death of a patient under their care. Additional charges include patient abuse, physical evidence tampering, falsifying business documents and records and obstructing a government agency along with endangerment of an incompetent individual.

Ignoring Doctor’s Orders

The criminal case involves the October 2012 death of 72-year-old Aurelia Rios, a hospital-released patient transferred to the nursing facility due to respiratory issues. On doctor’s orders, Aurelia needed to be connected to a ventilator throughout the night to assist her breathing. According to officials, the indicted employees’ ignore the doctor’s orders, which allegedly led to her death.

Electronic equipment monitored Rios’ breathing throughout the night, and could set off an alarm to alert the staff in the event of a breathing issue. The alarm set off every 15 seconds and continued for several hours. Unfortunately, the staff ignored the warning alarms even though a nurse sat only a few feet away from a computer signaling the alarm. Eventually, Aurelia Rios died as a result.

It is believed that the administrator of the facility deleted all alarm records on the computer in an attempt to conceal evidence of how Rios died. The employees are on paid leave while awaiting the outcome of the criminal case.

An Attempted Cover-Up

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has indicated that the alleged actions involved in this criminal case shows that the state of New York will not tolerate negligence in nursing facilities. The employees and the administrators are also criminally charged for attempting to cover up the details of Rios’ death.

In addition to the “willful violation of health laws,” a misdemeanor, the defendants could also be found guilty and sentenced for criminally negligent homicide. Each defendant could receive a maximum penalty of four years in prison, if found guilty of all charges.

Previously Cited Violations

This is not the first time the Department of Health (DOH) has cited the nursing facility for deficiencies. As the result of an inspection in August 2012, DOH officials discovered a failure of the Medford Multicare Center for Living facility to provide necessary bedsore treatment to one of their dementia patients, which can lead to serious life-threatening infections without proper care.

Additionally, investigators for the Department of Health noted another failure to respond to a behavior-challenged dementia patient’s immediate needs. According to the detailed care plan designed for the patient, staff was instructed to perform behavioral issue intervention using therapeutic remedies whenever the dementia patient was agitated or upset.

On another occasion, an inspector for the DOH observed a Medford Multicare Center for Living resident screaming for assistance while in the dining room unattended. A social worker ignored the pleas for help repeatedly, while positioned close by at a nurse’s station.

In addition to criminal charges, a civil complaint has been filed detailing how the home’s owners generated millions of dollars in profit at the expense of persistent neglect of residents in care.

Hiring an Attorney to Investigate & Prosecute Nursing Home Injuries

Unfortunately, nursing home resident neglect happens everywhere, including in the Chicago area, even when children and grandchildren choose a seemingly loving, caring facility. Family members will usually consider all available options and locate a nursing home to provide much-needed care to a loved one. The decision is often based on believing that the nursing home will provide the basic requirements of the resident in a safe environment, free of harm. However, when neglect happens it often leaves Illinois residents with serious injuries or dead.

The neglectful actions of a nursing home employee can occur in a variety of ways including through an error or mistake, preventing adequate delivery of necessary medication, withholding medications or stealing drugs for personal use. Other neglect can occur by the nursing home staff being inattentive, refusing food or toileting, sexual abuse or even physical or emotional attack. Neglected nursing home residents can suffer a variety of life-threatening conditions including stroke, heart attack, embolism, loss of mental faculties, infections, bedsores and severe pain.

If your loved one has suffered neglect in a nursing home, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help. Our law firm can stop the abuse immediately and provide legal options for compensation obtained through all responsible parties. Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 for a free initial consultation.

Elderly with Hip Fractures in Nursing Homes Face Grim Prognosis

Posted in Hip Fracture

Hip Fractures in the Elderly Can Have a Hard RecoveryWhen an elderly person is injured in a nursing home, his or her chances of survival can become slim. If the nursing facility is understaffed or lacks resources, an elderly person may be unable to ever properly heal from his or her injuries. Nursing home workers may not be attuned to the needs of the injured victim. They may fail to notice the development of an infection or other serious health issues.

It is important that you pay attention to the recovery of your loved one in a nursing home. If your loved one has been involved in an accident or fall, you should make sure that the nursing home delivers the care that your loved one requires. Federal and state laws mandate that nursing home residents receive adequate care. Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing home residents have the right to reside in a facility free from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

Statistics Indicate Poor Survival for Residents with Hip Fractures

Nursing home staff workers have a legal duty to respond to the needs of a resident when he or she has been injured. They must seek to “accommodate” the “medical, physical, psychological and social needs” of patients in a facility under the NHRA. Unfortunately, a recent research study indicated that nursing home residents tend to have a poor survival outcome if they have suffered from hip fractures. It seems that nursing home workers may be failing to live up to their responsibility to deliver quality care. It seems that nursing homes are increasingly finding ways to avoid the extra cost and burden of caring for residents who have suffered hip fractures.

Researchers studied data from Medicare claims from 2005 to 2009. Their analysis of this data indicated that 36 percent of patients died after 180 days with a hip fracture. Over 53 percent of patients with hip fractures suffered new levels of dependence after 180 days with the injury .

Neglect in the Nursing Home

In the majority of hip fracture cases, a patient does not receive the care that he or she needs due to the neglect of nursing home staff workers. These individuals may not be properly trained or able to recognize that a resident has a hip fracture. In some cases, a nursing home may have inadequate staffing levels. A worker may not have time to check up on the needs of a patient with a hip fracture. He or she may downplay the seriousness of the injury.

Family Members Must Step In

Family members need to understand that they play a monumental role in assisting a loved one who has received a hip fracture. Family members may need to intervene to make sure that the loved one receives the care that he or she needs. Nursing home facilities may not take action until a formal complaint has been filed with the authorities. Family members may need to take advantage of online reporting systems to ensure that a complaint involving a loved one is properly handled.

Illinois is one of the first states to implement an online reporting system for the handling of complaints related to elder abuse and neglect. The online reporting system allows family members to instantly file a complaint alleging abuse or neglect with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The IDPH will then investigate the nature of the complaint. The IDPH may send investigators to the nursing home facility to ensure that a loved one receives the care he or she needs.

Conclusion

If your loved one has suffered from an injury in a nursing home, it is important to act fast. Your loved one’s condition may worsen if he or she has received a hip fracture. It is up to you to hold nursing home administrators accountable for the care that your loved one receives. Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers to receive help in filing a formal complaint.

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Hidden Cameras Allow Families To Track Care In Nursing Homes

Posted in Nursing Home Abuse
Cameras are Hidden to Track CareWhen someone we care about is admitted into a nursing home, we expect him or her to be safe. Many of us see these facilities as a safe haven for elderly relatives and aging parents, a place where they have onsite doctors and nurses and healthcare management to provide the much-needed personal care and attention they need. We expect that the staff in these facilities treat our elderly citizens with respect, dignity, and kindness. What happens when this is not the case?

A case that garnered media attention

One of the most important cases to highlight the importance of hidden cameras in nursing homes is the tragic story of 96-year-old Eryetha Mayberry. Initially, family members put camera in her room because they were afraid someone was taking her belongings. However, the found footage depicts Lucy Gakunga, a former nursing home aide, forcing latex gloves into Mayberry’s mouth, jerking her out of her wheelchair, forcibly shoving her head down onto the bed to get her to lie in bed, and pushing and taunting the 96-year old frail dementia patient.

Despite the fact that Ms. Gakunga has since been found guilty of elder abuse and neglect, it is important to remember that if these family members did not have prior (completely separate) suspicions, this case would is likely to have remained undocumented.

A change made for the better

Partly because of the outcry over the Mayberry case, Oklahoma Senate Bill 587 was introduced and signed into law. This made Oklahoma one of three states (the other being Texas and New Mexico) that would explicitly allow residents who live in long-term care facilities to install surveillance cameras in their rooms. While at least five other states have considered similar legislation in the last two years, these three states are the only ones that have written it into law.

These types of recordings can certainly make an impact. Aside from the arrest of Ms. Gakunga, similar horrific scenes of nursing home abuse have been captured in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and several other states. Oftentimes self-monitoring is the only remaining solution for relatives and loved ones who feel that the authorities are not taking their claims of nursing home abuse seriously.

The only way to capture the abuse/neglect

It is important that the signs of neglect and abuse may be obvious to families, but that does not mean that they would be able to charge someone with a crime and force the facility to make a change. The only way to do so is to capture the abusing/neglecting party ‘red-handed’ and that can be done by using hidden cameras.

Preventative measures

One often heard claim from unions is that secret monitoring violates the employees’ right to privacy. While residents can expect privacy (the nursing home is essentially their room), the same cannot be said about workers. Workers cannot assume that their actions are going unrecorded. This may also serve as a deterrent for abuse, especially if staff members are unsure where cameras are.

Does it fix all problems?

While hidden cameras may weed out aggressive or unsuitable workers far more easily, it does not necessarily address all the problems that remain at many of these long-term care facilities. While they are a great step in the right direction, proper training and staffing are ultimately far better ways to guarantee quality of care.

Nursing Homes Abuse Blog