Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nursing Home Abuse and Cracked Sidewalk Safety

An Iowa nursing home must pay the wife of a short-term patient who died because of a crack on the sidewalk.

The 89 year old deceased victim was only at the nursing home for a short-term stay receiving rehab for a hip repair. The man was ordered to the hospital for some tests. The ambulance crew strapped him in a gurney and was wheeling him out when one of the gurney's wheels dropped into a crack in the walkway.

The gurney flipped over and the victim's head hit the pavement. He went into a coma and never regained consciousness. He died leaving his wife of 64 years.

A jury awarded her almost half a million dollars. Both the nursing home and the ambulance company were sued with the burden on the nursing home.

The nursing home was aware of the cracks but didn't see the need to fix it until after someone died.

The nursing home has a history of regulatory violations.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Pennsylvania

Pa. nursing home terminated for alleged patient abuse

In less than one month, two employees have been terminated from a Pa. nursing home for abuse and the third employee for failing to report the abuse in a timely manner.

The most recent employee was arraigned for stuffing a sock in the mouth of a wheel-chair bound patient with dementia.

The first employee who has a criminal record was was allegedly pulling the hair of a patient.

Nursing home management claims that the incidences are not related and patient safety is very important with a zero tolerance abuse policy. The Pa. nursing home abuse cases are under investigation.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nursing home sued for wrongful death, negligence

A man is suing a nursing home because he claims the defendants failed to protect his mother from avoidable accidents and failed to develop an adequate prevention plan.

He claims his mother suffered urinary tract infections, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, multiple falls, and a head wound as well as dehydration and adequate nutrition.

He claims his mother suffered systemic abuse and neglect leading up to her death almost 3 years after being in the nursing home.

He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for nursing home negligence and wrongful death.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nursing Home Abuse: Unspeakable Behavior from Employees

Young nursing home assistants have demonstrated unspeakable behavior against nursing home patients with Alzheimer Disease and dementia.

And nobody tried to stop them nor monitor their behavior. Either the nursing home management was lax or just turned a blind eye to terribly bad behavior which further exacerbates their crimes.

What were these young girls thinking? Each are facing about a dozen criminal charges each.

Investigators claim these bad girls may have played a part in the abuse of up to 15 patients, over a period of several months in 2008.

Their cruel sexual, emotional, and physical abuse has been recorded on video tape while the patients are screaming and the girls are laughing.

Did the nursing home do a proper job training, supervising, and establishing policies? The nursing home should be held accountable for the bad behavior of its employees.

Nursing home abuse lawsuits are being filed by many family members including some for patients who died during that time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Restraining financial abuse in nursing homes

Financial abuse is one of the fastest growing areas of elder abuse.

Usually a simple legal document like a power of attorney designates a person to oversee an elderly person's finances.

In some cases, an offspring didn't even know he or she had been named in the document until the a parent or grandparent became unable to take care of day-to-day financial affairs. Such secrecy generally led to confusion down the road, with the appointee often woefully ignorant of the principal's state of affairs.

Or worse, a healthcare aide or housekeeper or neighbor with ulterior motives might procure a POA and persuade a gullible senior to sign it. The signature of the elderly person was basically all that was required.

In New York, it's a lot tougher now

One safeguard is a multiplicity of signatures. Now both the elderly principal and the agent/offspring/neighbor must sign the POA, and each signature must be notarized.

The document specifically states that when you accept the authority to act as agent, you create a special fiduciary relationship with the principal that imposes legal responsibilities until you resign or the power of attorney is terminated.

Another important provision of the statute is the right of the principal/elderly to appoint a monitor, like a trusted accountant, to oversee the activities of an inexperienced agent or a family member to ensure that an agent acts according to the principal's wishes.

The POA must now keep records and account for every penny, which was not a requirement under the previous law, The new law makes it easier to bring a civil suit against an agent who has acted inappropriately.

Hopefully other states like Pennsylvania will adopt these tougher POA standards to minimize financial abuse for the elderly and in nursing homes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nursing home patient prescribed 67 drugs

In the Johnson & Johnson Omnicare whistleblower kickback case, one nursing home patient was prescribed 67 drugs.

Did the patient actually take all those drugs? Was Medicaid over-billed for all those drugs?

Nursing home abuse runs rampant on so many, many levels.

Some of these drugs included Cipro (an antibiotic used to treat infections of the lower respiratory tract), Neurontin (anti seizures), Heparin (anti coagulant/prevent blood clots), Pepcid (treat & prevent stomach ulcers), Oxycodone (moderate to severe pain reliever/may be habit forming) and Seroquel (schizophrenia/bipolar disorder) or their generics, according to the complaint.

You can see the full list here:

Omnicare, the country’s largest nursing home pharmacy chain, paid $98 million to settle the case.

In September 2005, Johnson & Johnson received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, seeking documents related to sales and marketing of eight drugs to Omnicare. Several employees of the J&J's pharmaceutical subsidiaries were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in connection with the investigation.

In April 2009, Johnson & Johnson was served with the complaints in two civil qui tam cases relating to marketing of prescription drugs to Omnicare, Inc.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Over drugging nursing home patients is abuse

One nursing home director is faces criminal charges for over drugging or chemically restraining three nursing home patients who died as the result.

Reasons for over drugging is not due to medical causes but allegedly as a way to restrain patients who looked at the director for too long.

The nursing director was fired from a previous job for the same reason but nobody bothered to tell the new facility for fear of a lawsuit.

How many nursing home patients do administrators have to injure or harm or kill before someone or some agency speaks up for vulnerable nursing home patients?

Others -- the nursing home administrator and staff doctor -- are also being charged while the pharmacist can plea bargain if she testifies for the prosecution.

It has been estimated that nursing homes give anti-psychotics to one in every four patients. These drugs replace physical restraints, which are now illegal except as a last resort.