Articles Posted in Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

There are simply some fields for which non-profit ventures are generally better suited. Nursing home care appears to be one of those.nursing home injury

A recent report by Kaiser Health News appears to back growing anecdotal evidence of this, revealing that mission-driven non-profit organizations on the whole have better track records than the increasing number of facilities operated on a for-profit basis.

Numerous studies over the last 20 years has established that nursing home neglect and abuse is reported at higher rates at facilities that operate on a for-profit basis – particularly in those that operate as corporate chain operations. These facilities tend to skimp on staff and other necessities, which in turn results in substandard care.

In a nutshell, the latest report from Kaiser reaffirms this, examining closely the ways in which organizations that have complex corporate structures work not only to line the pockets of owners, but also to shield them from injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Continue reading

It is always a difficult time when we can no longer take care of a loved one at home and it becomes time to have them live at a nursing home or other type of assisted care facility.  While this is not easy, there often comes a time when we must depend on the training, compassion, and professionalism of the management and staff to care for our loved ones and treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to provide an appropriate level of medical attention when needed.  If the nursing home fails to do so and a patient is injured or killed, this may be the basis for a negligence lawsuit against a Boston area nursing home.

Recent Example of a Nursing Home Death in the Greater Boston Area

Boston personal injuryAccording to a recent news article from the Worcester Telegram, a nursing home in our area has been fined $140,000 in connection with the death of an 87-year-old resident. The decedent’s family has alleged his death was due to negligence on behalf of nursing home staff.  He died in UMass Memorial Hospital less than two days after he had gotten out of bed to the use the bathroom and fell and hit his head on a night table. It has further been alleged after he fell, a nursing aid told management decedent’s nurse requested nobody report the fall and simply put him back in bed.  There was no medical attention or evaluation provided for decedent following what ultimately turned out to be a fatal fall.  Continue reading

All forms of sexual abuse are under-reported. However, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape involving nursing home residents is vastly under-reported and is far more pervasive than probably any of us realized before. That’s according to a new in-depth report by CNN Investigationsold hands

Chronicling disturbing and heartbreaking instances in great detail, the reporters sought to expose the failings of nursing home staffers, administrators, investigators, regulators and lawmakers in addressing this serious problem.

In general, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tallies all allegations of nursing home abuse – including those involving sex-related offenses – into a single category. At the request of CNN reporters, CMS conducted a specialized search using certain keywords that would help single out sex-related offenses. However, reporters still had to sift through each case because not all were relevant. That search revealed 226 facilities cited for failure to protect residents from sexual abuse between 2010 and 2015. Of those, only about 60 percent resulted in fines and only 16 were cut off from federal funding. However, an independent analysis by CNN reporters of the raw data showed that between 2013 and 2016, there were more than 1,000 nursing homes cited for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape at the facilities. About 100 of those centers were cited multiple times for these offenses.  Continue reading

Cleveland Nursing and Rehabilitation, LLC v. Estate of Annie Mae Gully, a case from the Mississippi Supreme Court, weighs whether a nursing home breached its duty of care to an elderly patient who died after complications form a fall. Plaintiff who was a resident at a nursing and rehabilitation home run by the defendant.

nursesWhile she was living at the nursing facility, she fell and broke her hip.  As a result of this slip-and-fall accident, she underwent a surgical repair of her hip, but there were serious complications from the injury and her surgery, and she died less than a week after the accident. Her family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home in which they alleged wrongful death as a result of defendant’s gross negligence. Continue reading

The aides and nurses at the Braemoor Health Center lacked the fundamental knowledge necessary to save the life of a dementia patient suffering a heart attack in their care. The facility also neglected to inform state officials of the death, initially saying it was because the man had no family. Later, it was revealed administrators feared “bad press,” as their parent company was already under scrutiny for two other deaths in Wilmington. oldhands2

State health officials released the 70-page report on their investigation more than a month after barring the facility from accepting new patients, fining it $200,000 and freezing its payments from Medicare – the bread-and-butter of any nursing home.

The report offers a scary glimpse into the day-to-day operations at Braemoor, owned by Synergy Health Centers in New Jersey. The report followed two surprise inspections earlier this summer following a tip-off regarding the two deaths, in March and in April. Those inspections revealed a host of problems. For starters, the staff in charge of caring for these elderly, frail patients had little-to-no staff training in basic life support care. Meanwhile, the machines staffers relied upon to provide emergency oxygen to patients suffering medical emergencies – those were empty. The emergency medical devices used to restore a regular heart rhythm to someone experience an active heart attack – those devices were defective. The alarms in place at each window and exit of the building to prevent dementia patients from wandering off-site – many of those were missing or not working.  Continue reading

Representing thousands of Massachusetts nursing home workers, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East penned a letter to state lawmakers recently, urging them to fight back on Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent veto, which will cut millions in nursing home staffer salaries and benefits.nurses

Those cuts – some $17.2 million in all, according to the Boston Globe, are mostly going to affect low-wage workers. Originally, the state Legislature had approved $35.5 million for these workers. But then Baker, citing a substantial financial setback caused by major tax revenue declines, prompted him to cut the allocated boost in half.

The union argued that not only was the pay raise not reliant on state revenue (instead leaning on nursing home user fees), but this kind of move might ultimately jeopardize nursing home patient safety.  Continue reading

Substandard care was cited by state regulators as the cause of death by a second nursing home resident at a facility in Wilmington.oldwomanwheelchair

Authorities called out the Woodbriar Health Center for placing patients in “immediate jeopardy,” and ordered staff there to stop accepting new residents at once. The center was also threatened with removal from government programs that fund most patients’ care plans and up to $10,000 fines each day until critical safety violations are adequately addressed.

Back in December, a patient at the facility died just two days after a staffer allegedly dropped her. The state was already investigating that death when they learned that another resident death – this one in February – was also reportedly tied to nursing home neglect, as the patient had allegedly fallen out of bed.  Continue reading

A resident of a South Dartmouth nursing home was alive at the age of 100 to celebrate her birthday with her son and his three children.  She was dead a month later, and it was not a natural death according to a recent New York Times article.  Police said her roommate put a plastic shopping bag over her head and strangled and suffocated her to death. Her alleged assailant was 97 years old at the time of her death.

mmUMQT0The alleged attacker was suffering from senile dementia, but the prosecutors decided to charge her with murder.  Police never investigated the nursing home in connection with this tragic death, and that is part of the problem for the victim’s family.  The nursing home has said the two women argued occasionally, as people do, but generally got along pretty well.  With respect to the criminal case, the defendant was deemed not competent to stand trial and was committed to a state hospital.  Continue reading

Family members who must place relatives in nursing homes have plenty of legitimate reasons to be concerned about whether their parents or loved ones are getting appropriate care.

Recently, the New York Times wrote about one woman who wanted to use a video camera in her mother’s room when she suspected abuse. The bylaws of the nursing home prohibited this, claiming they violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). However, this may not be entirely true. elderly.jpg

Preventing nursing home abuse is an important issue, and it’s important patients and family members understand their legal rights. A Boston nursing home abuse lawyer should be consulted for assistance when nursing home abuse is suspected. Families visiting relatives and loved ones over the winter holidays should also watch for signs of potential abuse so they can take appropriate action.
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Sometimes a loved one or family member reaches a point where they can no longer receive sufficient care at home. While it is often a difficult decision, arranging for a loved one to enter into a managed care facility or nursing home is often most loving choice we can make. We trust the facility and staffers will better care of our family member than we could at home.

broken-leg-xrayseries-1-978477-m.jpgIn Mattox v. Life Care Centers of America, an elderly woman was receiving care from a nursing home owned by defendant. She was 86-years-old. During her stay, she suffered a fall and fractured her femur. She was taken to the emergency room, where doctors gave her pain medication. She then suffered nausea, vomiting and aspiration. She was not stable enough to have surgery to repair her broken leg, was placed in “comfort care,” and died just after midnight.

Plaintiff’s son filed a wrongful death lawsuit against defendant, alleging they were aware she had a history of falling and did not take proper care to prevent her from falling and breaking her leg. Defendant filed for summary judgment on grounds plaintiff failed to name an expert who would testify that defendant didn’t adhere to the required standard of care with respect to plaintiff’s death, and further had not introduced any evidence to prove the fall was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s death.
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