Published on:

4000009470_a2e94630ce

In our last blog post we talked a bit about signs that it might be time to consider assisted living for an aging loved one. In this post, we will talk a bit about Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Abuse. How often abuse occurs, what to be on the lookout for, and what to do if you think an aging loved one has been abused or is being abused.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and elder abuse are common and take many forms. According to the Office for Victims of Crime, roughly 5 million people over the age of 65 are victims of elder abuse or nursing home abuse each year. Abuse can be physical, psychological or sexual. Abuse can also take the form of neglect and financial exploitation. Abuse can come from anywhere, even friends and family members. Even more frightening is that only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse or nursing home abuse is reported to authorities.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Whether to move a loved one into an assisted living home or hire an in-home caregiver is a difficult decision. Families can feel pressure to continue providing care for an aging adult despite signs that it might be time to explore other options. Other times families may find themselves unsure as to whether a loved one may need around the clock care.

While there is rarely a clear sign that it is time to move an aging family member to an assisted living home or hire an in-home caregiver, Caring.com recently published a list of eleven signs that family members and caregivers can look for to help in making that decision. Here are some highlights from that article: Continue reading →

Published on:

When moving a family member into a nursing home you are doing so with the hope that they will be given the utmost care and protection.  Unfortunately, understaffing in nursing homes leads to neglect of its elderly residents.  When there is a shortage of staff members compared to the amount of residents, the staff becomes overworked and stressed and it is the residents that suffer. This leads to increases in malnutrition, unhealthy weight loss, dehydration, infections and bedsores among the nursing home residents.

PennLive analyzed Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement data to compile a list of the 18 most understaffed nursing homes in Pennsylvania based on hours spent caring for each resident. PennLive also compiled how much of that care came from registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and certified nurse assistants (CNA).  It is recommended that at least 4.1 staff hours a day be spent on each resident’s care.  The average hours per day spent on each resident is 2.84.  The most understaffed home on the list was Manor Care in Pottsville (2.77 hours of care per day). Manor Care, which is one of the biggest nursing home chains in the United States, occupied 10 of the 18 spots on this list.

The full list can be seen here.

Published on:

A resident and her daughter are suing Carrington Place, a nursing home in Chesapeake, Va., after claims of severe abuse by two nurses. Alice Mackey, 84, was allegedly tied to a chair by the nurses and sedated in order to quiet her, as reported by The Virginian-Pilot.

Police have been notified, and the facility is denying such allegation. Neither of the registered nurses accused have been charged. The Department of Health investigated the complaints, and the lawsuit states there was another resident tied down in addition to Mackey. It also mentions that Mackey’s daughter was not informed of the alleged abuse, an attempt by the facility to “cover up” the situation.

The facility has enacted a correction plan, which included better staff training on abusive situations. The Mackey family is seeking $17 million in damages.

Published on:

Over the last two decades, 366 Pennsylvania nursing homes were fined almost $5 million for “federal deficiencies in care largely related to the health and safety of residents,” according to the Reading Eagle.

Individually, the average fine was no more than $6,000, which critics have declared too generous.

Marty Kardon, former chairman of the nursing home litigation committee for the American Association of Justice, stated that pulling licenses is the only way to “slap them down,” rather than these small fines.

Published on:

golden nursing homeA six-month investigation headed by PennLive revealed dozens of people died at the hands of Pennsylvania nursing home errors and neglect. Those homes, for the majority, were found to have not been punished by the state, and investigators are suspected of not properly reporting misconduct.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey voiced the need for the state Department of Health to execute an internal investigation regarding the cases.

“When our state’s seniors and families make the decision to enter a nursing home, they are placing a life in those homes administrators’ hands,” said Casey in a statement. “If even one life is lost due to the negligence of these facilities, we need to step back, ask why and see what changes are needed.”

Published on:

Auditor General Eugene DePasqualeA 91-page audit was recently released by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale regarding the need for Pennsylvania’s Department of Health to buckle down on enforcement in nursing homes.

The audit, as reported by abc27, involved 13 findings and 23 recommendations. The Department was reported to have shirked their duties when it came to documentation, following proper protocol and enforcement. In turn, this carelessness led to the neglect of nursing home residents as well as unsanitary conditions.

In a press conference, DePasquale stated, “What this tells me is the Department of Health was not looking. And when you don’t look, there’s no way to discover problems.”

Published on:

Nurse Abuses Patient in Nursing Home
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has significantly buckled down on its penalty enforcement for nursing home violations over the last year after enduring much criticism.

The department released data showing that from July to December of 2015, fines and violations across the 700 nursing homes in Pennsylvania more than tripled compared to the earlier six months.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that The Department of Health was receiving criticism in the form of a lawsuit filed not against the department directly, but rather nursing homes under their supervision. Back in July, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against nursing home chain Golden Living Center, which controlled 36 homes across Pennsylvania. The lawsuit pointed out that the homes had errors in the care of its residents, which went unpunished by the Department of Health.

Published on:

Cops outside of Voorhees Center in New Jersey
A nursing home in New Jersey has been under investigation by FOX 29 for serious abuse accusations to the home’s residents. The charges, as reported by FOX 29 reporter Jeff Cole, include cover-up and neglect, and they have the family members of the residents completely enraged.

One of the licensed practical nurses of Voorhees Center nursing home, Nikki Thompson, was fired after her eight-year stint with the home. After reporting abusive and negligent behavior within her workplace, Thompson received a threatening note in relation to a specific image taken in the facility. The picture was of one of the female residents with dementia, 85-year-old Eleanor Hallowell, who was tied to her wheelchair with a bed sheet.

“I guess because they felt like they couldn’t deal with her, they tied her to a wheelchair,” Thompson told FOX 29.

Published on:

Proposed wage cuts at the Phoebe Ministries Nursing Home in Allentown have caused 400 healthcare workers to fight back. The company wants to cut wages as up to $5 an hour, a decision that will send many of the workers into poverty. In turn, such a cut would also lower the care of the residents in the home.

“This proposal means a pay cut of about $10,000 for me. I don’t know how I will raise my family,” said Phoebe housekeeper Deb Edelman to bctv.org.

The proposed cuts are not only harmful to the employees of the facility, but the entire community as well. Lowered wages mean lower ability to keep the hard working employees on staff. When there are fewer employees, the problems continue to mound with extreme overtime hours, short staffing and high turnover.