Elderly Patients in San Diego at Risk Following Hospital Discharge

LAFD_ambulanceWhen an elderly loved one in San Diego requires nearly constant medical care, many family members are at their most concerned when that loved one has to be hospitalized. However, according to a recent article in California Healthline, one of the most dangerous periods for elderly patients actually starts after they leave the hospital, and perhaps not for the reasons you might think. The problem is not that the elderly person does not receive sufficient care after a hospital visit, but rather that the patient failed to receive proper care while in the healthcare facility. Does this rise to the level of elder neglect?

Problems Associated with Poor Transitional Care

The time between leaving the hospital and receiving care either from a home caregiver or staff members at a nursing home in Southern California is known as a period of “transitional care.” As Alicia Arbaje, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine explains, “poor transitional care is a huge, huge issue for everybody, but especially for older people with complex needs.” While “the most risky transition,” Arbaje explains, “is from hospital to home with the additional need for home care services,” since it is the type of situation about which the least is known, injuries resulting from poor transitional care can also happen when the patient goes from a hospital to a local nursing home.

Negligent Nursing Home Care Blamed for Woman’s Death

Nursing homes are required to provide proper care to our elderly loved ones in their twilight years. Sadly, sometimes nursing homes fail to provide the level of care that is expected or that is required. The administrator for a woman’s estate recently filed a lawsuit naming Windmill Nursing Pavilion in South Holland, IL, claiming nursing home negligence. The woman died as a result of the alleged improper care.

Negligent Care

Nursing homes are required to provide proper care to all of their residents. The failure to monitor the activities and meet the needs of a resident could result in an injury or illness. The woman in this instance suffered multiple falls, pressure sores, and dehydration which all reportedly led to her overall decline in health and contributed to her death. Nursing home staff members must take the steps necessary to supervise their patients, regardless of their medical condition.

Sex Offenders and Nursing Home Abuse in San Diego

454px-The_PhotographerIf you have an elderly loved one in a San Diego nursing home, should the prevalence of sex offenders within the facility impact how you gauge your relative’s personal safety and risk of nursing home abuse? We are not referring to convicted sex offenders who are working at nursing homes or assisted-living facilities, but rather convicted sex offenders who themselves are seniors and require attention in a facility designed for the elderly. Do such situations increase the likelihood of elder sexual abuse in the nursing home setting?

Notifying Nursing Homes About Residents on the Sex Offender Registry

A recent article in the Dayton Daily News raised this question, pointing out that in California the law requires the Department of Corrections or another agency to notify the nursing home if a person who is listed on the sex offender registry plans to move into a care facility. In the event that a government agency does not report this information, it is up to the offender to self-report that she or he is on the sex offender registry. In addition, nursing homes in San Diego and across the state are required to “notify all residents and employees,” according to the article. But are those steps sufficient to protect other residents from the risk of elder sexual abuse? On a related note, does the risk of being a victim of elder sexual abuse increase when an elderly person on the sex offender registry moves into a nursing home?

Levin & Perconti Represent Family in Nursing Home Negligence Case

Nursing homes are required by law to provide a safe environment where proper care is provided. In some cases, nursing homes fail to provide adequate care. When a nursing home fails to properly care for a patient and an injury or death occurs, the facility is likely responsible for the negligent act. In one recent case, a nursing home resident died after a facility failed to properly care for a man while under their care. A lawsuit was filed against Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre and others alleging negligent care led to the man’s death.

Pressure Sores are Serious

Pressure sores, also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers, are painful skin injuries that occur in areas of the skin that are in contact with the sheets. These sores can form because a patient is unable to adequately move about in bed. The skin rubs against the bedding in the same spots for an extended period of time, rubbing away the top layers. The result is a tender red mark. These sores are generally located on the tailbone, heels, and elbows but can show up anywhere. Once they appear, bedsores can be extremely difficult to treat and easily worsen.

Long-Term Care Facility Failed to Prevent Injuries and Death

Nursing homes and care facilities are expected to support and monitor our elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, care facilities do not provide the care or supervision necessary to monitor residents and a patient sustains injuries or dies. Levin & Perconti is representing the estate of a woman who died due to alleged negligent care in a nursing home. The lawsuit was filed against Estates of Hyde Park, and other providers claiming that they failed to prevent her death.

Improper Supervision in Care Facilities

Nursing homes and care facilities must properly supervise and monitor residents. In this case, the lawsuit indicates that the nursing home staff did not take the corrective steps needed to prevent her from injuries. The woman experienced a fall and also developed pressure ulcers. These issues were reportedly not properly treated. The woman suffered pain and declining health until her death.

Law Enforcement and San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Identification

Patch_of_the_San_Diego_Police_DepartmentLaw enforcement officials are often in a unique position to recognize signs and symptoms of elder abuse in the San Diego area. Yet, as an article from In Public Safety points out, police officers frequently are not sufficiently trained in recognize nursing home abuse and neglect, and as such they inadvertently miss the symptoms that could help to prevent future injuries and, in some cases, deaths. Since nursing home abuse cases also can coincide with calls concerning assault and domestic violence, it is important for law enforcement officers to be trained to recognize the signs of elder abuse.

Getting Law Enforcement Officials in California Involved in Elder Abuse Awareness

One of the first things we can do, the article suggests, to change the ways in which police officers evaluate whether someone has been the victim of elder abuse is to require specific training about nursing home abuse and neglect. In our state, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) does have required training for mandatory reporters, but not all law enforcement officials understand the extent of elder abuse in the community and the ways that we can work together to help prevent it.

Improper Care to Resident Contributed to Death in Nursing Home

A nursing home is expected to provide proper care of residents, and maintain their health and well-being. If a medical problem occurs, the staff is required to report the situation and seek medical attention. Unfortunately, that was not what allegedly happened to a woman who died in a nursing home. The woman was a resident of Glenwood Healthcare & Rehab when she died. The woman’s family has filed a lawsuit claiming that improper care led to wrongful death.

Decubitus Pressure Ulcer

Pressure ulcers are also called bedsores, or pressure sores. They develop mainly on people who are immobile or bedridden. Pressure ulcers are painful sores that appear on the skin in areas where the skin is in contact with bed linens. People who are immobile are unable to change positions while in bed, causing constant rubbing in the same places on the skin. The sores get red and may worsen, becoming infected. They most often develop on the heels and elbows, as well as the tailbone. Decubitus ulcers are those that are on the tailbone.

Inadequate Supervision in Nursing Home Led to Resident’s Death

When our parents become elderly they are often unable to care for themselves in their own homes. Often times, children make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility. Nursing homes are supposed to provide proper care and supervision; therefore, we feel that our loved ones will be kept safe from harm. Sadly, that is not always the case. All too often, nursing home residents suffer from neglect or abuse while living in these facilities. Recently, a lawsuit was filed by the family of a woman who died because of alleged nursing home neglect.

Insufficient Measures Taken

According to the lawsuit, the nursing home failed to take sufficient measures to prevent the woman from falling. The woman suffered several falls while she was a resident of Sunrise at Fountain Square. The claim states that the nursing home did not adequately supervise the woman. This lack of supervision allowed a situation that caused the woman to fall. The woman was seriously injured as a result, and these injuries contributed to her death.

Canadian Nurse Charged in 8 Nursing Home Deaths

A Toronto nurse has been charged with the deaths of 8 nursing home residents. The victims died in nursing home facilities in the Toronto area between 2007 and 2014. The woman was charged with first degree murder in all 8 cases. According to the Associated Press, AP, the nurse was an employee of Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes, which owns and operates more than a dozen facilities in the south Ontario region.

Victims Were Administered Drugs

The administration of medications is one of the common requirements of nursing home staff members. Typically, prescription medications are kept in a locked area, and only caregivers are able to access it. While it is possible for medication mistakes to occur, they happen infrequently. The details of this case indicate that the nurse provided patients with overdoses of medications, which caused their deaths.

Elder Abuse Not Diagnosed Enough During ER Visits in California

800px-Cbh_emergencydepartment1If an elderly San Diego County resident who has sustained injuries as a result of nursing home abuse ends up in an emergency department, will he or she be properly diagnosed with injuries caused by elder abuse? According to a recent article in Psych Central, formal diagnoses of elder abuse are made in only one out of every 7,700 visits to emergency rooms across the country. This information comes from a new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of California San Diego, and Weil Cornell Medicine.

Given what we know about rates of elder neglect and nursing home abuse—a fact sheet from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) predicts that about 10% of all Americans aged 60 and older have been subject to some form of elder abuse—the notion that only about .01% of seniors who seek treatment in emergency departments are diagnosed with injuries caused by elder abuse seems startling. What else does this study teach us, and what can we do to help?

Majority of Elder Abuse Cases are Not Reported or Go Undiagnosed