Many States Do Not Require Nursing Homes to Carry Liability Insurance

Earlier this month, the daughter of a Virginia woman was awarded $300,000 in damages after a wrongful death trial against the nursing home where she had fallen 8 times in less than a year, plus another fall that ultimately caused her death in August 2012.

The deceased, 87 year old Alice Allen, fell in her room at Colonial Manor on Pocahontas Trail in Williamsburg, VA. She suffered a subdural hematoma and was not taken to an emergency room until the next day, despite taking blood thinners. A nurse who served as an expert witness for the plaintiff stated during trial that “Any prudent nurse with an unwitnessed fall with a possible head injury on [a blood thinner] would be sent to the emergency room immediately following the fall. Time is of the essence.”

The nurse also testified that it did not appear that the facility had a well developed plan for fall prevention or treatment, which was evident by the number of falls Ms. Allen had endured and by the manner in which she was treated after her fatal fall in August 2012.

Alzheimer’s Study Could Prevent Nursing Home Abuse in San Marcos

rt_k9r80pya-jean-gerber-300x200While its effects may not be noticeable for years down the road, a new Alzheimer’s study could help to prevent nursing home abuse in San Marcos and other cities throughout the country. As the Alzheimer’s Association elucidates, elderly nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often are subject to abuse and neglect. As such, if we can find a way to lower the rate of seniors who suffer from dementia, we might also then be able to lower the rate of nursing home abuse cases tied to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A new study is hoping to accomplish just that. According to a recent article in SFGate, a study on Alzheimer’s aims to prevent the disease before it begins.

The A4 Study Aims to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the article, Dr. Reisa Sperling, a researcher at Harvard Medical School who serves as the project director for the A4 Study, aims for it to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. What is the meaning behind the study’s name? It refers to “Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s.” Currently, there are more than 10,000 adults in the “Baby Boomer” generation who are entering into old age rapidly, and thus becoming at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As Dr. Sperling explains, “I have witnessed the devastating effects of this disease in my work as a neurologist, as a clinical researcher and, sadly, in my own family.” Now, Dr. Sperling is undertaking prevention trials through the A4 Study that are designed “to try to stop memory loss before it begins.”

Illinois Nursing Home Sued for Failing to Prevent & Treat Dehydration, Malnourishment and Urinary Tract Infection

The family of a woman who died after suffering from malnourishment, dehydration and a urinary tract infection (UTI) is suing Alton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Alton, Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that before her death in June 2015, Judith Bates was visibly sick and was not sent to a hospital for treatment, despite lowered oxygen saturation, an abnormal heart rate, breathing difficulties, lethargy, low blood pressure, and excessive sweating. She had also lost 42 pounds in less than 6 weeks. By the time she was tested for a UTI on June 24, 2015, Ms. Bates’ condition had deteriorated and she died the next day.

For-Profit Nursing Home Rated Much Below Average

Alton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is a privately-owned, for-profit nursing home located in the southern Illinois town of Alton. The nursing home is owned by Integrity Healthcare of Alton and according to Nursing Home Compare, the rating system developed and maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the home is rated 1 out of 5 stars. A one star rating is considered much below average. The facility received one star for its health inspection, one star for its staffing practices, and two stars (below average) for quality measures.

Cahokia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center the Focus of Yet Another Lawsuit

Cahokia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Cahokia, IL, is yet again defending themselves against a lawsuit filed by the family of a resident. According to the lawsuit, Pauline Purifoy, 86, died in April 2015 from multiorgan failure and septic shock. In the days leading up to her death, Ms. Purifoy was suffering from a painfully severe urinary tract infection that was left untreated. As the pain progressed, Cahokia Nursing & Rehab did not notify Ms. Purifoy’s doctor, instead choosing to treat her on their own. When their efforts didn’t work and Ms. Purifoy was becoming physically and vocally agitated, they resorted to lorazepam, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. The Illinois Department of Public Health made a visit to Cahokia and saw Ms. Purifoy covered in her own urine, feces, and vomit and forced the facility to contact her physician. The physician ordered her to be transferred to a local hospital, during which time she died in the emergency room.

Cahokia Nursing and Rehabilitation on Federal Watch List

Just this past January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their latest list of Specialty Focus Facilities, those nursing homes that are considered severely deficient and in danger of losing federal funding. We analyzed the list and found 3 Illinois facilities named, one of which was Cahokia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Shockingly, Cahokia Nursing & Rehab had just been upgraded to the ‘shown improvement’ category of Special Focus Facilities after a December 2016 visit by CMS.

Nursing Home Aide Admits to Sexual Assault of One Patient, Other Families Come Forward With Similar Allegations

Last year, several nurses at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina walked in on nurse’s aide Douglas Steven Little sexually assaulting an elderly resident suffering from dementia. Little, a 10 year employee of Lake Park Nursing & Rehab, admitted to the assault and is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. After the news of Little’s crime broke, other Lake Park families began coming forward with similar allegations of rape and assault of their loved ones.

Repeat Offender

An affidavit by a former Lake Park Nursing & Rehab nurse states that in 2012, the facility was made aware of sexual assaults committed by Douglas Steven Little and covered them up from victim’s families. The affidavit was included as part of a lawsuit filed by the daughter of another alleged victim of Little’s. The woman’s daughter, Annette Foster, says her mother was a dementia resident who spent two years at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation before her death. She says that after the news of Little broke, she began examining her mother’s medical records and coupled with the behaviors she observed in her mother before her death, she is certain that she was assaulted on multiple occasions and strongly believes it was by Douglas Steven Little. While her mother was still a patient, Foster knew something was amiss after her mother reported being raped on two separate occasions. She requested that only female staff members treat and visit with her mother and despite the request, she still saw Little wandering around the dementia unit.

Nursing Home Aide Admits to Sexual Assault of One Patient, Other Families Come Forward With Similar Allegations

Last year, several nurses at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina walked in on nurse’s aide Douglas Steven Little sexually assaulting an elderly resident suffering from dementia. Little, a 10 year employee of Lake Park Nursing & Rehab, admitted to the assault and is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. After the news of Little’s crime broke, other Lake Park families began coming forward with similar allegations of rape and assault of their loved ones.

Repeat Offender

An affidavit by a former Lake Park Nursing & Rehab nurse states that in 2012, the facility was made aware of sexual assaults committed by Douglas Steven Little and covered them up from victim’s families. The affidavit was included as part of a lawsuit filed by the daughter of another alleged victim of Little’s. The woman’s daughter, Annette Foster, says her mother was a dementia resident who spent two years at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation before her death. She says that after the news of Little broke, she began examining her mother’s medical records and coupled with the behaviors she observed in her mother before her death, she is certain that she was assaulted on multiple occasions and strongly believes it was by Douglas Steven Little. While her mother was still a patient, Foster knew something was amiss after her mother reported being raped on two separate occasions. She requested that only female staff members treat and visit with her mother and despite the request, she still saw Little wandering around the dementia unit.

Trump Administration May Remove Obama Era Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget met with long term care groups and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss a revision of an Obama era rule that banned arbitration agreements as a condition of admission for nursing home residents. By signing an arbitration agreement, a nursing home resident waives their 7th amendment right to a trial. It has been found that by forgoing a judge and jury, arbitration heavily favors nursing homes.

Taking Away the Rights of the Elderly

CMS intended to begin implementing this rule at the end of last November, but not before being halted by a federal court in Mississippi. The court ruled that the agency lacked the authority to impose such a rule and since then, CMS has been working on appealing that decision. However, it seems CMS is ready to abandon their appeal in favor of siding with the Trump administration. Trump has been vocal about removing regulations and barriers that interfere with business operations and nursing home owners and advocates have long argued that arbitration agreements are the only way to avoid costly legislation and potential closure of their facilities. While arbitration agreements might seem like a savvy business move, consider who is paying the price on the other side of this argument. The nursing home industry has a history of low pay for employees, long hours, overcrowding, poor care and minimal staff training. Nursing homes are an extremely lucrative business, which explains why over half of all Illinois nursing home residents are in a privately-held facility. Requiring a nursing home resident and/or their loved ones to sign hefty admission packets with a small clause requiring arbitration feels more than a little deceitful. What’s worse, considering the atrocities that occur as a result of the troubles nursing homes face, it seems unfair to require some of society’s most vulnerable to give up their right to a trial.

Trump Administration May Remove Obama Era Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget met with long term care groups and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss a revision of an Obama era rule that banned arbitration agreements as a condition of admission for nursing home residents. By signing an arbitration agreement, a nursing home resident waives their 7th amendment right to a trial. It has been found that by forgoing a judge and jury, arbitration heavily favors nursing homes.

Taking Away the Rights of the Elderly

CMS intended to begin implementing this rule at the end of last November, but not before being halted by a federal court in Mississippi. The court ruled that the agency lacked the authority to impose such a rule and since then, CMS has been working on appealing that decision. However, it seems CMS is ready to abandon their appeal in favor of siding with the Trump administration. Trump has been vocal about removing regulations and barriers that interfere with business operations and nursing home owners and advocates have long argued that arbitration agreements are the only way to avoid costly legislation and potential closure of their facilities. While arbitration agreements might seem like a savvy business move, consider who is paying the price on the other side of this argument. The nursing home industry has a history of low pay for employees, long hours, overcrowding, poor care and minimal staff training. Nursing homes are an extremely lucrative business, which explains why over half of all Illinois nursing home residents are in a privately-held facility. Requiring a nursing home resident and/or their loved ones to sign hefty admission packets with a small clause requiring arbitration feels more than a little deceitful. What’s worse, considering the atrocities that occur as a result of the troubles nursing homes face, it seems unfair to require some of society’s most vulnerable to give up their right to a trial.

Shortage of Home Health Aides in Vista


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If there is a shortage of home health aides in Vista and other areas of Southern California, how will such a shortage impact nursing home neglect in the state? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there is a rising shortage of home health aides in California and across the country. Such a shortage could result in more instances of elder neglect within the homes of seniors, and at the same time, it could result in more elderly patients moving into nursing homes that are already understaffed. As such, the shortage in home health aides could also lead to more instances of nursing home neglect in facilities throughout the country.

Why is there such a significant shortage of home health aides? What can families do to help prevent instances of elder neglect?

Low Wages and Lack of Incentive

Nursing Home for Parolees Receives Federal Funding, Expected to Be Model for Other States

It is a growing concern as the population of elderly prison inmates continues to rise: What happens to inmates who require more care than an infirmary at a standard correctional facility can give? The cost of treating inmates in prison, at specialized psychiatric facilities and at local hospitals is making the cost of long term care an expense that states are having a hard time managing. Federal funding is not given to prison inmates treated at any of these locations.

Enter facilities like 60 West, a combined nursing home and correctional facility in Rocky Hill, Connecticut that has become the first nursing home of its kind to be granted funding from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Several states hoping to receive federal funds for similar facilities are clearly pleased with the news and experts hope that the success of 60 West will spur other nursing homes to adopt the mentality that the elderly all deserve compassionate and federally-covered care, regardless of a prison record. Receiving federal funding for state-owned nursing homes would significantly ease the burden of covering long term care costs for prison inmates.

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