ManorCare Operates 10 of 18 Most Understaffed Pennsylvania Nursing Homes

A Pennsylvania news organization has outed the 18 biggest offenders of understaffing in Pennsylvania nursing homes. HCR Manorcare, the Toledo-based health care organization, took 10 out of 18 spots on the list assembled by Penn Live. While experts recommend at least 4.1 staff hours a day to be spent on a resident’s care, the worst offender on the list, ManorCare Health Services of Pottsville, averaged 2.77 hours of care a day. Even the ‘best’ on the list, ManorCare Health Services of Bethlehem, averaged only 2.89 hours of daily care.  Understaffing is problematic for nursing home residents because improper staffing ratios can lead to falls, resident wandering, medication and other serious clinical errors, poor hygiene, malnutrition, and dehydration.

ManorCare One of the Largest Nursing Home Chains in the Country

HCR ManorCare is the second largest nursing home chain in the country. The company has over 500 facilities, including short & long term care centers, rehab clinics, home health agencies, and hospice centers. ManorCare facilities operate under the names ManorCare, Arden Courts, or Heartland and currently have over 35 facilities in Illinois alone.

Colorado Nursing Home Supervisor Rapes Employee, Facility Later Fires Her for Questionable Causes

A nursing home supervisor with a pattern of sexual misconduct was able to keep his job for 19 months after first sexually assaulting and later raping a nurse who directly reported to him at Cherry Creek Nursing Center (CNCC) in Aurora, Colorado. The man, Benjamin Offei, was ultimately sentenced to a year in prison and 10 years probation, but not before spending another 19 months in his job at CNCC and allowing the nurse to be falsely accused of narcotics theft, among other dubious allegations.

Inconsistently Enforced Disciplinary Action Causes Victim to Lose Job

In January 2015, the victim was subjected to sexual assault from Mr. Offei and two days later was raped in his office. After reporting the attack to facility administrators who hesitantly called police, she went to the hospital and was given a rape kit. While in the hospital, the administrators told police that she had stolen narcotics from the facility and after being searched, was found to not have any drugs in her possession. CNCC then suspended the nurse the next day. After her suspension period, the nurse returned to her job at CNCC and was later fired for 4 disciplinary write ups, which, in a lawsuit filed by the nurse, were alleged to be common minimal infractions that frequently occur among CNCC’s staff. One of the violations was for taking a call from her sick daughter while on the clock. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month against CNCC and its owner, Nexion Health, also alleges that 5 other women who worked at CNCC had been sexually assaulted by the same man and were told by human resources that complaints had to be put in writing. The women all refused to do so out of fear of losing their jobs. In her lawsuit, the nurse states that the facility put women in harm’s way by allowing a man with tendencies such as Mr. Offei’s to continue working and then by waging a campaign against victims to ruin their credibility and reputation.

San Diego Community Grant Awarded to Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform

kaiwen-wang-188920-300x200In San Diego, an advocacy group aimed at improving residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to undertake a community project in Southern California, according to a recent article in the California Newswire. The grant comes from the Del Mar Healthcare Fund, which receives funding from the Age Friendly Communities Program at the San Diego Foundation. San Diego is in the process of becoming “an Age Friendly/Livable Community for All Ages, a designation of the World Health Organization and AARP,” and the grant will help to get it there. This is not the first grant that the advocacy group, Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), has won. As a California Newswire article clarifies, the group previously was awarded a contract to develop an assisted-living facility rating system for seniors in San Diego County.

How will the recent grant specifically help improve the lives of seniors in Southern California? Will it have the capacity to develop initiatives aimed at preventing nursing home abuse and neglect?

Research in Affordability of and Capacity for Assisted Living in San Diego County

Augusta, Georgia Nursing Home Settles Pressure Sore Wrongful Death Suit the Night Before Trial

Salem Nursing & Rehab in Augusta, Georgia, also known as Amara Health Care & Rehab, settled a wrongful death lawsuit on the eve before the case was set to go to trial. The widow of a man who suffered and ultimately died from gangrene-infected pressure sores was pursuing action against Amara after her husband was sent to the facility to receive rehab services as a result of a stroke in 2011. In less than than 1.5 years, Mr. Patrick Manning, the decedent, developed pressure sores and was found to be dehydrated and malnourished. His widow, Mrs. Norma Manning, alleged that poor care caused the rapid decline in her husband’s health that ultimately led to his death.

Amara Health Care Had History of Violations & Lawsuits

Unsurprisingly, Salem Nursing & Rehab (aka Amara Health Care) had consistently received a less than average rating through Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as a result of numerous standards violations and had been named in several lawsuits in the last 10 years. A recent search on Nursing Home Compare shows that the facility received 1 star (the lowest rating) at its latest health inspection and has an overall star rating of 2 (below average). Just this past May the facility declared bankruptcy and was sold off to University Health Care System in Augusta.

House Expected to Vote on Medicaid Amendments This Thursday – Please Speak out Now!

Amendments to the American Health Care Act, the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, are set to be voted on by the House this Thursday. Among many of the proposed changes are several related to reducing federal funding towards Medicaid, the federally-backed but state-run public aid program that provides health care to millions of low-income Americans. The GOP argues that cutting funding to Medicaid is necessary in order to reduce deficits in other areas of our national budget.

About Medicaid & Long Term Care

Medicaid reductions are a dangerous prospect for many of America’s elderly. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care estimates that 70% of people aged 65+ will need some form of long term care, whether within their own homes or within a nursing home. As of today, Medicaid spends $158 billion on long term care support services, including $55 billion towards nursing home residency and associated services. Medicaid is the largest payer of long term care, responsible for the payment of more than 50% of all nursing home costs. National Consumer Voice also says that yearly fees for a shared room in a nursing home cost nearly $83,000 in 2016. Considering the expense of nursing homes and other long term care support services, reducing funding for these programs at the expense of the disadvantaged elderly seems to be one of the cruelest ways to reduce our budget deficit.

Advocacy Group Releases List of Chronically Deficient Nursing Homes, 85 Illinois Facilities Listed

Long Term Community Care Coalition (LTCCC) just released its list of over 6,000 U.S. nursing homes with what they’ve termed ‘chronic deficiencies.’ LTCCC considers chronic deficiencies any violation of the same Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulatory standard 3 or more times within 3 years. LTCCC used Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ own Nursing Home Compare database to analyze the infractions.

About LTCCC & Rankings

LTCCC is a non-profit advocacy group that describes itself as ‘dedicated to improving quality of care, quality of life and dignity for elderly and disabled people in nursing homes, assisted living and other residential settings.’ Along with the list of facilities with chronic health deficiencies, LTCCC has also included a spreadsheet of CMS’s star ratings for all the nursing homes found to be deficient. CMS uses a 5 star rating system to give those considering nursing homes an easy way to compare the overall quality of one facility vs. another and uses 5 as the highest indicator of quality and 1 as the lowest.

Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Report and Oceanside Residents

olia-gozha-179577-300x199If you have an elderly loved one who lives in a nursing home in Oceanside or elsewhere in Southern California, do you need to be concerned about the risks of nursing home sexual abuse? According to a recent report from CNN News, “vulnerable seniors are being raped and sexually abused by the very people paid to care for them.” Allegations of rape and sexual abuse are arising in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the country. Despite the fact that it is difficult to know precisely how many cases occur each year, the CNN News report suggests that “this little-discussed issue is more widespread than anyone would imagine.”

What are some of the significant findings in the report? What should you know about the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse in nursing homes?

Nursing Homes May be Negligent in Reporting Sexual Abuse and Assault

Expunging Elder Abuse Records in Escondido

byron-johnson-208827-200x300If a caregiver is charged with elder abuse and is convicted in Escondido, will that  record of abuse follow him or her in the event that he or she attempts to find another job working at a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Southern California? Can a person convicted of nursing home abuse apply to have this particular type of record expunged, thereby allowing that person to apply (potentially successfully) for employment at a skilled nursing facility in the area? According to a recent article in the Valley Road Runner, a particular California law may allow for the expungement of abuse records in certain cases. For San Diego-area residents whose loved ones have been the victims of elder abuse, this is particularly disconcerting.

What else should you know about California laws concerning the records of caregivers?

Expunging Records of Elder Abuse

Checks and Balances in the California Elder Care Industry senior ombudsman programs are helping to ensure that nursing home patients receive care tailored to their needs, in San Diego County and across the state of California. According to a recent article in the Moorpark Acorn, these volunteer ombudsman programs in certain parts of the state might actually serving as a check for parts of the elder care industry that are not as attuned to the individual needs of patients. The article explores the specific volunteer senior ombudsman program in Ventura County that is currently overseen by the county’s Long Term Care Services. As of early 2017, the ombudsman program has advocated for the needs and rights of about 8,500 patients in Southern California’s assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, other facilities.

Could more ombudsman programs be a partial solution when it comes to preventing nursing home abuse and neglect?

What is an Ombudsman?

Nursing Home Residents May Get More Autonomy When it Comes to Care

ian-schneider-95541-300x200How much decision-making power does a Chula Vista nursing home resident get when it comes to his or her quality of care? According to a recent article from Kaiser Health News, seniors in Southern California and across the country may be able to have more autonomy through shifts in federal regulations. As the article explains, around 1.4 million seniors living in nursing homes “now can be more involved in their care under the most wide-ranging revision of federal rules for such facilities in 25 years.”

What does it mean for older adults in nursing homes to have more autonomy over their schedules and care? Could such shifts in care perhaps reduce the rate of nursing home abuse in Southern California and throughout the country?

Shift in Federal Rules Focuses on “Person-Centered Care”