Elder Abuse Caregiver Had History of Problems

All those working on elder care issues understand that the vast majority of neglect goes unreported. This is a tragedy for two reasons. First, it means that individual seniors are forced to endure pain and suffering without help. Second, the under reporting means that more seniors in the future may be affected by neglect. That is because those who get away with mistreating seniors once are far more likely to do it again. Some caregivers who have a history of skirting requirements are often the ones found responsible for the most egregious cases of abuse and neglect.

For example, take a case out of California. We have already discussed the allegations against a woman who cared for ailing seniors in her own home. Headlines were made when the woman was charged with a felony following the death of one an 88-year old woman who was in her care. The senior had dementia and was under the woman’s care for five years. However, the quality of that care was suspect. That is because the woman developed incredibly serious (Stage IV) bedsores which ultimately led to her death.

Our neglect attorneys have worked on many cases where bedsores are at issue. Bed sores are almost always preventable, and when they arise, caregivers can be held responsible. Most of the time that responsibility comes in the form of civil lawsuits, which, for example, can provide financial compensation to those harmed. However, in more unique circumstances, those involved may also be punished criminally.

That is what happened in this case, as the caregiver who ran this facility is facing a felony. In one of the first such cases of its kind, the woman is now facing “involuntary manslaughter” charges. All told she may face up to twelve years in prison.

History of Problems
Since the initial filing, more and more information has been uncovered about the care provided at the home and the history of the woman now facing serious criminal charges. Perhaps not surprisingly, the woman was on the radar of the state’s department of social services for more than a decade and a half.

Amazingly, the woman was cited over forty times since 1996 for various care deficiencies and violations of state and federal caregiving rules. A Sacramento Bee story on the matter explains how more than half of those violations were “Type A” violations. These are the most serious mistakes which place the health and safety of seniors at risk. Yet, despite all of those problems, the state did not move to take away the woman’s license until after she was criminally charged with the death of her former client.

The case is a sad reminder that by the time a caregiver is actually held responsible for harmful conduct, on many occasions they have likely already harmed others without recourse. It is also a testament to the fact that state regulatory agencies cannot always be assumed to shut down poor facilities or care settings. The reality is that many negligent caregivers continue to provide services to vulnerable seniors.

See Other Blog Posts:

Hospital Fails to Report Elder Abuse

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Home

Music in the Nursing Home — Focusing on Quality of Life

A few months ago a YouTube video went viral which showed how listening to music seemed to open up a flood of emotions and memories for many nursing homes patients with Alzheimer’s. We often discuss how beyond just eliminating accidents and ensuring adequate care, the best assisted living facilities are places where seniors are able to thrive in their golden years. Accomplishing that goal often requires caregivers to take an individual approach which takes each resident’s unique challenges, hopes, strengths, and weaknesses into account.

Of course, the best individual care also requires a sufficient number of caregivers with proper training and access to equipment/services. Sadly, in the drive to maximize profits, many facility owners and operators fail to commit those needed resources. As a result, far too many seniors languish in homes where their actual happiness and ability to meaningfully interact with the world around them is not prioritized.

Hopefully more and more community members will apply pressure to these facilities so that unique programs are integrated into more homes. Music offers one of the best ways to begin this more holistic caregiving approach.

Memory & Music
For example, a Forbes story recently touched back on the issue, exploring how the use of music–a simple, inexpensive tool–could do wonders for many nursing home residents, particularly those with cognitive ailments.

The article shares information on the NY based organization, Music & Memory, which seeks to greatly expand the memory-based power of music from one’s past. The main idea of the program is to donate music equipment–mostly ipods–to nursing home for use in music-based therapies for Alzheimer’s residents. The organization’s website succinctly explains that “beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.”

Beyond highlighting the importance of the innovative approaches to senior care, the Music & Memory organization is also a testament to the fact that even seemingly commonplace equipment and services are often absent at long-term care facilities. For younger generations, access to the countless forms of music equipment, from ipods and mp3 players to music-enabled phones, is a given. Virtually everyone seemingly has access to these tools–they no longer seem like a luxury.

But even simple pleasures are a luxury for seniors in a nursing home who depend on caregivers for virtually everything–from sufficient meals to help moving to and from the restroom. For something like access to music, if the caregivers do not provide it, then the senior is likely to go without. Many caregivers are given little flexibility by operators regarding the funds they can use for support services like music players. Therefore, organizations like Music & Memory are critical, by providing music players they may be the only chance some seniors have to take advantage of potential beneficial music therapies.

The neglect attorneys at our firm applaud these efforts to focus on the actual quality of life of our community members in nursing homes. Even seniors with seemingly severe cognitive impairments deserve a fair shake at living their best life.

See Other Blog Posts:

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Home

Jury Provides Significant Punitive Damages in Nursing Home Case

Jury Provides Significant Punitive Damages in Nursing Home Case

The financial awards given to a plaintiff following a civil trial are referred to as “damages.” Many are unaware that there are very specific rules about the types of damages and amounts that are awarded in each individual case. Far from a “free for all,” if a judge or jury finds a defendant liable in any case, they will conduct detailed analyses to determine the proper damage award. Attorneys will often provide separate arguments explaining the types of awards that should be given and provide specific information explaining why they are requesting certain dollar amounts.

Most damages are “compensatory.” That means that they are tied to very specific harms suffered by the plaintiff. Economic damages are those traced to financial losses of the plaintiff (i.e. lost wages, medical expenses). Non-economic damage refer to those losses that are not tied to a specific dollar amount (i.e. pain and suffering). Non-economic damages are still compensatory, however, because they are traced to a very real harm suffered by the plaintiff.

Alternatively, “punitive” damages are those which are not tied to the losses of a plaintiff. Instead, they are given solely to punish the defendant. Punitive damage awards are those that usually make newspaper headlines, because they can be sizeable. However, they are not just ad hoc judgments made on a whim. Instead, they are awarded for very specific reasons, when defendant conduct is outrageous and financial penalties are seen as the only method of ensuring changes so that the defendant never engages in that conduct again–and other similarly situated defendants learn of the decision and also make changes to ensure they do not act in the same manner.

Nursing Home Punitive Damages
Recently, as discussed in the Sacramento Bee, a jury awarded significant punitive damages in a nursing home neglect case. The case revolved around the death of an 82-year old nursing home resident. The woman was taken to the hospital after suffering serious harm as a result of several bed sores. Evidence at trial suggested that caregivers at the facility knew of the sores and told others to keep them secret, because of the adverse financial consequences for the facility. The jury in the case, after hearing the evidence, found that the facility’s poor care was responsible for the senior’s death.

In a separate damage phase of the trial (after liability was already established), the jurors admitted that they were shocked by the defendant (a large nursing home conglomerates) seeming refusal to devote sufficient resources to proper care. This was made all the worse when the jurors learned of the company’s financial situation. The defendant have revenues last year alone of over $1.5 billion, with raw profits of $116 million. Despite all of this, they paid no income taxes the last three years. The picture was painted of the large assisted-living company’s focus on more mergers and acquisitions in an effort for increase revenues. The care of the residents depending on reasonable care seemed secondary.

That is why the jurors eventually reached a punitive damage verdict in the amount of $23 million. These damages were intended to punish the facility for its egregious system-wide conduct. After all, if the company had no financial incentive to shape up, why would it?

See Other Blog Posts:

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Home

Hospital Fails to Report Elder Abuse

MRSA Infections Detected in Southern California Nursing Homes

Do you have an elderly parent or loved one in a Southern California nursing home? A recent study of nursing facilities within our state found that in 20 out of 22 facilities tested, the drug-resistant and often deadly skin infection “MRSA was present. San Diego’s local ABC 10 News referred to it as a “superbug,” and warned that it is “rampant in nursing homes.” MRSA can be scary—it moves quickly, it’s highly contagious, and it can seriously affect elderly residents.

Until recently, researchers tended to focus on the spread of MRSA in hospitals, often neglecting to track the infection in nursing-home settings.

What is MRSA and what does its presence mean for nursing homes in California? Keep reading to learn more about this infection that is resistant to many “common antibiotics” used in nursing facilities.

MRSA is an acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), MRSA infections can be community-based or can form in healthcare settings. Community-based strains are those that begin in the “general outside world” (instead of in hospital settings or other healthcare venues) and are carried into places like long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

MRSA can lead to “bloodstream infections [and] abscesses and pneumonia.” The NIH emphasizes that MRSA infections are especially dangerous in nursing home settings.

MRSA infections are spread through contact. You can catch staph infection by touching someone with the bacteria (including a patient or a physician) or by touching an object that has come into contact with the bacteria. staph.jpg

Between October 2008 and May 2011, University of California-Irvine researchers visited 22 nursing homes, swabbing the noses of the residents at those facilities. After finding MRSA at 20 of these facilities, the research team concluded that Southern California nursing homes require more “infection control interventions.”

What does this mean? According to Medline Plus, nursing homes physicians and staff must pay more attention to signs of spreading drug-resistant infections. As well, these facilities should employ infection-control measures such as “enhanced environmental cleaning” or “skin decolonization.”

In particular, nursing facilities need to be aware of community-associated strains of the infection. In fact, one of the authors of this recent study indicated that nursing home residents are especially susceptible to the community-acquired strain of MRSA, since nursing homes often encourage socializing.

This means that budgets need to increase. A local Elder Advocacy Center indicated that the high prevalence of MRSA in nursing homes may be due to low staffing—many of these facilities attempt to save money by limiting the number of staff they employ.

MRS Prevalence and Nursing Home Law
When a nursing home detects MRSA infections within the facility, a physician is required to inform an elderly resident’s family, and is supposed to explain how they can help to limit the spread of the infection.

In the local ABC 10 News story, Marian Hollingsworth, whose elderly father resided in a San Diego nursing home, was horrified to find that he contracted MRSA after being in the facility for only a day. She never learned that MRSA had been found in the nursing home prior to her father’s residency, and she also learned that her father had been “kept near the front desk in a wheelchair,” meaning that “everyone who went in and out of the facility was exposed to him.” As a result, Hollingsworth and her family members were unable to touch her father in his final days. She explained that “there were no last hugs, no last kisses, no time to hold his hand as he lay dying.”

If your elderly parent or loved one has contracted MRSA in their nursing home, or if you’re concerned about the duties of your loved one’s physician within their nursing facility, speak to an experienced elder law attorney today.

See Related Blog Posts:
Los Angeles Nursing Home Fined After Resident Dies
What Nursing Homes Won’t Tell You

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Home

WANE News reported recently on a new nursing home lawsuit that was filed by a family after a resident died following some sort of fight with another resident. The victim was apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s. Sadly, these sorts of incidents happen again and again, and they are usually preventable. In fact, our own legal team is representing a family whose loved one died in a similar situation in a nursing home in Oak Park.

Reports on this case suggest that the victim was an 88-year old woman who had lived at the defendant-nursing home for some time to receive close care. As with most seniors who develop cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s, the resident likely needed close supervision to ensure she did not harm herself or was harmed by others If the allegations in this latest suit are to be believed, then the long-term care facility in this case likely failed in that duty.

While the details in the report are somewhat sparse, law enforcement officials who were involved in the matter suggest that the senior likely suffered head injuries after being pushed onto the floor by another resident. For seniors with various vulnerabilities, even seemingly minor falls can have serious, perhaps life threatening, ramifications. Caregivers in these settings are aware of these risks and must act prudently to prevent them

Making matters worse, in this case there are allegations that the caregivers attempted to cover up the homicide. Details on a possible cover-up are not provided in the report, but, if true, it represents the length that some facilities go to in an effort to push problematic incidents under the rug.

Accountability Following Tragedy
Losing a loved one is one of life’s greatest challenges. For many local residents, the death of a parent represents an incredibly difficult time, with emotions flooding together, forcing one to remember their past and re-evaluate their future without those who brought them into the world. There is simply no easy way to deal with these matters. And as the above case demonstrates, things are made that much worse when the death may have been prevented.

It is cliche to say that nothing will bring a lost loved one back. However, that is not to say that all deaths that may have been connected to abuse and neglect should be ignored. While, a particular resident cannot be made whole, steps can be taken to help other residents who may suffer similarly if changes are not made.

As our nursing home neglect attorneys have explained repeatedly, many of the worst long-term care facilities only enact safety changes when forced to protect their bottom line. Saving resident lives, on its own, is often not enough. That is why demanding legal accountability is critical. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit or otherwise bringing the matter to court is the single best way to guarantee that negligent facilities will feel the sting of their inadequate conduct. In that way, fellow residents are given the best chance of receiving adequate care in the future so that they can enjoy their golden years in peace and tranquility.

For help with these matters in the Chicago area, please consider getting in touch without neglect attorneys today.

See Other Blog Posts:

Hospital Fails to Report Elder Abuse

Levin & Perconti Attorneys File Suit Against Hillcrest Nursing & Rehab

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Important Generic Drug Case

Many comedy skits have focused on the relationship between senior citizens and their medications. Over the past few decades there has been an explosion of medications available help patients deal with a wide range of medical health issues. Because the body is prone to more ailments as one ages, it is not uncommon for seniors to have various issues at the same time, requiring use of many different medications at once.

While these drugs are critical in minimizing symptoms, prolonging life, and otherwise making life easier to live, they are not without their risks. For one thing, because seniors so often are on different medications at once, it is incumbent upon caregivers to understand whether any combinations pose too high risks. Also, it is essentially that individual drugs be properly vetted to ensure their side-effects and potential serious harms are mitigated. Sadly, we still have a long way to go before all preventable medication errors are actually avoided, and many dangerous drugs continue to be produced and provided to unsuspecting patients.

Dangerous Drug Liability
When a medication causes harm, legal liability for the harm may fall on different parties, including medical providers who prescribed it, the pharmacists who filled the order, facilities where a patient resides, or the manufacturer of the drug itself. The specific cause of the harm often dictates which of those (or more than one) might be responsible.

The legal rules surrounding these liability issues are somewhat complex–and they are actually still evolving. For example, it is unclear if the rules are the same for the original manufacturer of a drug and those who make generic versions of it. A case that is to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court will hopefully decide the issue for good in the interests of patient’s rights.

As discussed in a recent New York Times article on the case, the particular case began when a woman filed a lawsuit alleging that the makers of a generic drug should be responsible for the severe harm that the drug caused her. The drug makers contends that it is not responsible, because it is did not actually design the drug.

The woman took a mild pain pill known as sulindac. She was given the medication after her doctor prescribed it to deal with shoulder pain. Little did she know that she would have a severe reaction to the drug. Her skin essentially burned off as a result of the reaction, forcing into her a medically induced coma for months. By the end of the ordeal she was virtually blind and had permanent damage to her esophagus and lungs.

At trial the woman was awarded nearly $25 million, and the decision was upheld by an appeals court. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which is set to hear arguments in the case, centered around the legal issue of whether or not a generic drug manufacturer can be held liable in cases like this.

It is useful for all those who may have suffered a severe adverse reaction to a drug to follow this case to understand if the court will ensure that manufacturers are held liable for the harm caused by the drugs that they produce.

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The Law & The Dr. Reinstein Fraud Case

Supreme Court Opens Door to Med Mal Lawsuit

Harmful Nursing Home Medicaid Fraud – The Dr. Reinstein Example

With the crossing into March, the official deadline for the “sequester” cuts took effect. That means that over the rest of the year a series of automatically spending cuts will hit many different areas of the federal government, ultimately totalling $85 billion this year alone. When discussing health care issues specifically, Medicare faces some smaller reductions but Medicaid is mostly untouched by the sequester. However, that can be somewhat misleading, because steep financial cuts to both program remain on the table for any compromise that might be reached in the coming months between the parties.

For that reason it remains critical for all of us to be vigilant about how funds are spent for these programs. Both Medicare and Medicaid funds are spent in different ways on nursing home care, but Medicaid constitutes the bulk of support for seniors (and others with various disabilities) who need long-term care.

Our attorneys continue to encourage all those with knowledge of fraudulent Medicaid claims to come forward and speak with a legal professional to learn how the law allows citizens to hold those committing these acts accountable.

Chicago Medicaid Fraud
Perhaps the easiest way to understand how this fraud occurs to to discuss one of the most high-profile recent examples in our area. As the Chicago Tribune discussed in a series of articles last November, Dr. Michael J. Reinstein was hit was a significant lawsuit alleging massive Medicaid fraud rooted in unnecessary antipsychotic drug prescriptions. The doctor worked with dozens of Chicago nursing homes, often treating individuals with mental illness. Obviously, as part of his work the doctor prescribed medications to his patients. However, federal officials argue that his prescription choices for patients were not based on their actual needs but the doctor’s own financial incentive.

According to court documents, Dr. Reinstein allegedly engaged in massive fraud in order to prescribe as many doses of a dangerous antipsychotic medication known as clozapine. To provide some perspective, at one point the doctor himself issued more prescriptions for the drug than all physicians in the state of Texas combined.

Did all of the doctor’s patients actually need this drug at those rates? Not at all, according to the lawsuit. Instead, officials claim that Dr. Reinstein prescribed massive amounts of the drug because he was being paid by the pharmaceutical company which created the drug. These kickbacks took various forms, but they were all allegedly done under the assumption that in exchange for support from the company the doctor would continue to use the drug for his patients. This distorted prioritization is explicitly forbidden.

All told, the False Claims Act lawsuit filed against the doctor suggests that over 140,000 individual Medicaid bills were paid to the doctor fraudulently. This is a massive quantity, referring to individual cases where clozapine was given unnecessarily. If found liable, the doctor faces “triple damages.” That means that not only will he have to repay the entire amount paid by Medicaid, but he will have to repay three times that amount as a penalty.

See Other Blog Posts:

Medicaid Waste: Billions Spent on Poor Care

Failing to Blow the Whistle

First DePuy Hip Implant Verdict In: Jury Finds for the Plaintiff with Significant Damages

Over the past few weeks a trial was underway in the first case alleging harm caused by the now-recalled versions of the Depuy hip implants. As we have often discussed in the last two and a half years, several thousand similar claims have been made, all alleging various harm caused by lack of proper warning and prudent action by Depuy Orthopaedics (and parent company, Johnson & Johnson). The company has already set aside significant sums of money in anticipation of the litigation and eventual payouts to those affected.

It remains unclear how each individual case will be handled. However, the end of this first trial is a good indication of how these matters may ultimately play out.

Verdict for $8.3 Million
As explained in a recent Bloomberg News article, last week the jury in the first case returned with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff was a retired prison security guard who received a DePuy ASR XL hip implant in late 2007. Less than five years later, in February of 2012, the implant was finally removed after causing significant pain, suffering, and internal damage. The defective hip caused the man to use a wheelchair. He noted that had, “a kind of stabbing type of pain. It was debilitating. I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t walk long distances.”

Eventually, upon learning about the recall and being advised of the legal ramifications of the company’s actions, the man sought out counsel and filed a case. The matter went to trial earlier this year, ultimately spending five weeks there before being handed over to the jury for deliberations. After deliberating for about six days the panel returned a verdict in favor of the former patient. He was awarded over $8.3 million in compensatory damages. Slightly over $300,000 of the award goes directly for medical expenses while the remaining $8 million was for pain and suffering caused by the lengthy ordeal that the man was forced to endure.

Punitive damages were not found in this case. That is not uncommon, as a high bar must be met for a jury to award those damages which are akin to punishment for the companies conduct–as opposed to compensation for direct harm suffered by the plaintiff.

Regardless, the company’s attorneys argued after the fact that they plan to appeal the verdict. This is also not surprising. Because this is the first case, the company will expectedly fight until the end to set a precedent and try to position itself for the future. It is important to remember that the appeal is not simply a “do over.” Instead, the company must show specific legal errors that were made which may have influenced the verdict. It is insufficient simply to show that they disagreed with the jury’s decision.

What’s Next
This jury verdict represents resolution in just one case out of nearly 11,000 Depuy implant lawsuits that have been filed by those harmed by the defective hip implants. Some of those cases may go to trial–a second is already about to get underway–while others may settle. There is not necessarily anything in this particular outcome that guarantees an outcome in the other cases. In fact, some argue that considering the scope of the cases it is likely that punitive damages will probably be found by a jury somewhere.

See Other Blog Posts:

Defense Expert Claims No Harm in Depuy Trial

Doctors Remaining Silent – The DePuy Example

Hospital Fails to Report Elder Abuse

Underreporting of elder abuse is a long-documented problem. Because of the fact that many of the victims are not able to speak up for themselves and have few advocates, many instances of neglect and mistreatment are never made public. Many of those affected die without anyone ever being fully aware of the fact that they suffered in silence.

Those focused on correcting the underreporting problem often suggest that the best approach is to enact safeguards so that those who come into contact with seniors in various ways are trained to identify signs of mistreatment. That may include anyone from at-home therapists and bank tellers to financial advisors and estate planning attorneys.

Also, one of the most common “stop gaps” in that regard are caregivers at hospitals. For example, in many cases a senior will be brought to the hospital for some emergency treatment only for doctors to discover something like serious bedsores on the senior’s body. However, if doctors, nurses, and aides stay silent when they are confronted with signs of elder abuse, the senior may be sent back to a facility only to suffer more abuse.

Failure to Report
According to a report in My Elder Advocate, one hospital on the East Coast seems to have refused to report signs of mistreatment even though such reporting was actually required by law. The story explains how the resident was brought to the facility to have treatment for a urinary tract infection which was caused by the caregivers at his nursing home’s failure to properly clean the equipment. Besides the infection, the senior reportedly suffered from various other medical conditions caused by neglect.

One elder advocate explains how he spoke with a staff members at the hospital and asked the man to report the conditions that the senior patient had developed at the nursing home. However, hospital employee allegedly claimed that he did not have to report anything that did not occur at the hospital itself. A state law actually requires that such signs of abuse or mistreatment be reported. Illinois also has mandatory reporting laws.

The advocate also asked the resident’s doctor to report the abuse, but the doctor also refused. The article explains one obvious reason why that might have occurred: the doctor worked with the resident at both the hospital and nursing home. If the medical professional only reported the problem when the patient was brought to the hospital, then it would raise obvious questions regarding why he did not speak up sooner. As a result of this scenario, the doctor may have found it more secure to simply say nothing at all.

Interestingly, the story notes how this connection between medical teams and nursing homes and hospitals may act as a barrier preventing honest and complete reporting and potential nursing home abuse. By referring patients to one another, both may be able to generate large reimbursements that increase their bottom line. Obviously this potential conflict needs to be guarded against, as the safety and well-being of the seniors should be prioritized at all times.

See Other Blog Posts:

Refusal to Perform CPR at Nursing Home?

Billions Spent on Poor Nursing Home Care?

Hidden Videotape Exposes Serious Nursing Home Abuse

Are you concerned that a loved one may be experiencingnursing home abuse or neglect? Recently, New Yorker Diana Valentin suspected that her grandmother’s care in a Bronx nursing home might have been substandard after noticing physical injuries to her grandmother’s arms. Valentin’s grandmother raised her, and she wanted to ensure that her grandmother was receiving quality care. In order to find out whether her suspicions were accurate, she installed a hidden camera in the elderly woman’s room. According to a report from the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the “results were devastating.”

While this case occurred in New York, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a detailed article about this particular instance of abuse, alerting us to the possibility of similar harm in California nursing homes.

What Led to Suspicion of Abuse?

The nursing home at issue is Gold Crest Care Center in the Bronx. According to a local ABC News station, Valentin noticed “unusual marking and bruisings” on Ana Louisa Medina, her 89-year-old grandmother. Medina already suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s according to the report, and Valentin worried that her grandmother’s injuries may have had nothing to do with her illness.

Valentin questioned the staff at Gold Crest Care, who repeatedly informed her that Medina’s bruises were a result of her dementia and Alzheimers. They explained that “she had gotten the bruising on her hands by banging on the bed railing.” However, Valentin decided to find out for herself.

What Were the Consequences at the Nursing Facility?

In June 2012, Valentin placed a hidden camera inside a decorative plant base, from which she recorded “more than 600 hours of footage.” When Valentin viewed the tapes, she was horrified. In the very early segments of the footage, she saw Sandra Kerr, a 55-year-old nurse’s aide at Gold Crest Care, grab Medina’s arm and twist it backward, actually lifting her off the bed and then slamming her back into the bed. Kerr has since been arrested and charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person. After the arrest, Medina was transferred to a nursing home in New Rochelle, where she is reportedly safe from abuse.

It’s important to know the signs of nursing home abuse and what you can do if you’re concerned about a loved one.

How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

According to a follow-up article in the San Francisco Chronicle, there are different varieties and levels of nursing home abuse. It can come in the form of bruises and other physical marks, as in Medina’s case, but it’s also important to stay alert to other indicators. For instance, abuse can also show itself in the form of depression and weight loss in your loved one.

If you’ve seen “slap marks, unexplained bruises, pressure marks, burns or blisters” on your elderly parent, or any signs of psychological abuse or neglect, you should alert the nursing home administrators. Remember, nursing homes have a duty to protect their residents. However, if you have witnessed any unexpected injury or illness, your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect. Do you suspect that your loved one is not being properly cared for? Our attorneys specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Contact us today to discuss your concerns.

See Related Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Director Heading to Prison
Strict Screening for All Nursing Home Employees