Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Sue Carter brought Joyce Gott to the Odin Nursing Home in 2005. Carter signed an arbitration agreement as Gott’s “legal representative.” Gott also signed an arbitration agreement with Odin after she was admitted to the nursing home facility.

Carter’s lawsuit filed against Odin claimed that the nursing home’s negligence caused Gott to die from gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia and respiratory failure.

Count I of Carter’s complaint was brought for Gott’s personal-injury claim preserved by the Illinois Survival Act. Count II of the complaint was for Gott’s heirs under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

Especially during the holidays, it is so important to visit loved ones, family members and friends who are residents of nursing home facilities, assisted living facilities and hospice care facilities. Nursing home residents who are surrounded by family and concerned friends always are uplifted. Too many times residents of nursing homes are lonely, become despondent, and their health declines.

Residents of nursing homes who choose not to take regular meals and may be lost at times by nursing home staff can also fall into depression. That’s why it is so important for family members, loved ones and friends to regularly visit the residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice care centers.

Not only is it more likely that nursing home staff will respond to requests made by the resident and family members when visitors are frequent, but the general outlook of an elderly person or one recovering from injury or illness is significantly increased by the presence of family and friends. The more visits, the better, as a general rule.

Since the middle of this decade, there have been repeated inquiries into the untimely deaths of nursing home residents caused by being trapped or strangled in bedrails. Bedrails are installed in many cases for those nursing home residents who are infirm, suffering from dementia or have a tendency to wander.
The evidence is abundant that the elderly are suffering grave injury and deaths at an alarming rate, mostly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and at hospitals.

Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been involved over these years in investigating deaths related to bedrails. Unfortunately, little has been done to force manufacturers and companies who distribute these bedrails to change the way they are utilized.

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A jury has found that a skilled nursing home was negligent in choosing not to detect a dislocated right hip of one of its residents. One of the patients, P.G., 85, was admitted to the nursing home on a short-term basis following her right hip replacement surgery. P.G. was a fall risk, meaning she was noted in the records to be at greater risk of falling on scale. The practice of assessing nursing home resident’s propensity for falling is standard practice and required.

About two weeks after admission to the skilled nursing unit, the resident’s sister came to visit and noticed that her sister, P.G., was in pain and unable to bear weight on her leg. It was then that an X-ray showed P.G.’s dislocated right hip.

As a result, emergency surgery was required to remove P.G.’s hip prosthesis from her earlier hip replacement. P.G. was confined to a wheelchair for several months until she was able to undergo the revision surgery. Recovery has been slow, and P.G. has not been able to return to her home.

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It has become much more common to find that the known name for a nursing home is not related to its true nursing home ownership. Often, owners of nursing homes are carefully hiding the identity in a maze of ownership.

A plaintiff’s lawyers who handle nursing home cases are cautious about researching ownership. Today more than ever, nursing home operators find that elderly residents are filling these facilities at higher occupancy levels.

There is more and more demand for elder care in independent living or assisted living in nursing homes. Because of the demand, ownership of nursing homes is on the private investment company favored list of acquisitions. Private equity enterprises and larger publicly traded companies are operating more nursing homes today than ever before.

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Most elderly people will tell you they’d rather remain in their homes as they age rather than going to live in a care facility. Now a new study shows that those who live at home are MORE likely to die in a hospital. That’s because the elderly who live in their homes often do not receive the care of a nursing professional, resulting in a trip to the emergency room, and, eventually, death in a hospital bed.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College in London. It was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services & Delivery Research (NIHR HS&DR) Program. But even though it was conducted in the United Kingdom, its findings are applicable in the United States.

The study found that 42 per cent of patients with advanced non-malignant conditions reported a preference for home death, yet only 12 per cent of deaths from respiratory and neurological conditions occur at home, and only 6 per cent for dementia.

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One of the biggest problems among patients who live in nursing homes is the development of bed sores or pressure ulcers. The medical profession identifies these as decubitus ulcers. These ulcers commonly occur on the feet, backs and buttocks of ill or elderly patients who spend many hours lying in bed.

Family members can help identify problems at nursing homes by noting the position of the patient they are visiting. Is the patient always in the same position? If so, this could result in a bed sore. If the patient is diabetic or has a skin wound of some type, the danger of a bed sore is even greater. Patients should be rotated in bed every two hours at a minimum. Massage can also increase blood flow and help reduce the danger of a bed sore.

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More than 40 million American women are the primary caregivers for a sick person, very often their husbands. According to a recent New York Times article, when a caregiving wife runs into a friend, acquaintance or even a relative, the most frequently asked question is, ”How is he doing?” The Times reports that people often forget to ask about the wife, who may be struggling to juggle a job and child care as well as patient care.

She faces disruptions in her work and social life, sleep habits, exercise routine, household management and financial situation. She may also be stuck with cleaning up bathroom accidents, servicing medical equipment and fulfilling challenging dietary requirements.

And as one expert put it, for some wives, caregiving is ”a roller coaster ride from hell,” with each day bringing new challenges, demands and adjustments. Diana B. Denholm, a psychotherapist, wrote about the life of a caregiver in her book, The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook,’‘ recently published by Hunter House.

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A jury has awarded an 84-year-old woman resident of a nursing home $6.5 million following a fall from her bed.
The resident, V.C., was a known fall risk because she had suffered a stroke. She had been living at Stanleytown Healthcare Center. Her personal care plan called for her to use bed and chair alarms.
V.C. rolled out of bed when she attempted to go to the bathroom. She fell, breaking her left shoulder and hip.

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As the U.S. population ages, increasing numbers of people are taking care of elderly relatives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a new study that reports that, in the past three months, 39.8 million Americans have provided unpaid care to someone over 65 because of a condition related to aging.

A story on the recent report was published in the New York Times.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 78 million American children were born between 1945 and 1964 in the years following World War II. Now those children are heading into their golden years, starting retirement and facing some of the illnesses usually associated with old age. Many of their caregivers will be their sons and daughters.

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