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Low Performing Nursing Homes Seldom Improve

Sometimes, nursing homes get reprimanded when their facilities are not up to standards and/or are endangering their patients. As a result, they can become put under "special focus status", which means they are strictly overseen and are placed under a high level of scrutiny.  Unfortunately, recent data suggests that after nursing home receive such violation notices, they do not often improve.   According to one news source, "While special focus status is one of the federal government's strictest forms of oversight, nursing homes that were forced to undergo such scrutiny often slide back into providing dangerous care, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal health inspection data."  Out of over 500 nursing homes that came out of special focus status before 2014 and are still in business, over half of them have since harmed patients or put them in serious danger. These violations have included giving patients incorrect medication, failing to intervene in cases of violence from other residents or staff members, and withholding information from families and physicians regarding injuries. These homes are found in almost all 50 states.  

Within the article, it is noted that "special focus facility status is reserved for the poorest-performing facilities out of more than 15,000 skilled nursing homes. The federal government assigns each state a set number of slots, roughly based on the number of nursing homes. Then state health regulators pick which nursing homes to include. More than 900 facilities have been placed on the watch list since 2005." 

Not all nursing homes are created equal.  This also means that not all nursing homes provide the same level and quality of care.  With this in mind, you will need to research possible nursing home options extensively to avoid the possibility of negligence or abuse of a loved one, as well as under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

Accredited Nursing Homes Have Higher Safety Culture

This may be an older post from our website, but is definitely worth another look!  As you may know, not all nursing homes are all created equal.  In addition to having private or government-run facilities, nursing homes can either be accredited or not.  Sometimes the differences between the different types of facilities are not immediately clear, but you should research all possible options before making a decision.

A recent study from NYU suggests that accredited nursing homes report a stronger resident safety culture than nonaccredited facilities.  The study, looking at over 4,000 facilities across the country, cited Joint Commission accreditation as increasing awareness of patient safety issues like staff training, teambuilding, positive and open communication, and correction of mistakes without punitive measures. Few studies have examined the effect of accreditation on safety measures in nursing homes.  Additionally, studies by the same researchers also found that Joint Commission accredited long-term care facilities had fewer survey deficiency citations than nonaccredited facilities

As stated earlier, not all nursing homes are created equal.  This also means that not all nursing homes provide the same level and quality of care.  With this in mind, you will need to research possible nursing home options extensively to avoid the possibility of negligence or abuse of a loved one, as well as under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

About 1 in 10 Seniors in US Are Abused

Information reported by a Georgia news source as referenced by the World Heath Organization, states that about 10% of America's elderly population is abused or neglected. Additionally, the researchers noted that this is likely an underestimation.  Elderly citizens are being abused both in home care situations and while being cared for in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  

It is important to look for common signs of physical abuse, such as bruises and unusual/strained interactions between the caregiver and patient. It is also important to check in with the elderly patient without the caregiver around and ask questions about how the relationship is going from their perspective. Also remember that financial and emotional abuse are common forms of elder abuse as well. 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. He takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been abused or neglected.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit  his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties. 

Many Child Car Seats Are Incorrectly Installed

Although this may be an older article, it is incredibly worthwhile to read!  Several years ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on a safety initiative run by the state police to assess child safety seats. A voluntary inspection occurred at sites throughout the state for a two-week period.  Over 75% of the 319 seats checked were not installed correctly.  Of course, this is a huge cause for concern!  The state police listed the most common problems as a failure to position the seat in the right direction and not properly adjusting the safety harnesses or harnessing the seat in the right manner.  If you are concerned that your child's car seat is not installed correctly, you can call your local police department to see if they'd be able to do a safety check for you. 


When traveling with small children, it is extremely important to make sure that they are as safe as possible in your car.  This includes following suggested federal guidelines for installing safety seats, keeping children in safety seats until they reach a certain age or weight, and making sure every person in the car is wearing their seatbelt.  Although you may feel that you are safe on the road, you never know when a motor vehicle accident will occur. If you and your family members are not following safety guidelines, you put yourselves at a higher risk for severe injuries or even death.  If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident, please contact our law office to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.   

We're Within The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

According to a USA Today news report, the time after school lets out for the summer is considered one of the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. Taking data compiled by USAA, the article stated that about 1,000 people die in crashes with teenage drivers on the 100 day stretch from Memorial Day onward.  This time results in raising the average number of car accident deaths up by 16% compared to other times during the calendar year.  Distracted driving accounted for almost 60% of the crashes.  

It is incredibly important to remain safe and alert while driving, especially during periods of increased motor activity, such as the summer.  It is also important to remind your teen drivers of the dangers involved in driving a vehicle, and the responsibility they have to keep themselves, their passengers, and other cars on the road safe.  Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents. If you feel that you have been wrongly hurt in an accident, please contact our office for a free consultation. Safe driving!


For more on the original USA Today report, please click here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/06/01/summer-deadly-for-car-crashes/85237308/

How Much Do You Know About Whiplash?

How much do you really know about whiplash? Read more below to educate yourself on this very common type of accident injury.


According to LiveScience.com, whiplash is an injury suffered by over 2 million people every year! Although it often occurs in rear-impact car crashes, it can happen through other accident situations, too. Whiplash injuries affect the neck, including the tissue, muscles, discs, and nerves that go into and out of the neck.  The jerking motion association with whiplash causes the neck to move outside of its typical range of motion. Sometimes, whiplash also occurs in combination with a concussion. 


The symptoms of whiplash often show up in the first 24 hours post-accident, and include dizziness, limited range of motion in the neck, pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and/or arms, and fatigue.  Sometimes, tingling and numbness in the arms can occur as well. Whiplash can sometimes persist over six months, in which case it becomes termed as "chronic".  


Whiplash and corresponding chronic pain, is common after a wide variety of accidents and injuries, such as car accidents.  It is very important to monitor your pain and consult with a knowledgeable physician if you suspect that you may have a case of chronic pain.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serving the central and western Pennsylvania area.  For more information on him and his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.


Thank you to LiveScience for their reference article, which can be found here:
http://www.livescience.com/54566-whiplash.html

Distracted Driving Is Still A Problem in PA

According to reports via the Allentown Morning Call, Pennsylvania still has a lot of difficulty with distracted driving.  According to their article, despite legislation five years ago that banned texting while driving, there has been over a 50% increase in the number of people being pulled over for distracted driving in the last three years.  It is a hard position for law enforcement to be in, since drivers are still allowed to use their phones to make calls or to use apps like GPS. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, can't use their phones at all unless they're placing an emergency call to police.  


If you are involved in a car accident, most states, including Pennsylvania, have at least one section on the incident report dedicated to distracted driving violations.  Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations.  Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents on the highway.  If you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver, it might be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  Please call his firm at 814-946-4100 for more information. 

Chronic Pain and Workplace Performance

One of the main problems surrounding symptoms of chronic pain is how it influences every aspect of your life.  Chronic pain is often not a disorder that changes its symptoms or decreases across situations.  Due to this, chronic pain can lead to problems in other aspects of your life, such as socially, athletically, and in workplace performance.


An article by Human Resource Executive Online addressed this problem in one of their online articles.  According to the article, HR professionals have an obligation to look for the signs of chronic pain and approach employees about it when appropriate.  Additionally, these professionals should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations surrounding disabilities (professionally diagnosed chronic pain is considered both a medical condition and a disability). Workers with chronic pain do have rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  The article also acknowledged that chronic pain can carry stigma for the suffer, so HR representatives should be sensitive when broaching the subject.  Many companies also have infrastructure in place to support people with disabilities, so HR representatives should work to try and get those services put in place for the sufferer of chronic pain.   Overall, it is prudent on the part of the employee and HR representative to work together to discuss the medical condition and come to grips with how that will affect their job performance.


Chronic pain is a tricky diagnosis in terms of finding the right medication combination that will work, but will not lead to overmedication.  Working with your physician and seeing what is right for you is the only way to find an effective, realistic pain management treatment.  Chronic pain that is the result of an accident caused by another is even more frustrating!  If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice surrounding injuries that lead to chronic pain, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

Brain Injuries Have A Long Recovery Time

Sometimes, people who are victims of a car crash often experience concussions or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Although the signs associated with this injury may not immediately be present, the symptoms may manifest themselves days or weeks later.  Many common symptoms related to TBIs include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, changes in sleep patterns, and gaps in or loss of portions of memory.  Other more immediate symptoms may include vomiting and/or loss of vision.


Post-TBI, many patients find that the road to recovery is long, hard, and takes a variety of different professionals to manage the healing process.  Major news source NBC took a hard look at instances of TBIs in America and what the recovery process looks like for those victims.  The article can be found by clicking this link


If you have recently been in a car crash, it is important to closely monitor your body's response and recovery after the accident.  If you suspect a TBI, immediately seek help from a qualified physician who can diagnose you and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  If your car accident was due to the fault of another, it may also be time to seek legal action.  This is especially true if your injuries cause you to miss extended periods of work or not be able to continue your line of work at all.  Other major expenses resulting from an accident may include medical bills.  If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident due to the fault of another, please contact Altoona, PA area personal injury attorney Doug Stoehr to set up an initial, free consultation.  His law office can be reached by visiting his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

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