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Posts tagged "nursing home neglect"

Nursing Home Wrongful Death Suit in PA

Recently, a Philadelphia-area nursing home is under fire for supposedly contributing to a wrongful death case.  The death, which is thought to be due negligence on the part of the nursing home staff, came after a series of illnesses which affected an elderly woman in the home's case. The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the resident needed 24 hour care, due to a history of trouble walking, dementia, and other issues.  However, she was still was often found on her floor in her bedroom of the nursing home unattended, and it was clear that she had fallen.  Eventually, the resident had a fall that was so severe that she had to go to the emergency room.  Upon returning to the nursing home, she was placed in hospice care and passed away about two months after her accident.  

Nursing Home Residents Have Trouble In Hospitals

It is not uncommon for elderly nursing home residents to be in poor health or in need of medical assistance. In some of these situations, an emergency room visit may be essential for that patient.  However, an emergency room visit may also lead to infection in the nursing home later on.

Holiday Gift Services Makes Great Difference For Seniors in Doylestown Area Community

Wow, what a great idea to help our state's nursing home residents during the holiday season!  A Doylestown-based nonprofit organization called Wrapping Presence recently spent the day helping area nursing home residents pick out gifts from new and donated items to wrap for Christmas and Hanukkah presents.  This is a really special service, especially for those residents who cannot physically or mentally get to a store, pick out presents for their family and friends, and stand in line.  The staff at the nursing home spent several weeks ahead of time figuring out what their residents may be interested in giving as gifts, and tried to coordinate the donations to meet their wishes.  The donations of gifts and money towards gifts had been a year-long fundraising process, culminating with this event where the seniors were able to pick out their gifts.  The event was arranged with the help of over 650 volunteers who work with 19 nursing homes in the Doylestown area. 

Nursing Home Investigation Continues in PA

Do you remember our earlier blog posts about the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office suing many PA nursing homes that are owned by Golden Living Centers?  Well, the numbers of the nursing homes being investigated are continuing to grow.  Check out the latest reports of horrendous elder abuse and neglect coming from this state-wide investigation. 
According to a news report by ABC27.com, the Golden Living chain is under accusations of leaving their residents without adequate food and water, and residing in filthy living conditions.  Some of the Golden Living centers that have recently come under investigation were not part of the original lawsuit, but were added to the list after people called in and complained about the conditions in the other facilities.  One person within the news article mentioned that she didn't feel safe with the standard of care that her father, a Golden Living resident, was receiving.  She noted that staff members did not always respond to patient alarms, and the facility in which he resided generally appeared run down.  Another report stated that a woman who was visiting her mother found maggots infesting one of her wounds. There are 36 Golden Living centers in Pennsylvania, and as of this blog post, it appears that 25 of them are currently undergoing investigation by the state. 
Some of the information released by the PA Attorney General's office include reports of residents left to sit in their own feces, staff members who are falsifying medical records, and a lack of response to emergency calls.  In response, Golden Living released this statement to abc27: "Golden Living remains confident that the claims made by the Attorney General are baseless and wholly without merit. All of our living centers are in compliance with legal requirements as determined by the two agencies that have oversight of our industry."
Many allegations against nursing homes and assisted living facilities stem from reports of elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Many common instances of elder abuse include emotional, financial, psychological, and neglect.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend. Call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up your consultation.  
Douglas V. Stoehr practices personal injury law in Duncansville and Altoona, Pennsylvania. He serves clients throughout western and central Pennsylvania, including Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Huntingdon, State College, Johnstown, Clearfield, Tyrone, Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage, Windber, Carrolltown, Gallitzin, Saxton, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Pine Grove Mills, Warriors Mark, Spruce Creek, Roaring Spring, Bellwood, Claysburg, Blue Knob, Lewistown, Mount Union, Belleville, McConnellsburg, Breezewood, Williamsburg, Windber, Punxsutawney Martinsburg, Somerset, Philipsburg, Everett, Williamsport, Cumberland, Oakland, Indiana, St. Mary's, Blair County, Cambria County, Huntingdon County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County, Jefferson County, Huntington County, Centre County, Bedford County, Somerset County and Fulton County.

Many PA Nursing Homes Being Investigated by State Attorney General

What kind of nursing home care are your parents and grandparents receiving?  Hopefully, their care is the result of an attentive, educated staff that cares about their mental and physical health.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  Prominently in the news recently, one national nursing home operator is in hot water for some allegations of substandard care in their homes.  Golden Living, a nursing facility provider group, has about 300 homes in over 20 states.  Those facilities total over 30,000 beds!  They are also currently under fire here in Pennsylvania and are being investigated by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.  25 facilities in Pennsylvania (out of 36 total Golden Living properties in PA) are currently being examined by the AG's office because they "failed to provide basic services to residents, falsified care records, deceived state Department of Health inspectors and left facilities understaffed".  Since July, when the original lawsuit was filed, there have been over 350 complaints file in Pennsylvania alone. 
Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Other, equally as damaging forms, of elder abuse can occur in settings such as nursing homes or hospitals.  Mental and psychological abuse, as well as financial and sexual abuse occur all too often to the elderly population.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend. Call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up your consultation.  Douglas V. Stoehr practices personal injury law in Duncansville and Altoona, Pennsylvania. He serves clients throughout western and central Pennsylvania, including Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Huntingdon, State College, Johnstown, Clearfield, Tyrone, Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage, Windber, Carrolltown, Gallitzin, Saxton, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Pine Grove Mills, Warriors Mark, Spruce Creek, Roaring Spring, Bellwood, Claysburg, Blue Knob, Lewistown, Mount Union, Belleville, McConnellsburg, Breezewood, Williamsburg, Windber, Punxsutawney Martinsburg, Somerset, Philipsburg, Everett, Williamsport, Cumberland, Oakland, Indiana, St. Mary's, Blair County, Cambria County, Huntingdon County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County, Jefferson County, Huntington County, Centre County, Bedford County, Somerset County and Fulton County.

Prescription Errors in Nursing Homes

Many nursing home residents are on a variety of prescription drugs to regulate their medical conditions.  These drugs are recorded and administered by the staff of the nursing home.  However, the journey from the pharmacist to the patient is a way for medication errors to occur.  The general public is starting to hear about these errors and some cases are being nationally publicized.
An article by the New York Times exposed an investigation into nursing homes in California that have had a high number of prescription drug errors by pharmacists.  According to the article, "In reports obtained by a local newspaper, the department found that in 18 of the 32 investigations conducted in California nursing homes between May 2010 and June 2011 pharmacists failed to red-flag cases in which residents were inappropriately prescribed powerful antipsychotic medications like Seroquel, a drug used to treat schizophrenia. Pharmacists also overlooked or approved cases in which medications were prescribed at questionable levels or in unsafe combinations that could put patients at risk of seizures, accidents or even death, according to the public health department".    The United States Department of Health is also keeping an eye on this phenomenon after a recent study it conducted in which  it was found that, in nursing homes across the country, at least 40 percent of all Medicare claims for antipsychotics, are "inappropriate, given in excessive doses, given for too long, given without the need for use, without adequate monitoring or "in the presence of adverse consequences" and should be reduced or discontinued."
It is important to monitor your loved one's medication, including type and dosage, in order to help minimize the risk of injury or illness.  If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home setting and if you feel that the nursing home has improperly medicated your loved one, it may be time to seek legal assistance.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on him and his firm, please call us at (814) 946-4100.

High Turnover For Nursing Home Attendants

The nursing home industry is one that is experiencing growth right now, since many aging Americans from the "baby boom" generation are beginning to retire and some decide to enter into nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  With the boom in patients, nursing home are either hiring more attendants or giving attendants longer work hours.  Unfortunately, nursing homes also have a high turnover rate for employees.

A Young Man's Commentary on PA's Elder Abuse Problem

A recent commentary piece by a contributor to NewsWorks.org highlighted one man's experience having a grandmother who worked for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in eastern PA.  Within the commentary, the man describes his grandmother's work in a high-end nursing home, and how well the residents were treated.  He also reported that these instances are not always the norm, as about 20% of nursing home residents report abuse or neglect each year.  This is most likely a gross underestimate, as many seniors appear to be hesitant to report experiences of abuse or neglect.  Additionally, many seniors suffer from dementia and are unable to report any ill treatment. 
PA is among the states that should be the most concerned about how our seniors are being treated.  We are the state with the fourth highest percentage of elderly citizens over 85, and our state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities take care of over 130,000 seniors.   Please take a moment and read the entire article from Newsworks.org to get an idea of one man's battle against elder abuse how to inform change in our state.
Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Other, equally as damaging forms, of elder abuse can occur in settings such as nursing homes or hospitals.  Mental and psychological abuse, as well as financial and sexual abuse occur all too often to the elderly population.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend.

Be A Good Neighbor: Look Out For The Elderly In Your Life This Winter

Pay special attention to your elderly friends and neighbors during this cold weather! Reports from across the country have shown that elderly citizens are falling victim to injury and death as they are faced with the challenges of this incredibly cold and bitter winter. According to one news source, an elderly woman from the state of Indiana was found dead recently as a casualty of the winter weather.  She had walked outside, slipped and fallen outside of her home (near her car), and subsequently died from hypothermia.  To avoid such tragedies, the article recommended several things to do to protect the elderly friends and neighbors in your community:
  • Plan and encourage participation in inside, social activities.  The local YMCA or community center may have activities that will appeal to seniors in the area.
  • Keep a close eye out for signs of frostbite, which tend to affect older adults because they often have diminished circulation. 
  • Check in frequently, and see if elderly neighbors need help with things like shoveling, grocery shopping, and outside maintenance. 
  • If elderly adults have to go outside to do maintenance, encourage them to take frequent breaks to come inside, rest, and warm back up. 
As noted in last week's blog posts, seniors are also more susceptible to mood changes in relation to the seasons, especially when they are not fully mobile.  This is something to be aware of, especially when your elderly loved one may be residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility. You may want to check in with staff at these facilities to find out what programs and activities are being offered for their residents during the long stretch of winter.  
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas.  He takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.

Beating The Winter Blues! Tips for Young Adults and Seniors

Are you or others around beginning to feel affected by the "winter blues"?  You are not alone.  Many people along the East Coast are experiencing the same thing as a result of continual cold, frequent snowstorms, and a feeling of a neverending winter.  Many local and regional news outlets are compiling ways to beat the winter blues, and we gathered up a few good ones from NJ.com.  According to their article, here are a few things to consider when battling feelings of winter depression:
  • Beat back the symptoms! Make sure you get outside and soak up some sunlight, even if it's cold.  
  • Make sure to eat well and do not give into your urges for saltier, fattier, and more sugar-laden food. 
  • Go out and meet with friends or family to improve your mood.  Even meeting a friend for quick cup of coffee can significantly elevate your mood.
  • Keep in mind that seasonal differences in mood actually tend to affect more younger people as opposed to older people, so keep an eye on your children and young adults for any significant changes in mood.  Seniors are another high-risk population for seasonal affect changes. 
  • If your mood has not improved, even after the use of the above methods, you may wish to consult with your doctor about the possibility of light therapy. 
Seniors are particularly susceptible to mood changes in relation to the seasons, especially when they are not fully mobile.  This is something to keep in mind, especially when your elderly loved one may be residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility.  It is good to frequently check in with staff at these facilities to find out what programs and activities are being offered for their residents, especially during the winter months.  
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas.  He takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.
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