Mr. Loren Richards was 84 years old and a resident of the Beverly Health and Rehabilitation nursing facility located just outside of Lexington, Kentucky. On March 2, 2002 he died. In the days leading up to his death, he had constantly cried out for help because he had terrible pains in his stomach. He anguished pleas were ignored and untreated by the nursing home staff. He was finally told that he was suffering from an impacted bowel. By then was too late. He soon died as a result of the nursing home's culture of negligent lack of care. His family filed suit against the nursing home for the staff's knowing disregard of Mr. Richards. A local jury carefully considered all the evidence from both sides, and awarded compensation of $20 million.
Azalea Court, a nursing home in West Palm Beach, Florida, is accruing fines left and right. An August, 2008, report shows that a resident was found hurt on the floor of the nursing home. Maggots crawling out of the resident's leg cast. The resident had been admitted to the nursing facility with a detailed care plan which included instructions that the cast and the wound needed to be changed and cleaned every three days. According to reports, Azalea Court could not provide adequate records detailing their care of the cast and wound and could only provide documented proof that they cared for the wound about once a week.
In April, 2008 a state inspector was making a routine visit to the facility, when he found a resident who was a bilateral amputee, outside, asleep with a smoldering cigarette burning a hole into a towel that was covering his left stump. According to this inspector, there was smoke rising from the hole in the towel and the edge of the hole was still burning bright red. The resident had been labeled a safe smoker despite the fact that he had been found previously with a lit cigarette in his mouth and he was fast asleep. The resident was also found to have bedsores covering his amputated limbs and buttocks. The State had initially fined the nursing home $41,000 for both incidents but a settlement was later reached.
The nursing home only had to pay $16,000.
When 95 year old River Reed was admitted to the Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Granite City, Illinois, she was suffering from the effects of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The nursing home was well aware of her symptoms and made notes that she was known to wander, was often disoriented and confused.
On May 29, 2007, Ms. Reed got up in the middle of the night and began to roam the corridors. She fell and broke her left help. Ms. Reed was then confined to a wheelchair from her injuries. Just over a week later, she was left alone again. Her wheelchair had no restraints and her personal "fall" alarm had been turned off. She fell out of her chair and broke her other hip. Ms. Reed suffered intense pain from these injuries and incurred massive medical costs. There is just no excuse for leaving Ms. Reed alone without protections. Her guardian, Hazel Timmons is working with her attorney to recover for the losses and harms to Ms. Reed.
The family of Robert A. Young is seeking justice from an assisted living facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mr. Young suffered from cerebral palsy and was a resident of The Health Center at Standifer Place.
In November, 2007 he was sent to Erlanger Medical Center for a skull fracture after a fall resulting from a purported seizure. On November 27, 2007, one week after he was admitted, Mr. Young died alone. No family members had even been notified that he was in the hospital.
Mr. Young was buried in the Ruth Cofer cemetery. For a month after his death, various family members called the assisted living facility to check on the welfare of Mr. Young. They were consistently told that Mr. Young was okay and that the family member should come and visit.
When Mr. Young’s death finally came to light, the family was devastated. The stories and lies that they had been told in the month since his death were unbearable. Can you imagine?
After a protracted court battle, and nearly a year after his death, Mr. Young's body was exhumed. An autopsy was performed. The family was shocked when they learned what had really happened. Mr. Young actually died from blunt force trauma, not a fall. Mr. Walter Small, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Standifer, has been charged with delivering the blow that caused Mr. Young's death.
We will tell you more.
Diana Harris worked as a housekeeper at the Cimmarron Pointe Care Center in Mannford, Oklahoma just outside of Tulsa. During the first three months she was there, she personally witnessed several atrocities being committed against vulnerable residents.
She saw one gentleman who was ignored and left sitting in his own waste for so long that the feces was encrusted on his legs all the way down to below his knees. When she reported it to her boss and to the people who were supposed to be caring for him, they decided to leave him in this condition until the next shift started two and a half hours later.
Her supervisor just sprayed the room with deodorant to cover the smell.
Diana then witnessed another older resident, who was paralyzed from the waist down, struggle to get out of her room in her wheelchair just to inform the staff that she was sitting in soiled garments. Mrs. Harris was horrified when she saw the staff laugh at her.
On another occasion, after Dianna had reported that a female resident needed attention, the resident’s needs went unchecked. The neglected resident wrote to her family saying her last goodbyes because she truly thought she was going to die from neglect.
She filed a petition seeking for wages and punitive damages after she was advised that the only reason for her termination was her reports of abuse. No other reason was ever given for her termination. She had not committed any other act that would warrant her termination.
We hope and expect that she will find justice, and we hope that the Cimmarron Pointe Care Center will care for the helpless residents in their care.
Just give the residents the water they need. It's that simple.
Seventy-one year old Dean Cole was suffering the effects of dementia. His wife, Virginia, could no longer take care of him so she decided to put him in Golden Livingcenter in Greeley, Minnesota. Virginia called each day to inquire after her husband and to make sure he was eating well. Each time Virginia called, the nursing home staff told her that everything was fine and that he was eating properly.
But there was a problem. After only three weeks, Mr. Cole had lost 20 pounds, and had become distressed and confrontational. Soon, he was discovered in a coma in his bed. He was rushed to the hospital where it was determined he was suffering from severe dehydration, kidney failure, colitis and pneumonia.
Mr. Cole died three weeks later. A review of his nursing home records revealed that a dietary manager had recommended that Mr. Cole be given a nutritional supplement three times a day. That never happened, though. The nursing home staff just ignored the recommendation.
The state has investigated this case and found that the nursing home was negligent in that they did not prevent Mr. Cole’s dehydration nor maintain his weight. They also failed to notify his doctor of his drastic weight loss. Mrs. Cole is now suing for damages in the hopes that other residents will be given the attention and care that is required.
A new study out of Queen’s University and Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland finds that one in four residents of nursing homes are carriers of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
MRSA is a dangerous bacterium because it is drug resistant. (It is also known as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The study showed that out of 1,111 residents tested by nasal swabs, 24% showed colonizations of MRSA.
Those patients carried the bacteria but did not necessarily show any signs of infection and were not necessarily ill. The study was done because MRSA infections have been repeatedly found in patients after a stay in a nursing home. The study concluded that more stringent procedures needed to be applied to nursing homes by improving education and training of staff and the proper removal of MRSA from colonized patients with the correct creams and soaps.
Bacteria infections are serious. They can be prevented. Nursing homes must do more to protect their vulnerable residents.
According to reports, forty-six year old Linda Darlene Carter was a passenger in car that was involved in collision near Knoxville, Tennessee. Due to the accident she suffered many blunt force injuries that left her unable to care for herself.
Her care was entrusted to the Hilcrest North Nursing Home. After just nine days in the nursing home she was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she died on March 27, 2008. It was later determined by the Knox County Medical Examiner that she died of dehydration due to inadequate care. The Medical Examiner called it homicide. Ms. Carter left behind a young son and daughter. They are suing the nursing home for $35 million because of the negligent care their mother received at the nursing home.
South Carolina presently has over 67,000 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease with another 13,000 expected to be diagnosed by next year.
Unfortunately, patients stricken with Alzheimer’s disease who show aggression, a common characteristic of the disease, are frequently refused a bed in most nursing homes. These denials leave the victims and their families with very little options for long term care.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Registry, which has been in existence since 1988, has relied heavily on statistical and demographic records by culling information from hospital records, Medicaid documents, memory clinic records, mental health records, vital records and long term care evaluations to help understand the disease more fully.
New legislation has been submitted to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford that would allow the Alzheimer’s Disease Registry to move beyond its limited demographics and statistics data. The bill would allow analysts to have direct contact with families and care givers who live day to day with victims of the disease and directly assess the hardships and lifestyle changes these victims suffer. The new information and knowledge gained from these interviews would then be culminated to be given to families and caregivers of Alzheimer patients and provide vital information on how best to take care of their needs.
Last January, William Baker was admitted to the Winchester Centre for Health and Rehabilitation in Winchester, Kentucky, after he suffered from a brain aneurysm.
He was there only six days when he developed severe breathing problems and was immediately transferred to a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, he never recovered and died a few weeks later on January 31, 2008.
Now his family is looking for answers.
The family has reason to believe that the nursing home failied to give Mr. Baker the proper medical care and attention required, and failed to monitor his breathing and suction him. They also chose not to have enough staff to care for Mr. Baker and the other residents. According to the family, the staff wasn't properly trained or supervised, either. The nursing home’s negligence lead to the serious trauma and ultimately Mr. Baker's death, according to the family's information.
When you think about an ideal place to retire, you don’t normally take into consideration where the cheapest nursing home costs are. But the cold hard facts are, as we age, the chances that we will end up in a nursing home or assisted living facility is greater than 66%. Genworth Financial, a provider of long-term care insurance, has posted the 2009 Cost of Care Survey with grim results. Since 2005 nursing home costs have increased annually by 4% which is far greater than the normal rate of inflation.
According to the report, the national average cost of a private nursing home room is $74,208 a year which equal s just over $203 a day. The least expensive states include Louisiana, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska with the most expensive states being Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington and most of the New England States.
So now is the time to start planning. Take some time to research retirement saving plans or long-term care policies that will cover the average cost for your city or state. Whether you will be retiring to a high cost area or a low cost area, make sure you are not paying for more coverage than you need.